Rickey Henderson's leadoff homer launched a six-homer barrage that matched New York's club record and sent the Mets to an 11-3 victory last night over the Reds in Cincinnati.
Henderson hit the first and the last of the Mets' six homers -- the first five of them off Brett Tomko. They hit three in the first inning alone, the first time in three years that they had connected three times in an inning.
When they were done, they had matched the club mark of six homers set against Montreal on April 4, 1988.
"It was a lot of fun," said Henderson, who had the 11th multiple-homer game of his career and his second this season. "Everybody was going up to the plate with the idea of driving the ball."
A lot of batters have done that this season against Tomko (2-4), who tied the club record by giving up five homers in the Reds' most lopsided loss of the season. The last Reds pitcher to give up five was Bill Gullickson at San Francisco on June 25, 1987.
"It's embarrassing," said Tomko, who gave up four homers in a game against Philadelphia earlier this season. "I tried not to lose my composure, but it's hard when you stink out there.
"I was trying to get it together, but it's a helpless feeling when balls are flying out at will."
Rick Reed allowed only eight hits in eight innings, and the Mets' offensive outburst had many of the 18,248 fans filing out after six innings.
Henderson started it all with the 74th leadoff homer of his career -- adding to his major league record -- and his first this season. After Alfonzo walked, John Olerud hit his 11th homer and Mike Piazza extended his hitting streak to 18 games with his 13th homer.
Nine minutes into the game, the Mets had three homers, four runs and no outs. Three of Tomko's first 18 pitches reached the stands, each going a little farther: 397, 411 and 448 feet.
BRAVES 4, ASTROS 3: Tom Glavine won his eighth straight decision at the Astrodome, and Brian Hunter hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth.
"A lot of it is that it's a pitcher's park and it has a great mound," Glavine said.
Jeff Bagwell hit his 22nd homer for Houston, tying Chicago's Sammy Sosa for the NL lead.
CUBS 7, BREWERS 4: Jim Abbott's first career hit and RBI weren't enough for visiting Milwaukee.
Mark Grace hit a go-ahead, two-run single off the one-handed pitcher in the seventh inning, and Chicago ended a five-game losing streak.
Abbott, who was born without a right hand and balances the bat with his right arm, was in his 14th at-bat and 18th plate appearance of the season.
"I was surprised he hadn't had one yet," Milwaukee Manager Phil Garner said. "In batting practice, he's got surprising power. He can drive the ball. I've played golf with him, and he can drive the golf ball a far piece too."
DIAMONDBACKS 4, MARLINS 3: Brian Anderson won his first game of the season with seven shutout innings before faltering as Arizona improved its home record to a major league-best 22-8. The Diamondbacks, who beat the Marlins 2-0 Monday night, ran their string of scoreless innings pitched to a club-record 22 before pinch hitter Preston Wilson homered off Anderson (1-1) leading off the eighth.
ROCKIES 15, GIANTS 6: In Denver, Todd Helton hit a three-run homer and Larry Walker went 3 for 4 with a solo home run. Colorado third baseman Vinny Castilla did not play because of a sore back, ending his streak of consecutive games at 307, which had been the longest active streak in the majors.
PIRATES 11, DODGERS 1: Kevin Brown gave up three homers for the second time in his career as visiting Pittsburgh handed Los Angeles its fourth straight loss. Brown, who gave up three homers to Arizona in his Dodgers' debut, yielded homers to Ed Sprague, Kevin Young and Al Martin.
PADRES 6, PHILLIES 1: Matt Clement pitched six strong innings for his first home victory as San Diego won despite losing Tony Gwynn to injury again. Gwynn, who made his third start after missing 19 games with a strained left calf, was replaced by a pinch hitter in the second after Gwynn felt tightness in the same calf. He is day to day.
CARDINALS 3, EXPOS 2: In St. Louis, Orlando Cabrera's first error in 43 games allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score, and Jose Jimenez ended a seven-game losing streak.
CAPTION: Reds' Greg Vaughn beats Edgardo Alfonso's tag at second, and then scores on Aaron Boone's home run.