Jose Lima became the National League's first 10-game winner, leading the Houston Astros over the White Sox, 8-2, last night in Chicago.
Bill Spiers had three hits and drove in two runs, and Derek Bell hit a two-run single in a five-run fourth inning for the Astros, who have won five of their last seven games. Houston had 17 hits, one short of its season high.
Lima (10-2) pitched his third complete game, allowing eight hits, striking out three and walking one. The animated pitcher pumped his right arm after getting Frank Thomas to hit a comebacker to end the fifth and was booed by the crowd of 16,881. Lima then tipped his cap as he walked to the dugout.
"If you don't want to see Lima jumping and having fun out there," the right-hander said, "make sure you get Lima real early in the game and get him out of there."
Lima matched the club record for reaching double figures in wins in the fewest appearances, accomplishing it in 12 starts. In 1964, Dick Farrell went 10-1 in his first 12 games for the Colt .45s to lead the majors in wins at that point in the season.
John Snyder (6-5) lost his fourth consecutive start after winning six straight.
EXPOS 8, RED SOX 2: Carl Pavano came within three outs of his first career complete game as Montreal sent visiting Boston to its third straight loss.
"I wanted it bad," said Pavano, who was acquired in the November 1997 deal that sent Pedro Martinez to the Red Sox. "It's always nice to win. I guess it's a little more special because it's the team that traded me."
Pavano (4-5) gave up a two-run homer to Brian Daubach after John Valentin's one-out single in the first. He struck out five and walked one, taking a five-hitter into the ninth. He left after a leadoff walk and a single. Steve Kline finished the six-hitter.
Orlando Cabrera doubled, tripled and hit a two-run homer in the eighth off reliever John Wasdin. Orlando Merced also hit a two-run homer for the Expos.
Bret Saberhagen (2-2), who threw 96 pitches during six innings in his second start since returning from the 15-day disabled list, allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings.
BRAVES 9, DEVIL RAYS 5: John Smoltz hit a three-run homer and won his seventh game of the season, and Wade Boggs made two errors that helped host Atlanta score six unearned runs.
Boggs made the key miscues in Atlanta's three-run second inning and in the third, when the Braves scored four times.
Smoltz (7-1), who is 19-2 since the 1998 all-star break, won his second straight since coming off the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed elbow. He allowed four runs and nine hits, walked two and struck out five in six innings.
Jose Canseco hit his major league-leading 22nd homer, a towering, 415-foot solo shot off Smoltz in the fifth.
PHILLIES 6, YANKEES 5: Paul Byrd kept New York off balance all night, holding the Yankees to two runs and six hits in eight innings, and Rico Brogna hit a two-run homer for host Philadelphia. Byrd spent seven years bouncing around baseball having never thrown more than six innings in a major league game before the Phillies signed him off the waiver wire last August. Now he is 13-5 with a 2.92 earned run average in 20 starts for Philadelphia.
"It was a great feeling pitching against that team," said Byrd, who has pitched at least six innings in 11 of 12 starts this season. "My parents, my wife and my kids were all in the stands. I was pumped up to pitch against the lineup."
Byrd (8-3) improved to 6-1 with a 2.72 ERA in his last seven starts and tied teammate Curt Schilling for third in the NL in wins.
METS 8, BLUE JAYS 2: New Shea Stadium fan favorite Benny Agbayani hit solo home runs in consecutive innings, and Mike Piazza homered for the second straight day for host New York.
"I don't know who that guy is, and I can't pronounce his name," Toronto Manager Jim Fregosi said. "But I do know that every time I look up, he's hitting the ball over the left field and center field fence."
Orel Hershiser (5-5) earned his 195th career victory, giving the Mets their second win in a row after an eight-game losing streak.
TIGERS 9, PIRATES 4: Karim Garcia, Brad Ausmus and Damion Easley homered, and Detroit reliever Will Brunson (1-0) picked up his first major league victory for the host Tigers.
Garcia's homer followed Easley's two-out single and gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead in the sixth. Ausmus hit a solo shot off Pittsburgh's Jason Schmidt (5-4) in the seventh, and Easley hit a three-run homer in the eighth.
MARINERS 4, ROCKIES 2: In Denver, rookie John Halama (4-2) pitched into the eighth inning and got his first major league hit for Seattle. Butch Huskey and Alex Rodriguez each had two hits and combined for three RBI.
CARDINALS 7, ROYALS 5: Shawon Dunston, filling in because Mark McGwire sat out with a sore back, hit a two-run homer as St. Louis sent host Kansas City to its ninth straight loss.
McGwire, who has 17 homers, is expected to return today.
Heathcliff Slocumb (2-0), the second Cardinals pitcher, got the win despite allowing a run in his only inning.
CUBS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 6: In Phoenix, Sammy Sosa hit his National League-leading 20th home run and drove in four runs, and Mark Grace had a tiebreaking single in the ninth for Chicago. Travis Lee hit a pair of two-run homers for Arizona and has four home runs in four games.
GIANTS 5, ANGELS 2: Chuck Finley didn't allow an earned run but his throwing error led to four runs, including three on F.P. Santangelo's homer, as San Francisco won at home. Russ Ortiz (7-4) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings and Robb Nen got three outs for his NL-leading 17th save.
RANGERS 3, DODGERS 2: In Los Angeles, Aaron Sele pitched seven strong innings, and Rafael Palmeiro's eighth-inning single drove in the go-ahead run for Texas. Sele (6-4) allowed five hits and two runs while walking none and striking out four.
TWINS 8, REDS 6: Minnesota tagged Steve Avery for seven runs and six hits in less than two innings -- his shortest start in three seasons -- ending visiting Cincinnati's eight-game winning streak.