A suicide squeeze bunt by Ivan DeJesus scored Greg Gross with the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning yesterday in Philadelphia, leading the Phillies to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton's 299th career triumph.
The Phillies' 10th victory in their last 13 games put them in first place in the National League East, a game ahead of Pittsburgh, which lost to Montreal, 5-2. The Cardinals, who have dropped four straight, fell 5 1/2 games out of first and were defeated for the 11th time in 15 games against Philadelphia this season.
Gross led off the seventh with a double down the left field line, his 15th hit in his last 30 at-bats, and Bo Diaz sacrificed him to third. DeJesus then bunted a 1-1 pitch halfway to the mound and Gross slid home safely as pitcher Joaquin Andujar's throw was late.
Shooting to become the 16th pitcher in major-league history to win 300 games, Carlton (14-15) allowed eight hits and three runs in seven innings. He struck out seven to give him major-league high totals of 3,690 for his career (Houston's Nolan Ryan has 3,661) and 256 for the season. Ron Reed and Al Holland finished up.
Expos 5, Pirates 2: Terry Francona tripled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and pinch hitter Jim Wohlford sealed the victory with a two-run single in the ninth as Montreal won and dropped host Pittsburgh out of a share of the NL East lead with Philadelphia.
The loss snapped the Pirates' six-game winning streak. Montreal is in third place, 2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia.
Scott Sanderson (6-6) and Bob James combined on a seven-hitter. Sanderson allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. James entered with runners on first and third in the sixth and struck out Tony Pena to end the threat.
"It seems like every time we back ourselves into a corner and have to win, we've won it," said Sanderson. "I wish we'd quit backing ourselves into a corner. That shouldn't be the only time we win."