Vida Blue pitched two-hit ball for seven innings and Candy Maldonado got his 11th RBI of the season as a pinch hitter with a seventh-inning grounder in San Francisco last night as the Giants defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1.

The second-place Giants cut the Astros' NL West lead to 1 1/2 games.

Blue (5-3) also drove in the first run with a suicide squeeze in the fifth. A single by Chris Brown, sacrifice bunts by Bob Brenly and Bob Melvin and a throwing error by Bob Knepper (10-5) preceded Maldonado's game-winning RBI in the seventh. Expos 7, Pirates 2: In Montreal, Hubie Brooks went four for four with two RBI and Tim Raines drove home two runs in the victory over Pittsburgh. Andy McGaffigan (5-2) pitched six innings for the win and Bob McClure three for the save.

Vance Law walked and scored from first on Raines' double off the left field wall in the first. Brooks' single up the middle made it 2-0.

Mitch Webster led off the third against Bob Walk (2-4) with a walk and Law and Raines singled. Raines, thrown out trying for a double, sprained his left wrist and left the game. Brooks' single made it 4-0. Padres 5, Dodgers 4: In Los Angeles, Carmelo Martinez' RBI single in the eighth scored the tying run, and an error by center fielder Ken Landreaux allowed San Diego's winning run to score.

Trailing, 3-2, Tony Gwynn singled with one out off reliever Ken Howell (2-5). McReynolds walked and Martinez singled to left center to score Gwynn. Kevin McReynolds, running with two out, scored when the ball slipped under Landreaux' glove and rolled to the wall. Mets 10, Cubs 3: Keith Hernandez hit a home run to break a 2-2 tie and Gary Carter's three-run homer capped a six-run seventh inning in New York. Hernandez had an RBI single and Carter drove in a run with a sacrifice fly as the Mets erased a 2-0 Chicago lead in the fourth. Sid Fernandez (8-2) pitched seven innings and allowed three hits -- all in the fourth.

Scott Sanderson (3-5) allowed six hits and three runs in six innings. But he was gone when relievers Ray Fontenot and Jay Baller allowed the Mets six runs in the seventh. Fontenot gave up a triple, a wild pitch, a walk and had a three-base throwing error. Baller allowed an intentional walk, a double and Carter's home run. Cardinals 9, Phillies 2: In Philadelphia, Bob Forsch, 36, moved into fifth place on the all-time St. Louis victory list ahead of the late Dizzy Dean with his 135th career win. Forsch (6-4) allowed eight hits, walked five and struck out three in his 340th start in 13 seasons.

Jack Clark, with a home run, double and two RBI, and Willie McGee, with a single, double and RBI, led St. Louis. Reds 6-8, Braves 4-5: In the second game, Dave Concepcion hit a bases-loaded double in the four-run first inning as Cincinnati, playing at home, had its first doubleheader sweep since April 29, 1984.

Buddy Bell drove in three runs and Tom Browning (5-6) pitched six innings against Atlanta in the first game. Cincinnati has won six of eight games; Atlanta has lost four in a row.