Darryl Strawberry drove in seven runs with two home runs, including a grand slam, and the New York Mets tied a team record with five homers yesterday to help Dwight Gooden win his eighth straight game, a 16-4 victory over the visiting Atlanta Braves.
Howard Johnson, Danny Heep and Clint Hurdle also homered for the Mets, who have won 14 of 16 games. New York had 18 hits off four pitchers.
Strawberry, who has 10 home runs this season, hit his second career grand slam, both this year, in the first inning and a three-run homer in the fourth. The seven RBI were a major-league high this season and came within one of the Mets' record set by Dave Kingman in 1976.
"I talked with (batting coach Bill) Robinson before the game," said Strawberry, "and he told me to stand straight up at the plate. I was leaning too far back. I got a slider that hung for my grand slammer. This was the best day of my young career."
Gooden (14-3), who struck out four, gave up two hits over six innings -- a leadoff single to Claudell Washington in the first and Glenn Hubbard's fourth home run in the fourth.