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Schilling Is Top-Notch to Beat Reds

August 13, 2003|From Associated Press

Curt Schilling was in peak form. The Cincinnati Reds remained stuck in a rut.

Schilling struck out 11 batters, Steve Finley homered and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the slumping Reds for the 15th consecutive time, 2-0, Tuesday night at Cincinnati.

Schilling (6-6) gave up six hits and walked one in seven innings, winning for the first time since July 17. He had been 0-2 in his last four starts.

"That was vintage Schilling," Red shortstop Barry Larkin said. "When he struck me out, he threw me a [split-finger] that I swore was a fastball."

The Diamondbacks, who are 1 1/2 games behind Florida in the National League wild-card race, opened a seven-game trip with their third consecutive victory and sixth in seven games.

The slumping Reds have lost seven of eight and haven't scored in 19 innings. They were shut out for the second consecutive time and third in four games.

Sean Casey was the only runner to get past second against Schilling when he moved from first to third on Adam Dunn's one-out double in the sixth. Schilling responded by striking out Brandon Larson -- for the third time -- and Russell Branyan.

"I threw 70 splitters [out of 113 pitches]," Schilling said. "I tried to throw strikes when they were taking and balls when they were swinging."

Schilling and Paul Wilson (6-10) matched zeros until the fifth, when Finley led off with his 12th homer on an 0-and-2 pitch.

"The ball Finley hit was a mistake," Wilson said. "It was supposed to be in, but it got out over the plate. Sometimes, you can get away with one mistake. Tonight, I couldn't."

The Diamondbacks scored in the ninth inning when Matt Kata led off with a walk, moved to second on Craig Counsell's sacrifice and scored on Luis Gonzalez's single to center.

*

New York 5, San Francisco 4 -- Barry Bonds homered twice, giving him 650 in his career, but the host Mets overcame his power display.

"Amazed? How can you not be?" Met Manager Art Howe said. "This guy looks at times like he's toying with people, hitting in his backyard off his son with a Wiffle ball bat."

The Mets used a three-run second inning against Sidney Ponson (0-2) to jump-start their third victory in five games this season against the NL West leaders.

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St. Louis 10, Pittsburgh 6 -- Albert Pujols and Tino Martinez each hit a three-run homer at Pittsburgh to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead before the Pirates retired a batter.

Pujols had three hits to boost his major league-leading average to .370 and extend the Cardinals' longest hitting streak in 32 years to 26 games. He also tied Kenny Lofton and Nomar Garciaparra for the longest streak in the majors this season.

*

San Diego 14, Atlanta 4 -- The Padres pounded Greg Maddux for 13 hits in five innings at Atlanta and went on to tie a franchise record with 24 hits.

The NL East-leading Braves matched a season high with their third consecutive loss. Maddux (11-9) had won five decisions in a row.

The Padres' previous season high was 16 hits. It wasn't a season worst for the Braves, who gave up 25 hits in a 20-1 loss at Florida on July 1.

*

Chicago 3, Houston 0 -- Carlos Zambrano gave up five hits at Chicago to win his fifth consecutive start and earn his first shutout.

Houston's lead in the NL Central was reduced to one game over St. Louis and 2 1/2 over Chicago.

Alex Gonzalez, benched for two days and in a two-for-46 slump that had dropped his average to .224, hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

*

Milwaukee 6, Philadelphia 3 -- Keith Osik hit a three-run double and Keith Ginter had a two-run double at Philadelphia to help Wayne Franklin (8-9), who gave up three runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, end a three-game losing streak.

Duckworth (4-7) gave up six runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander has lost six of his last seven decisions.

*

Colorado 6, Montreal 3 -- Pinch-hitter Greg Norton came through with a three-run homer in the top of the 11th inning.

Brian Fuentes (3-1) barely averted a loss in the 10th inning when Jose Vidro's two-out drive struck high up the right-field wall for a double.

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(Begin Text of Infobox)

NL Wild-Card Race

*--* W L GB Florida 65 54 -- Philadelphia 64 54 1/2 Arizona 63 55 1 1/2 St. Louis 63 56 2 Dodgers 61 57 3 1/2 Chicago 61 57 3 1/2

*--*

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