Last year, Jaime Navarro’s record was lousy. Now it’s perfect.
The unbeaten right-hander allowed three hits in 6 1/3 innings for his fifth victory Friday, leading the Chicago Cubs past the Florida Marlins 5-1 at Miami.
Navarro, the first Cubs starter with a 5-0 record since Steve Stone in 1975, gave up one run, walked one and struck out four.
“One more win than last year,” said Navarro, shaking his head in amazement. He went 4-9 in 1994 with Milwaukee.
“I lost a lot of confidence last year,” he said. “They were always complaining about my weight or saying I was hurt. I was ready for a fresh start in the National League.”
The 27-year-old Navarro departed following a rain delay of 52 minutes in the bottom of the seventh.
Mike Perez pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings to complete the four-hitter for his second save.
Chicago’s Mark Grace hit his seventh homer in the eighth inning, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
Navarro (2.88) had an ERA last year of 6.62.
Dodgers 2, Mets 1
Hideo Nomo (1-1) of Los Angeles finally earned his first major-league victory, doing it in style by outdueling two-time Cy Young award winner Bret Saberhagen of New York.
Nomo, a former star in the Japanese Pacific League, went eight-plus innings, allowed two hits and struck out five to maintain his major-league lead in strikeouts.
Expos 7, Padres 1
Jeff Fassero (7-1) allowed three hits and one run over eight innings to become the first seven-game winner in the majors and Montreal rallied for six runs in the ninth to beat San Diego.
Astros 7, Braves 2
Derek Bell drove in three runs with a homer, single and sacrifice fly to help Doug Drabek (2-3) win for the first time since opening day as Houston handed Atlanta its third consecutive loss.
Giants 4, Phillies 2
Steve Scarsone hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth to give San Francisco a win over Philadelphia.
Rockies 7, Pirates 4
Pinch-hitter Ellis Burks hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth, lifting Colorado past Pittsburgh.
Cardinals 10, Reds 7
Bernard Gilkey’s two-run homer, the third by his team, let St. Louis overcome another poor performance by Danny Jackson (7.71 ERA) and beat Cincinnati.
On the mend
Medical tests indicated that Jose Rijo, the ace of Cincinnati’s rotation, has tendinitis in his pitching elbow and will miss a couple of starts.
The Reds plan to put Rijo and center fielder Deion Sanders on the 15-day disabled list today. Sanders severely sprained his left ankle Tuesday while trying to steal in Pittsburgh and is on crutches.
The club expects to recall Johnny Ruffin from Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday and promote left-handed starter C.J. Nitkowski, their top draft pick last year.
The decision on Sanders was no surprise - the Reds were just waiting to see if he made a dramatic recovery from the sprain.
David Justice will be sidelined for 2 weeks because of a partially torn ligament in his right shoulder.
The Atlanta outfielder, who hurt his shoulder attempting to make a diving catch against Philadelphia on May 6, learned of the ligament damage when he underwent a magnetic resonance imaging procedure.
Clearing the bases
Jeff Conine, the Florida Marlins’ left fielder since their first game in 1993, signed a contract for an estimated $8.5 million through 1998… . Ray Lankford has five consecutive multiple-hit games for St. Louis… . For Chicago, Shawon Dunston has walked once in 111 at-bats and Rey Sanchez has walked twice in 142.
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