Sandberg Not Ready For Shelf
Hours after announcing he’d retire following the season, Ryne Sandberg swung the bat like the All-Star he once was.
He homered in his first two at-bats, singled, walked, went 3 for 3 and stole a base to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Saturday.
Chicago’s victory snapped two streaks - the Cubs’ nine-game losing skid and the Dodgers’ seven-game winning tear.
It was Sandberg’s 24th two-homer game of his career.
Braves 4, Marlins 2
Denny Neagle pitched seven shutout innings and Atlanta assured itself of not being swept by N.L. East challenger Florida.
Florida manager Jim Leyland was ejected as both teams, for the second night in a row, took turns challenging the umpires.
Expos 6, Padres 0
Carlos Perez pitched a five-hitter for his fifth career shutout and Rondell White and David Segui hit consecutive home runs in the fifth.
Perez (11-6) got his fourth shutout this season, tying him with teammate Pedro Martinez and Houston’s Darryl Kile for the M.L. lead, and reached the 11-win plateau for the first time in his career.
Pirates 6, Rockies 5
Joe Randa’s two-run triple was one of only two Pittsburgh hits in a five-run fifth inning and the Pirates held off a four-run Colorado comeback in the eighth.
Larry Walker homered for the third straight game, his N.L.-leading 33rd and fourth in seven at-bats, and also had an RBI double for Colorado. The Rockies lost despite outhitting Pittsburgh 13-5.
Cardinals 2, Phillies 1
Mark McGwire got his first N.L. hit, an infield single, and also scored the go-ahead run as St. Louis snapped a four-game losing streak and ended Philadelphia’s season-high four-game winning string.
The Cardinals scored twice in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Ron Gant walked with the bases loaded, forcing home McGwire for a 2-1 lead.
Astros 6, Mets 0
Mike Hampton pitched a three-hitter and Jeff Bagwell hit his 29th home run, leading Houston to its 12th win in 14 games.
Hampton (9-7) won his sixth straight decision, tying a career best.
Clearing the bases
The Cubs have designated their Sept. 20 game against the Phillies as a day to honor reretiring Sandberg. … Dodgers right-hander Ramon Martinez will start in Monday’s Hall of Fame game against the Padres as part of his rehabilitation. … Astros’ Craig Biggio is one of three N.L. players who have not grounded into a double play this season. The others are the Cardinals’ Ron Gant and Montreal’s F.P. Santangelo.
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