John Olerud and Mike Piazza hit consecutive home runs and the New York Mets overcame a bad inning by Kenny Rogers to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-6, yesterday at Shea Stadium and keep the heat on the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets remained one game behind Atlanta in the NL East. Both teams are off today, then the Mets and Braves begin a three-game series Tuesday at Turner Field.
Olerud drove in four runs as the Mets won for the 11th time in 15 games. Piazza, forced to leave Friday night's game and sit out Saturday because of a bruised left hand, hit his 36th home run. Roger Cedeno also homered for the Mets in going 3 for 4, scoring three times and stealing his 65th base.
Rogers, who left with a strained left hamstring, retired the first 12 batters he faced before allowing the Phillies to bat around and take the lead in a six-run fifth.
BRAVES 5, EXPOS 1: Kevin Millwood won his career-high 18th game, Freddy Garcia homered in his first at-bat and host Atlanta held on to first in the NL East.
Millwood (18-7) yielded seven hits in his second complete game, the run scoring on a fifth-inning homer by Geoff Blum.
DODGERS 5, ROCKIES 2: Gary Sheffield homered for the second straight day, leading Kevin Brown (17-8) and visiting Los Angeles in a game stopped after seven innings because of rain. The game was called after a wait of 62 minutes.
PIRATES 8, REDS 5: In Pittsburgh, Brian Giles hit his 38th and 39th homers to drive in three runs and deal Cincinnati's playoff hopes another setback.
Greg Vaughn hit his 40th homer and Cincinnati's 40th in 19 September games.
It was the Reds' pitchers who were wild, giving up eight walks, beginning with starter Pete Harnisch (14-10), who walked three and hit a batter--breaking Ed Sprague's left hand--in three innings.
Jason Schmidt (13-10) yielded five hits and three runs, two earned, in seven innings for his career-high 13th victory.
DIAMONDBACKS 8, MARLINS 7: Matt Williams hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, reducing host Arizona's magic number for clinching the NL West to seven.
Andy Fox, who hadn't played since Aug. 27 because of a strained right rib cage, led off the ninth with a single and Jay Bell, who was 4 for 6 with a home run and three RBI, advanced Fox to third with a one-out single up the middle.
PADRES 6, GIANTS 3: Phil Nevin's two-run single highlighted host San Diego's four-run seventh inning and Woody Williams (10-12) won for the fifth time in seven starts.