Bob Horner said the Atlanta Braves could have faded out of contention when they lost 19 of 21 games. Suddenly, they find themselves back in a virtual tie for first place in the National League West.
The Braves, on Chris Chambliss' RBI double with one out in the ninth, defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, tonight for their fifth victory in a row, all by one run.
The triumph, coupled with Los Angeles' 11-3 loss to St. Louis, put the teams even again. (Story on Dodgers, Page D3.)
"We are showing a lot of class by coming back," said Horner, who drove in two runs with a single and a sacrifice fly. "We could have easily rolled over and died and gone into oblivion.
"We've got a good ball club. If we keep playing like we've played the last five days, we should win this thing. But we cannot afford any more lulls like we've had."
The Braves had held the top spot for all but one day this season until falling to second on Aug. 9.
With one out in the ninth, Horner singled off the right field wall. Pinch runner Brett Butler scored the winning run from first on Chambliss' towering double over center fielder Garry Maddox's head.
"I hit a fast ball up and out over the plate," said Chambliss. "I wasn't really seeing home run when I hit it, but it looked like it was at least going to reach the fence."
The Phillies had tied at 3 in the eighth on Manny Trillo's third single of the game and Gary Matthews' 18th homer of the season.
Ron Reed (3-4) who relieved in the ninth, was the losing pitcher. Rick Camp (9-7) went the distance for the Braves, allowing nine hits.
Philadelphia starter Mike Krukow retired the first nine Braves before Jerry Royster extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single leading off the fourth.
Rafael Ramirez then sacrificed Royster to second before consecutive singles by Claudell Washington and Dale Murphy scored Royster. Horner delivered Washington with his sacrifice fly to center.
The Phillies got a run back in the sixth on consecutive singles by Pete Rose and Trillo and Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly to left.
Camp, who had not won since July 29, struck out two and walked one in recording his second complete game of the season.