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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP

McClendon's 'Steal' Inspires Pirates

June 27, 2001|From Associated Press

Who says you can't steal first base?

Pittsburgh Pirate Manager Lloyd McClendon proved you can--and, appropriately enough, his Pirates stole a victory Tuesday night.

Aramis Ramirez tied the score in the 11th inning with a two-out, two-run homer and rookie Rob Mackowiak hit a run-scoring single in the 12th that gave the Pirates a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh.

McClendon was ejected in the seventh after becoming angry when Jason Kendall was called out at first on a close play.

The first-year manager ran onto the field, argued briefly, threw his cap toward second base, then yanked the first-base bag out of the ground in protest and carried it into the dugout.

McClendon, of course, was ejected by first-base umpire Rick Reed, whose face was also clenched in anger as he watched McClendon walk off with the base--McClendon's first stolen base since 1992.

"I told him he wasn't using it, so I thought I'd take it," said McClendon, who was angered when Abraham Nunez was called out on a similar close play a couple of innings before.

McClendon said he regretted the incident but finally snapped after a half-season of losing. Despite winning two in a row over the Brewers, the Pirates are 20 games under .500 and have the National League's worst record.

"I've been nice to these guys all year, and I know all about the new relationship we're supposed to have with the umpires, but my club has been taken advantage of all year," he said. "You can sense [the umpires] relax against my club. . . . It's like it doesn't matter with us if they get the call right or wrong. I don't care for that at all."

San Diego 11, Colorado 3--D'Angelo Jimenez, Mark Kotsay and Ryan Klesko each drove in two runs at Denver to lead the Padres to their fifth consecutive victory.

Phil Nevin hit his 19th homer, helping support Bobby Jones (4-10).

Cincinnati 10, St. Louis 9--Alex Ochoa led off the game with a homer, and scored the go-ahead run at St. Louis on a ninth-inning throwing error by reliever Gene Stechschulte.

Ochoa hit a leadoff double against Stechschulte (0-4), whose throw to first on a sacrifice by pinch-hitter Brady Clark was out of the reach of second baseman Fernando Vina and rolled down the right-field line.

Vina tied his career high with five runs batted in for St. Louis.

Atlanta 4, Philadelphia 1--Rico Brogna hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 11th inning at Philadelphia and the surging Braves won their fifth in a row.

Atlanta pulled within a half-game of the National League East-leading Phillies. The Braves are 15-8 in June and have gained 7 1/2 games on the slumping Phillies this month.

Houston 10, Arizona 7--Moises Alou hit the first of the Astros' five homers and robbed Mark Grace of a grand slam with a spectacular catch at Phoenix.

Alou was three for five for the Astros, who have won four in a row.

Florida 3, Montreal 0--Brad Penny pitched one-hit ball for eight innings, striking out a team-record 13 for the Marlins at Miami.

Chicago 4, New York 2--Jon Lieber gave up two runs and Gary Matthews Jr. sparked a seventh-inning rally with a two-run double for the Cubs at Chicago.

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