Gary Matthews' ninth-inning double snapped a 1-1 tie and started a three-run rally that led the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Braves yesterday in Atlanta. It was the sixth victory in seven games for the National League East-leading Cubs.
Matthews, who got his 14th game-winning hit of the season, also drove in the Cubs' first run in the third with a single.
"All we have to do is go out there and win," Matthews said. "The pressure's on the other teams below us."
Ryne Sandberg led off the ninth against reliever Craig McMurtry (8-14) with an infield single and went to second on second baseman Jerry Royster's throwing error. Matthews followed with his double, driving in Sandberg. After Leon Durham was intentionally walked, Jody Davis singled to score pinch runner Henry Cotto. Tom Veryzer's single scored Durham.
Rich Bordi (5-1) worked the eighth inning for the victory. Lee Smith pitched the ninth for his 27th save.
Both starting pitchers turned in outstanding efforts. Dennis Eckersley, making his first lifetime appearance against the Braves, allowed six hits, walked one and fanned three in seven innings. Rick Camp went eight innings for the Braves, allowing three hits, three walks and four strikeouts.