Scott Sanderson allowed 13 hits in posting his first victory since July 29 and Ron Cey drove in three runs with a homer and single last night to lead the surging Chicago Cubs to a 7-2 triumph over the Phillies in Philadelphia.
The Cubs have won nine of their last 10 games, and with back-to-back victories over the Phillies, they have dimmed Philadelphia's chances of repeating as league champion. The third-place Phillies trail Chicago by 10 1/2 games with 25 games remaining. The second-place Mets, losing again last night, trail by seven games.
"This is no time to get cocky," Sanderson said. "The Mets and the Phillies still are good teams and they'll give us competition until the end of the season. You're not going to hear any irrational statements from this club."
Sanderson (7-4) struck out seven and walked one. The Phillies scored twice in the ninth to spoil his shutout bid. Von Hayes doubled in Jeff Stone, who reached when Sanderson dropped Leon Durham's throw for an error. Al Oliver added an RBI single for the final run.
Cey hit his 25th homer -- his sixth of the season against Philadelphia -- to highlight a three-run first off Steve Carlton (11-7). Dave Lopes, making his first start since being obtained by the Cubs Friday, doubled and scored on Gary Matthews' single before Cey's homer.
The Cubs scored four runs in the sixth. Matthews and Keith Moreland walked before Cey singled home Matthews. Gary Woods doubled to bring in Moreland and chase Carlton. After Jody Davis was walked intentionally by Kevin Gross, pinch hitter Durham singled off Mike Schmidt's glove to score Cey. Sanderson's sacrifice fly brought in the final run.
Earlier, the National League cleared Philadelphia first baseman Al Oliver of charges that he used a corked bat in a Monday game against the Chicago Cubs. The bat was taken to league headquarters Monday night and examined yesterday, NL spokeswoman Katy Feeney said. It was found to contain no cork.
The bat was taken out of Monday's game against the Cubs after Oliver hit a double with it in the seventh inning. Cubs Manager Jim Frey questioned the legality of the bat and protested the game.
Home plate umpire Bruce Froemming at first gave the bat to Phillies Manager Paul Owens for safekeeping, but, after Frey complained, crew chief John Kibler removed it from the Phillies dugout and had it sent to the umpires' room.