Fred McGriff hit a two-out, two-run homer off Rod Beck, capping a four-run rally in the ninth inning that gave the Atlanta Braves a dramatic 5-4 victory over the visiting San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
After Roberto Hernandez came on in relief of Shawn Estes and got two strikeouts in the eighth, San Francisco turned to Beck, who was seeking his 38th save of the season and 200th of his career.
Handed a 4-1 lead, Beck (5-4) got the first out when Tommy Gregg flied to left, but consecutive singles by Michael Tucker, Kenny Lofton and Jeff Blauser cut the lead to 4-2.
Chipper Jones drove in another run with a groundout before McGriff hit a 1-1 pitch into the left-center stands for his 22nd homer.
Beck’s disastrous ninth cost Shawn Estes his 19th win. Kerry Ligtenberg (1-0) picked up his first M.L. win for the Braves.
Dodgers 7, Cards 6 (15)
Los Angeles rallied for three runs in the 15th inning to take sole possession of first place in the N.L. West.
With one out in the 15th, Eric Karros was walked by Brady Raggio (1-2) and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Todd Zeile.
Pinch-hitter Mike Piazza walked to load the bases and pinch-hitter Wayne Kirby, a .172 hitter, followed with another walk to force in Karros.
Rockies 7, Marlins 1
Larry Walker hit his N.L.-leading 44th home run and Andres Galarraga followed with his 37th homer as Colorado broke away in the seventh inning.
The Rockies won their fifth in a row and 16th in 18 games.
Tied at 1 in the seventh, Walker homered the opposite way to right field off Alex Fernandez (17-11). Two pitches later, Galarraga, the N.L. RBIs leader with 130, hit an estimated 450-foot homer into the upper deck.
Pirates 5, Expos 4
Kevin Young hit a dramatic 10th-inning home run in his first at-bat since Aug. 2, rallying slumping Pittsburgh after Montreal had tied it with three in the ninth.
The Pirates, with only 13 games remaining, were in danger of falling out of the N.L. Central race after losing five of six and 14 of 19.
Padres 4, Astros 3
Reliever Jim Bruske escaped a seventh-inning jam and San Diego held off Houston.
Houston trailed 4-1 entering the seventh, but loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. After an infield single by pinch-hitter Tony Eusebio scored a run, Bruske relieved.
Mets 10-1, Phillies 5-2
Darrin Winston, a 31-year-old rookie making his first M.L. start, allowed only one hit in seven innings as Philadelphia split a doubleheader.
The Mets won the opener 10-5 behind Bernard Gilkey and Butch Huskey, who both hit two home runs and then each added RBI singles in the 10th inning.
Reds 4, Cubs 1
Eduardo Perez hit a solo home run and an RBI single for Cincinnati.
Perez, who was 0 for 8 against the Cubs this season prior to the game, hit an RBI single in the third inning and his 16th homer in the seventh as the Reds won their fourth game in their last five.
Mike Morgan (8-11) improved to 5-1 over his last seven starts, giving up one run on five hits over seven innings. The former Cub walked one and struck out two.
Jeff Shaw pitched the ninth for his N.L.-leading 38th save.
Clearing the bases
The Braves’ Denny Neagle, the N.L.’s only 20-game winner, has a partially torn rotator cuff in his non-pitching shoulder and may miss a start, but intends to play in the playoffs. … The Rockies three homers gives them 220, one shy of the N.L. record, a mark they tied last year and share with the 1947 Giants and 1956 Reds. … The Cubs’ Mark Clark, was named N.L. player of the week. For Sept. 7-14, he was 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA, striking out 14 in 17 innings. … Cubs catcher Tyler Houston’s two-game suspension for fighting was reduced to one game.
… Houston’s Craig Biggio has not grounded into a double play this season.