The Cincinnati Reds' clubhouse was a fun place again last night, unless you were one of the few players who didn't hit a home run.
The Reds set the National League record with nine homers, stopping their three-game losing streak in stunning fashion with a 22-3 rout of the Phillies in Philadelphia.
"How many starters didn't homer?" pitcher Steve Parris shouted at Sean Casey, one of two starters besides pitcher Pete Harnisch who didn't contribute to the record-breaking night.
"Hey, I gave one up, though," Harnisch said. "I wanted to contribute in some way."
Eddie Taubensee had four hits, two homers and three RBI for the Reds. Greg Vaughn hit his 30th homer and Jeffrey Hammonds hit a solo shot into the left field upper deck.
Aaron Boone, Dmitri Young, Pokey Reese, Brian Johnson and Mark Lewis also homered. Lewis hit the record-breaking homer, a three-run shot off Amaury Telemaco in the eighth.
Toronto holds the major league record with 10 homers against Baltimore on Sept. 14, 1987.
"I've never seen so many homers in a game," said Reds Manager Jack McKeon, who has been in professional baseball for 50 years. "Both third baseman, both catchers, all the starting outfielders. It was nice."
The Reds, who remained 2 1/2 games behind Houston in the NL Central and four games behind the Mets for the wild card, had a players-only meeting before the game. Vaughn, Barry Larkin and Denny Neagle urged players to relax and have fun with the playoff race.
"They can have as many meetings as they want if they keep hitting like that," McKeon said.
METS 4, ROCKIES 2: Al Leiter was hit hard but pitched 8 2/3 innings, and Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two-run homer to lead New York past visiting Colorado.
Leiter (11-9) gave up 11 hits but managed to earn his first victory since Aug. 12. Armando Benitez struck out Terry Shumpert with runners on first and second to earn his 17th save in 22 opportunities.
In the fifth, Rickey Henderson walked ahead of Alfonzo's 24th homer off Brian Bohanon that put the Mets in front 3-2.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, BRAVES 4: Arizona rookie Erubiel Durazo homered twice, including a go-ahead, two-run drive off John Smoltz in a three-run sixth inning in Atlanta.
Durazo, who started the season at Class AA El Paso, hit a solo homer in the fourth that pulled Arizona to 3-2, then overcame a 4-3 deficit with his eighth homer in 88 at-bats since joining the Diamondbacks on July 25.
Asked if he thought Durazo knew how big his homers were, Arizona Manager Buck Showalter said, "Probably not. And I'm not going to tell him."
Arizona stopped a three-game losing streak, its longest since July 1, and ended Atlanta's 10-game home winning streak. The Braves, whose NL East lead was cut to 3 1/2 games over second-place New York, lost for just the second time in 15 games overall.
Andy Benes (10-11) beat Smoltz (9-7), who is 1-5 in 12 starts since June 24. Benes allowed all four runs and five hits in six innings; Smoltz gave up five runs and nine hits in eight innings.
DODGERS 6, CUBS 0: Kevin Brown pitched a two-hitter to win his seventh straight decision and lead Los Angeles in Chicago.
Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi, Todd Hundley and Mark Grudzielanek hit solo homers for the Dodgers, who won for the sixth time in their last eight games.
Sammy Sosa, who leads the major leagues with 57 home runs, went 0 for 3 as the Cubs dropped to 7-26 since Aug. 1. In Milwaukee, Mark McGwire of St. Louis also was hitless and remained at 54 home runs.
Brown (16-6) struck out eight and walked one in his first shutout this season.
Jeff Reed got both hits off Brown, a two-out single in the second and a one-out single in the fifth. Reed also walked leading off the eighth.
"He comes right at you and before you know it, you're 0-1, 0-2 and on the defensive against the guy," said Reed. But Brown said he wasn't impressed with his performance, adding cryptically: "I still feel like there's room for improvement and I'm not going to say I'm where I want to be."
BREWERS 4, CARDINALS 2: Bill Pulsipher didn't let two unearned runs bother him.
"I was able to pick up the guys, then they picked me up and scored some runs," Pulsipher (Fairfax High School) said after combining with two relievers on a three-hitter and leading Milwaukee past visiting St. Louis.
After homering twice Friday night to raise his total to 54, McGwire went 0 for 3 with an intentional walk.
"I was trying to keep the fastball on his hands," Pulsipher said. "If you make quality pitches inside to him, you've got a chance of getting him out."
MARLINS 6, PADRES 4: In Miami, Alex Fernandez hit his third home run of the season and allowed two hits in 7 1/3 innings against San Diego.
Fernandez (7-8) didn't allow a hit until Ben Davis's solo homer with one out in the fifth. He struck out seven and walked three, helping Florida stop a three-game losing streak and match its 1998 win total of 54.
Braden Looper got one out, and Antonio Alfonseca finished the three-hitter for his 15th save in 16 chances.
With the Marlins ahead 5-1, Fernandez homered off Matt Whiteside leading off the sixth, setting a team record for home runs by pitchers in one season. Fernandez is batting .233 (10 for 43) this year.
GIANTS 9, PIRATES 2: Russ Ortiz (16-8) overcame wildness to shut out Pittsburgh on two hits over six innings, and San Francisco won its eighth straight. The Giants have won eight of their last nine on the road.
San Francisco stayed five games behind NL West-leading Arizona, a 5-4 winner at Atlanta. The Giants had shaved 3 1/2 games off the Diamondbacks' lead in four days.
ASTROS 5, EXPOS 2: Jeff Bagwell scored the go-ahead run on Ugueth Urbina's wild pitch in the 10th inning and Derek Bell followed with a two-run homer to help Houston win in Montreal.
Montreal made four errors and leads the major leagues with 138.