Kevin Gross threw a four-hitter yesterday to lead the Montreal Expos to a 5-0 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia, and ending Len Dykstra's 23-game hitting streak in the process.
Dykstra struck out, walked, flied out and grounded out. Despite going zero for three, he stayed the top hitter in the major leagues at .401. Dykstra finished tied for the fourth-longest hitting streak in modern Phillies' history, batting .429 (42 for 98) during that stretch. Three times Dykstra had kept the streak alive with a hit in his final at-bat, but his routine grounder to first baseman Andres Galarraga ended it in the eighth inning and prompted a standing ovation from the crowd.
Gross (8-4) gave up four singles, struck out nine and walked four in his first shutout of the season. He improved to 2-3 lifetime against the team that traded him before the 1989 season.
Mike Fitzgerald, elevated in the batting order to face the Phillies, homered and drove in three runs. Larry Walker also connected as the Expos won for the 10th time in 15 games.
Dennis Cook (5-2) took the loss. He is winless in five starts since winning his first decisions.
Fitzgerald had not batted above sixth in the lineup this season but was moved to the third slot, and the change paid off. Spike Owen doubled with one out in the first and Fitzgerald followed with his fourth home run of the season.
Fitzgerald has 29 career homers, seven against the Phillies. He singled in a run with two outs in the eighth, finishing Cook.
Owen had a sacrifice fly in the sixth for a 3-0 lead and Walker, who entered as a defensive replacement, hit his fourth homer in the ninth against Darrel Akerfelds.
It was the Phillies' fourth straight loss.
Giants 8, Braves 3:
San Francisco won for the ninth time in 10 games as Brett Butler's run-scoring double snapped a seventh-inning tie in Atlanta.
The resurgent Giants won three of four from the Braves, scoring 43 runs in the series, to move within two games of the .500 mark. San Francisco has won five of seven from Atlanta this season, averaging 9.6 runs a game.
Robby Thompson started the seventh with a one-out single and Butler doubled with two outs to put the Giants ahead, 4-3.
Scott Garrelts (3-6) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings to improve his lifetime record against the Braves to 10-4. Jeff Brantley got two outs in the seventh and Steve Bedrosian finished.
The Giants pulled away with three runs in the eighth on Matt Williams's RBI single and a two-run single by Mike Kingery. Kingery is seven for 15 with seven RBI since being recalled from Phoenix on May 29.
The Braves tied the score at 3 in the sixth inning when Oddibe McDowell led off with his fifth homer.
San Francisco, blanked on two hits by John Smoltz (3-5) for five innings, overcame a 2-0 deficit in the sixth.
Butler singled, went to second on a wild pickoff attempt by Smoltz and reached third on a wild pitch. Will Clark drove in Butler with a single and scored when Kevin Mitchell hit his 16th homer.
Smoltz allowed eight hits and struck out a career-high 11 before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Jim Presley singled and Dale Murphy homered over the right field fence, his 10th of the season and 364th of his career.