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Rockies Survive Scare, Defeat Giants

May 22, 1997|From Associated Press

After watching his bullpen self-destruct in several games during a long road trip, Colorado Manager Don Baylor thought he finally was going to have an easy afternoon.

But the bullpen struggled again, forcing the Rockies to hold on for a 10-7 victory Wednesday over the Giants at San Francisco after having an eight-run lead in the eighth inning.

Ellis Burks and Andres Galarraga homered for the Rockies, who ended a four-game losing streak, and Quinton McCracken became the first Colorado player since last July to steal home.

Kevin Ritz (4-4) pitched seven strong innings for Colorado but fell apart in the eighth, and it took three relievers to finally stop a San Francisco rally that produced four runs in the eighth and three in the ninth.

"I've been in a helpless position this entire road trip," said Baylor, whose bullpen has had an 8.90 earned-run average during a 13-game trip that ends today. "I was thinking today there's no way this is going to happen, and boy, was I wrong."

Steve Reed finally got the final two outs, striking out Jeff Kent and J.T. Snow with two men on base, for his third save.

"The game should have never been that close. You're up 8-0, you're kind of cruising along," Baylor said. "We are so inconsistent out of the bullpen."

Burks hit a three-run homer, his ninth of the season in the seventh, and also had a run-scoring groundout.

Chicago 7, Philadelphia 0--Kevin Foster gave up three hits over seven innings and Mark Grace extended his hitting streak to 15 games, leading the Cubs to the victory at Chicago.

Sammy Sosa hit a two-run homer for the Cubs, who finished their homestand 6-3. Grace went two for four with an RBI single in the first and a run-scoring double in the seventh.

Foster (5-3) walked three and struck out three before being relieved by Bob Patterson in the eighth inning. Mel Rojas pitched the ninth.

Edgar Ramos (0-1), the first pick overall in the 1996 winter draft, took the loss in his major league debut.

Pittsburgh 3, St. Louis 2--Mark Johnson's bloop double broke an eighth-inning tie as the Pirates, stymied most of the game by Alan Benes, defeated the Cardinals at St. Louis to end a four-game losing streak.

Pirates pitching coach Pete Vuckovich was ejected in the second for arguing a late strikeout call to Jason Kendall that ended up as a double play, and Johnson and Cardinal catcher Mike Difelice were ejected after their collision on the final out in the top of the eighth led to both benches clearing.

The Pirates played the game under protest after home plate umpire Larry Poncino's tardy strike three call that led to Vuckovich's ejection.

Johnson drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Joe Randa. Kendall thought he'd walked on a full count to load the bases, but Poncino made a late strike call and Difelice threw out Randa trying to steal for a double play. Kendall was at first base before being informed he was out.

The Pirates scored anyway when Benes balked Johnson home.

New York 2, Florida 1--Mark Clark gave up seven hits in eight innings, and Edgardo Alfonzo and Bernard Gilkey homered as the Mets ended the Marlins' eight-game winning streak with the victory at Miami.

Greg McMichael worked the ninth for his second save as the Mets prevented the Marlins from matching their year-old franchise-best run of nine consecutive victories. His wild pitch enabled Jim Eisenreich to score from third, but McMichael struck out Jeff Conine looking to strand the tying run on second base.

Clark (5-2) struck out five and walked one while extending his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 16. He shut out Colorado for seven innings in his last start, but New York went on to lose.

The Mets, who stranded five runners in the first two innings, broke through in the fifth when Alfonzo hit his second homer. Gilkey greeted reliever Mark Hutton with his third homer to start the sixth.

Houston 4, Cincinnati 3--Luis Gonzalez's RBI single in the 14th inning scored Jeff Bagwell from second base, giving the Astros the victory over the Reds at Houston.

With two outs, Bagwell was intentionally walked by Scott Sullivan (0-1).

Bagwell stole second without a throw and Gonzalez, who was hitless in his first five at-bats, then lined a hit to left field. Curtis Goodwin's throw to the plate was wide to the right, allowing Bagwell to slide in safely.

Tom Martin (2-1) pitched the 14th for the victory.

Houston loaded the bases with one out in the 12th, but couldn't score.




Player: Sammy Sosa

Team: Chicago

Performance: 2 for 4, 2 RBIs, double, homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Ellis Burks

Team: Colorado

1 for 3, 4 RBIs, 3-run homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Greg Maddux

Team: Atlanta

Performance: 9 innings, 8 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Alan Benes

Team: St. Louis

Performance: 7 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs, 9 strikeouts

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Kevin Foster

Team: Chicago

Performance: 7 innings, 3 hits, no runs

Team's Result: Win


Player: Mark Clark

Team: New York

Performance: 8 innings, 7 hits, no runs, 5 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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