Ryne Sandberg, returning from a week off, celebrated the first month of his comeback by hitting two of Chicago’s four homers Wednesday as the Cubs sent St. Louis to its sixth straight setback in a 9-3 decision.
Sandberg, who missed six straight games with an inner ear infection, hit a two-out, two-run shot down the left field line in the second off Andy Benes (1-4) to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. The homer came after Luis Alicea booted Brian McRae’s grounder.
Sandberg and Mark Grace hit consecutive homers in the fourth and Scott Servais also homered for the Cubs, who moved back to .500.
Expos 4-0, Mets 0-6
Pedro Martinez took a no-hitter into the seventh against New York in the opener of a doubleheader, but Kevin Roberson broke it up and Martinez finished with a two-hitter in the Expos’ win.
In the second game, Jason Isringhausen (2-2) allowed four hits in eight innings to win for the first time in four starts, allowing the Mets to split.
Phillies 6, Marlins 5
Pete Incaviglia hit the longest homer in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium, a 482-foot shot that lifted Philadelphia over Florida.
Gary Sheffield, who tied the major league record with 11 homers in April, hit a two-run shot in the seventh for the Marlins.
Astros 3, Braves 0
Mike Hampton pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game and Jeff Bagwell homered as Houston beat Atlanta.
Hampton (3-2) allowed three singles, walked two and struck out five. He retired the first eight hitters, and set down 10 in a row between the third and seventh.
Pirates 4, Reds 3
Dave Clark had a pair of run-scoring singles as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati, sending the Reds to their ninth consecutive loss and worst start since 10 years ago, when they opened 7-19 under manager Pete Rose.
It is their longest losing streak since they dropped 12 straight in September 1993.
Rockies 4, Dodgers 1
Mark Thompson came within one out of his first complete game in the major leagues, and Colorado took advantage of two bases-loaded walks by Pedro Astacio to beat Los Angeles.
Thompson (2-1), making his 11th career start, retired the first two batters in the ninth. But after an infield single by Delino DeShields and a full-count walk to Mike Blowers, Bruce Ruffin relieved for his first save.
Padres 9, Giants 4
The power-shy Padres hit four homers, and Fernando Valenzuela survived a shaky outing for his first victory of the year as San Diego beat San Francisco.
The Padres, last in the majors with 13 homers entering the game, got homers from Steve Finley, Rickey Henderson, Andujar Cedeno and Ken Caminiti. The last 10 runs came on homers, including Barry Bonds’ two-run shot and Rich Aurilia’s solo homer for the Giants.
Clearing the bases
Phillies pitcher Sid Fernandez was scratched from his scheduled start today because of a sore right knee. … The Marlins transferred Alejandro Pena from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list after Dr. James Andrews confirmed that the reliever has a partial rotator cuff tear in his right shoulder. … Dodgers pitcher Ramon Martinez begins a rehabilitation assignment Saturday at Double-A San Antonio.