It was a bad day for the National League’s two best closers.
First, Chicago’s Randy Myers blew a save opportunity in the top of the ninth when Philadelphia scored three times to go ahead 7-5. Then, it was time for Phillies closer Heathcliff Slocumb, who came into the game tied with Myers with a league-leading 24 saves.
Slocumb (2-1) gave up a two-out, three-run homer to Shawon Dunston as the Cubs beat Philadelphia 8-7 Saturday.
Slocumb struck out two batters before Scott Bullett reached first base on third baseman Charlie Hayes’ fielding error. Slocumb then hit Brian McRae and Dunston followed by hitting the first pitch into the left-field bleachers.
Rockies 5, Expos 3
Andres Galarraga and Dante Bichette hit consecutive homers in the eighth inning to lead Colorado over Montreal.
Rockies rookie Bryan Rekar (3-0) allowed just four hits, struck out six and walked none in eight innings. He retired 11 in a row twice and faced the minimum three batters in six of eight innings.
Braves 5, Giants 1
Greg Maddux pitched a four-hitter and center fielder Marquis Grissom, who led off the game with a homer, saved two runs with an over-the-shoulder catch as Atlanta beat San Francisco for the 12th straight time. On the road, Maddux is 13-0 with a 0.87 ERA over his last 14 starts.
Marlins 2, Cardinals 0
Florida blanked St. Louis for the second straight night and extended the Cardinals’ scoreless streak to 26 innings as John Burkett and Robb Nen combined on a seven-hitter while the Marlins scored two unearned runs as a result of misplays by catcher Scott Hemond.
Mets 1, Pirates 0
Pinch-hitter Chris Jones homered leading off the ninth inning as New York snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over Pittsburgh.
Dodgers 4, Reds 2
Ramon Martinez overcame early difficulties to win his fourth straight decision, getting help from Eric Karros’ three-run homer in a victory over Cincinnati.
Martinez (11-6), went eight innings and scattered eight hits, including Bret Boone’s 14th homer leading off the seventh.
Astros 6, Padres 1
Greg Swindell allowed seven hits in 7-2/3 innings and Derek Bell had his 31st RBI of the month as Houston beat San Diego.
Swindell allowed a solo home run by Tony Gwynn in the first inning, but the Padres didn’t get a runner to third base after that. In winning his first game since July 2, Swindell (7-4) struck out five and walked one. Dave Veras pitched the final 1 innings.
Clearing the bases
Los Angeles manager Tommy Lasorda is pushing the rotation hard again. Ramon Martinez has thrown more than 135 pitches in two of his past three starts, a work load that has hurt him in the past.
Ismael Valdes has thrown more than 120 pitches in his past two starts after throwing fewer than 100 pitches in his previous two. Does this mean Lasorda does not trust his bullpen? “It’s a pretty good indicator, I’d say,” Lasorda said.
Houston outfielder Derek Bell could join a small club: winning the most valuable player award but not making the All-Star team in the same season. In the past 25 years, that has happened to four players: Kirk Gibson (1988), Terry Pendleton (1991), Willie Stargell (1979) and Robin Yount(1989).
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