Bill Madlock's line drive eluded right fielder Darryl Strawberry for a three-base error as Pittsburgh won its fifth straight and New York lost its fourth in a row. The game in Shea Stadium was delayed 74 minutes in the seventh inning by rain.

Trailing, 3-0, entering the fifth, Pittsburgh scored all its runs--with the aid of two errors--off starter Ed Lynch (7-5), who had held the Pirates to one hit in the first four innings. Rod Scurry (4-7) was the winner in relief; Manny Sarmiento replaced Scurry after the rain delay and earned his third save by pitching three hitless innings.

With one out in the fifth, Mike Easler was safe on an error by second baseman Brian Giles. Singles by Tony Pena and Dale Berra loaded the bases and starter Rick Rhoden singled in two runs to make it 3-2. A single by Marvell Wynne loaded the bases and, one out later, Madlock hit his liner to right that ticked off Strawberry's glove, clearing the bases.

Jason Thompson singled in Madlock with the final run of the inning. Only one run in the fifth was earned.

"That error (by Strawberry) was the first break we've gotten in our hot streak," said Manager Chuck Tanner, whose Pittsburgh team is 20-5 since the All-Star break and has won 14 of its last 15 on the road.