Fernando Valenzuela won his ninth straight decision tonight, pitching a 10-hitter in his 14th complete game of the year as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and beat the New York Mets, 6-1.
The Dodgers hit five straight singles in their winning rally to erase a 1-0 deficit and chase starter Ed Lynch (10-7), who had taken a four-hit shutout into the inning.
Valenzuela (16-8) struck out eight and walked one, and took over the National League lead in complete games from the Mets' Dwight Gooden. Valenzuela's winning streak is the longest of his career. The nine straight victories are the most by a Dodgers pitcher since Don Sutton and Rick Rhoden each won 10 in a row in 1976.
The Dodgers increased their lead in the National League West to 7 1/2 games over the San Diego Padres. The Mets dropped to two games behind St. Louis in the NL East as the Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 3-0, tonight.
Los Angeles started the decisive rally with one out. Pedro Guerrero singled and went to third on a single by Greg Brock. Then came consecutive RBI singles by Mike Marshall, Mike Scioscia and Steve Sax, chasing Lynch. Valenzuela completed the rally with a sacrifice fly to deep right field off Terry Leach.
Los Angeles scored twice in the seventh on a double by Ken Landreaux and a single by Guerrero.
"It was a good night for me after a little slump," said Guerrero, who went three for four with a walk to raise his average to .321. "The last hit for me was the first game in Montreal, a home run."
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the third. Rafael Santana led off the third inning with a single, Lynch sacrificed Santana to second, and, one out later, Tom Paciorek blooped an RBI single into right field.
New York loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Valenzuela retired the final two batters.
"How close was I to taking him out?" Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda said. "I'll tell you how close I was to taking him out if you tell me how close they were to scoring.
"I wasn't close. . . . He's a clever, courageous pitcher. He's a closer."