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Mets Defeat Braves for Fifth in a Row

June 24, 1997|From Associated Press

Rick Reed outpitched John Smoltz and Carl Everett hit a two-run homer Monday night that sent the New York Mets to their fifth consecutive victory, 3-2, over the Atlanta Braves.

In their first test of the season against the National League champions, the Mets measured up. They stopped the Braves' three-game winning streak and left Smoltz, the reigning Cy Young winner, winless in six consecutive starts.

Reed (5-4) won with a six-hitter. He gave up two runs and three hits in the first three innings but little else.

A crowd of 22,153, about 1,500 more than the Mets have averaged, was on its feet for the final out.

Everett rallied New York from a 2-1 deficit in the sixth. Todd Hundley singled to start the inning and Everett followed with his ninth homer.

Smoltz (6-7) again was victimized by the long ball. He has allowed seven home runs in his last four starts, going 0-3.

Smoltz has pitched at least seven innings in his last 12 outings, but has little to show for it despite a 3.20 earned-run average.

"There's nothing I can do but keep pitching. I've yet to have a bad game, but by my record, it wouldn't indicate that," he said. "People who haven't followed it might say, 'Well, geez, 6-7.' But the people who follow it, they know it could be a great season."

Smoltz, like Reed, pitched a complete game. Each pitcher struck out four and walked two.

Edgardo Alfonzo doubled home a run for New York in the fifth.

Montreal 5, Cincinnati 0--Jim Bullinger pitched a four-hitter for his fourth career shutout and F.P. Santangelo homered to lead the Expos at Montreal.

Bullinger (5-6) pitched his second shutout this season and his sixth career complete game. He retired the first 11 Reds before Lenny Harris hit a two-out double in the fourth.

"Late in the game I was still fresh," Bullinger said. "I didn't have to reach back for anything extra."

Bullinger walked one and struck out none. The right-hander has allowed seven earned runs in 30 innings over his last four starts, a 2.10 ERA. His overall ERA dropped to 5.48, the lowest it has been since his second start of the season.

Santangelo extended his hitting streak to 18 games and went two for three with three runs scored. His homer in the fourth gave Montreal a 3-0 lead.

The Expos have won 13 of 16.

Santangelo has gone 30 for 65 (.462) with eight doubles, three home runs and 16 runs scored since beginning his streak June 5.

Chicago 3, St. Louis 0--Rookie Jeremi Gonzalez pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game and the Cubs won at St. Louis to stop a five-game losing streak.

Gonzalez (3-2), a 22-year-old right-hander, was making his sixth career start and had been 0-2 in his previous three outings. He struck out five and walked one.

Delino DeShields got caught off base twice and his fielding error at second let the Cubs score two first-inning runs.

DeShields led off the bottom half with a single but was picked off. He hit his league-leading seventh triple to lead off the fourth, but strayed too far from the bag on Ron Gant's grounder to third and was tagged out by Jose Hernandez.

Philadelphia 9, Florida 3--Rookie Scott Rolen homered and drove in five runs, and Curt Schilling struck out a career-high 13 as the Phillies ended an eight-game losing streak at Philadelphia.

Staked to a 5-0 lead in the third inning, Schilling (9-6) breezed, allowing only six hits and three runs, two earned, in seven innings.

Schilling struck out the side in the first, had a strikeout in each of the second and third innings, then added two in each of the next two innings before striking out the side in the sixth.

Schilling was happy with the victory, but disappointed he didn't get the complete game after the Phillies gave him a commanding early lead.

"When we got our fifth run in the third inning, for me, the game is over," said Schilling, who allowed six hits in seven innings. "That is frustrating to me."

Rolen drove in two runs in the first and three more in the third when he hit a three-run homer off Rick Helling (2-5).

Pittsburgh 6, Houston 0--Before this season, Francisco Cordova had never pitched a shutout. Now, he has two in six weeks.

Cordova pitched a two-hitter in his best career start and Jermaine Allensworth hit a bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning as the Pirates ended a six-game losing streak by winning at Houston.

Cordova (6-5) walked two and struck out five in pitching his second shutout this season. The right-hander pitched a seven-hitter against Atlanta on May 9.

Allensworth, activated from the disabled list before the game, hit a three-run triple as the Pirates scored five runs in the eighth.




Player: Scott Rolen

Team: Philadelphia

Performance: 2 for 4, 1 run, 5 RBIs for rookie

Team's Result: Win


Player: F.P. Santangelo

Team: Montreal

Performance: 2 for 3, 3 runs, homer, 18-game hit streak

Team's Result: Win


Player: Steve Finley

Team: San Diego

Performance: three homers for second time this season

Team's Result: Win


Player: Francisco Cordova

Team: Pittsburgh

Performance: 9 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 5 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Curt Schilling

Team: Philadelphia

Performance: 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 13 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Jim Bullinger

Team: Montreal

Performance: 9 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, only 93 pitches

Team's Result: Win

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