Dwight Gooden, who had been 0-2 in his previous three starts, pitched a five-hitter and struck out 10 last night to give the Mets a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in New York.
Gooden (6-2) hadn't gotten out of the fourth inning in his previous start, a 10-2 loss in San Francisco. Last night, he walked two in his fifth complete game of the season.
"The fans expect me to win every time out," he said, "but I've got to do what I'm capable of and not worry about slumps."
"Dwight needed to finish this game," Mets Manager Dave Johnson said. "He needed it for himself after what's been written about him lately."
Dodgers starter Jerry Reuss (2-4) left in the sixth with the score tied, 1-1, and a man on. The Dodgers' bullpen, which has had only five saves all season, failed again, allowing three runs in the sixth.
*Cubs 5, Reds 0: Rick Sutcliffe's four-hit pitching, Davey Lopes' two RBI and Jody Davis' third-inning homer won the game in Chicago.
Sutcliffe (3-6) walked two and struck out five in his second straight victory.
"It's been a big lift for me and everyone else to look up there and see us in third place," he said. "It doesn't matter how many games we are behind the Mets. We are playing better."
The Reds' best chance came after Eddie Milner started the game with a triple. But Sutcliffe fielded Pete Rose's bouncer and caught Milner in a rundown. By the time Milner was tagged, Rose was on second base.
One out later, Manager Jim Frey ordered Sutcliffe to walk Dave Parker, obviously angering Sutcliffe.
"I was not happy," Sutcliffe admitted later, "because, with Buddy Bell coming up next, I was worried. Bell has hit me like he owns me."
Sutcliffe walked Bell but Dave Concepcion hit into a force play.
*Phillies 4, Giants 0: The Phillies got Shane Rawley a 4-0 lead in the first inning in Philadelphia and he responded with a four-hitter.
Glenn Wilson, who was hitting .170, had the big hit of the inning, a two-run single.
Rawley (6-4) had a no-hitter until Bob Melvin singled with one out in the fifth. Two errors loaded the bases, but Rawley got Joel Youngblood to fly to left and Candy Maldonado to line out to third.
Loser Scott Garrelts (4-5) never got out of the first inning.
*Astros 4, Cardinals 3: Craig Reynolds tripled with two outs in the 11th inning to win the game in St. Louis.
Phil Garner led off the 11th with a single but was caught stealing. Glenn Davis doubled down the right field line, then took third when Kevin Bass grounded out. Reynolds then won it for Charlie Kerfeld (5-1), who pitched two innings.
*Pirates 4, Braves 3: In Pittsburgh, Larry McWilliams (1-3) held Atlanta to five hits before leaving for a pinch hitter in the seventh.
He credited his success to watching himself on videotape. He said he detected flaws in his delivery, then worked them out against the Braves.
"I had a good fastball, good breaking pitches, and a forkball as good as it's been in some time," he said. "The adjustments were minor, but it made a major difference."
Johnny Ray scored the go-ahead run on Craig McMurtry's wild pitch in the sixth inning.
Jose DeLeon pitched two hitless innings for his first save.
*Padres 10, Expos 1: Terry Kennedy hit a three-run homer and Steve Garvey and Carmelo Martinez each had three hits in the rout in Montreal.
Things went so bad for the Expos that their best pitching performance was infielder Vance Law's one-two-three ninth inning.
"Pitching in the big leagues is something I've always wanted to do," he said. "I was disappointed I didn't strike anybody out."
His father Vernon Law won 162 games pitching for the Pirates in 1950-67.
Winner LaMarr Hoyt (2-1) allowed 10 hits, struck out four and walked four, but fell one out short of his first complete game this season. He had a shutout with one out to go, but Herm Winningham homered. After Tim Wallach tripled, Lance McCullers got the last out.