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Pirates Let Victory Slip Away to Reds

June 11, 1997|From Associated Press

The Cincinnati Reds needed a lot of help--and got it from the Pittsburgh Pirates--as they pulled off their biggest comeback of the season.

Reliever Rich Loiselle's error let in the go-ahead runs with two out in the eighth inning, fueling a four-run rally that gave the Reds an 8-5 victory Tuesday night at Cincinnati.

The Pirates had not made an error in 47 innings when Loiselle let first baseman Mark Johnson's throw fly past him and land in the Reds' dugout, putting Cincinnati ahead, 6-5. Hal Morris and Willie Greene followed with RBI singles.

It was only the second time this season the Reds had come from behind when trailing after seven innings.

"That was an uplifting win," said Manager Ray Knight, who pumped his fist when Johnson's throw sailed past him on the top step of the dugout. "That's the kind of comeback that boosts your confidence."

The Pirates sensed it was coming even before it happened.

Pittsburgh led, 5-0, after sending 10 batters to the plate in the second inning, but struggling starter Jason Schmidt and the bullpen failed to hold on. The Pirates also hurt themselves by stranding Jason Kendall at third after a leadoff triple in the seventh.

In the eighth, Pokey Reese singled with one out off Marc Wilkins, and Ricardo Rincon (2-3) got the second out before giving up a single to Curtis Goodwin. He walked Mike Kelly to load the bases and bring in Loiselle.

Barry Larkin saw a hole on the right side and decided to shoot for it. Johnson got to his soft grounder and had no play at second, so he turned and threw to Loiselle, who was running hard to beat Larkin to the base.

Mike Remlinger (1-3) pitched out of a threat in the eighth inning to get the win.

Atlanta 8, Colorado 3--Denny Neagle won his ninth game and Chipper Jones drove in four runs for the Braves at Denver.

Neagle, taming the top hitting team in the majors with a baffling variety of off-speed pitches, limited the Rockies to three singles through five innings.

In the sixth, Dante Bichette singled with two out and Vinny Castilla hit his 17th home run. It was the first homer allowed by Neagle in seven road starts this season.

Neagle (9-1) went seven innings, allowing five hits and three runs.

Jones had two hits, including his sixth home run of the season, a 460-foot solo shot in the ninth that bounced off the facade of the right-field upper deck.

The Braves scored six runs off Rocky starter Kevin Ritz (5-5) in the first five innings.

Michael Tucker tripled in the first and scored on Jones' sacrifice fly. In the second, Ryan Klesko and Javy Lopez opened with back-to-back doubles.

Neagle walked for the second time to lead off the fifth, Kenny Lofton had an infield hit and Tucker an RBI double. Jones then hit a two-run single. Ritz struck out two consecutive batters, but Lopez doubled down the right-field line to make it 6-1.

New York 10, Chicago 6--John Olerud, Manny Alexander, Edgardo Alfonzo and Carlos Baerga homered for the Mets at Chicago.

Butch Huskey drove in three runs for New York before leaving in the fifth inning because of a strained hamstring.

Olerud hit his 10th homer in the third and Alexander connected for his first National League homer and fourth in the majors to make it 5-1 in the fourth.

Olerud and Alexander homered off Kevin Foster (7-4), who had won his four previous decisions but is now the National League leader in homers allowed with 14.

Alfonzo's fourth homer came off struggling reliever Mel Rojas in the eighth and Baerga capped the scoring with a solo shot, his second, in the ninth.

Dave Mlicki (2-5), whom the Cubs beat in April to end their 0-14 start, gave up a first-inning run on Brian McRae's single, Mark Grace's double and Sammy Sosa's sacrifice fly that Carl Everett jumped high against the ivy in center to snag. Mlicki lasted five innings, giving up 11 hits.

Montreal 8, Philadelphia 5--Mike Lansing's two-run single capped a four-run eighth inning to lead the Expos to their fifth consecutive victory at Montreal.

With one out in the eighth, Joe Orsulak tripled off reliever Jerry Spradlin. Ricky Bottalico (1-2) then came in to face Ryan McGuire, who hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Kevin Stocker. Stocker threw home and catcher Mike Lieberthal fired to third, but hit a retreating Orsulak in the back, putting runners at the corners.

Pinch-hitter Andy Stankiewicz followed with a ground-rule double to tie the score and, after an intentional walk, Lansing singled to left, making it 7-5. Darrin Fletcher drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning to close the scoring.

Dave Veres (2-1) pitched a hitless eighth for the win and Lee Smith pitched the ninth for his fifth save and 478th for his career.




Player: M. Alexander

Team: New York

Performance: 2 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Craig Biggio

Team: Houston

Performance: 3 runs, 3 RBIs, double

Team's Result: Win


Player: Chipper Jones

Team: Atlanta

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

Team's Result: Win


Player: Denny Neagle

Team: Atlanta

Performance: 12 strikeouts, 7 innings, improves to 9-1

Team's Result: Win


Player: Kevin Brown

Team: Florida

Performance: No-hitter, 7 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: W. Van Landnghm

Team: San Francisco

Performance: 6 1/3 innings of no-hit pitching

Team's Result: Loss

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