Friday, April 05, 2002

National League roundup

Enquirer staff and news services

New York Mets' Roberto Alomar, trying to advance into scoring position on a ball dropped by the catcher, is tagged out at second base by Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson in the ninth inning.
(AP photo)
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        NEW YORK — Kevin Young hit a two-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates moved over .500 for the first time since 1999, defeating the New York Mets 3-2 Thursday.

        Jimmy Anderson allowed just three hits over 6 2-3 innings as the low-budget Pirates beat the high-priced Mets for the second day in a row.

        At 2-1, the Pirates have a winning record for the first time since Aug. 15, 1999. Mike Williams saved both victories in the season-opening series.

        Anderson (1-0) was in deep trouble at the start. He surrendered a leadoff home run to Joe McEwing in the first inning, then walked Roberto Alomar and hit Mo Vaughn in the shoulder with a pitch.

        But he got Mike Piazza to hit into a double play and retired Edgardo Alfonzo on a grounder to third to end the threat.

        An inning later, the Pirates had the lead. Aramis Ramirez opened the second with a single against Shawn Estes (0-1). After Craig Wilson struck out, Young hit a 1-0 pitch 403 feet into the picnic area in left field, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead.

        Rockies 6, Cardinals 1

ST. LOUIS — John Thomson worked seven strong innings as the Colorado Rockies spoiled another comeback by a St. Louis pitcher.

        Andy Benes, who wasn't used in the final month last year and was left off the Cardinals' playoff roster because of a 7.38 ERA, struggled just as Garrett Stephenson had a night earlier.

        Benes (0-1), slowed by a knee problem last year, made his first start since Aug. 3 and first appearance since Aug. 30. He lasted four innings, giving up five runs — four earned — on four hits.

        Juan Uribe and Benny Agbayani homered for the Rockies, who took two of three in the season-opening series. Last year, the Rockies swept the Cardinals in Denver to start the year.

        Thomson (1-0) allowed a run on seven hits, striking out three and walking none.

        Astros 6, Brewers 3

HOUSTON — Lance Berkman tied a club record for home runs at the start of a season with his third in three days, leading Shane Reynolds and the Houston Astros over the Milwaukee Brewers.

        Berkman has connected in all three of the Astros' games. Chris Truby homered in three straight to open last year.

        Berkman drove in three runs. He went 2-for-4, raising his average to .462.

        The game at Astros Field drew 21,528, the smallest crowd in three seasons at the park formerly called Enron Field. That broke the mark set Wednesday night when 23,381 fans showed up.

        Reynolds (1-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings.

        Jamey Wright (0-1) went 4 1-3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits and six walks.

        Giants 3, Dodgers 0

        LOS ANGELES — Barry Bonds didn't hit another home run, but he played a part in San Francisco's go-ahead rally as the Giants beat the Dodgers behind rookie Ryan Jensen.

        By winning, the unbeaten Giants completed their first three-game series sweep at Dodger Stadium since Sept. 24-26, 1982.

        Jensen earned his second big-league victory by pitching seven shutout innings, and had two singles including a leadoff hit off Odalis Perez (0-1) in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie.

        Rich Aurilia hit a one-out single before Bonds was hit in the left shoulder by Perez's first pitch to load the bases. Reggie Sanders' sacrifice fly scored Jensen to put the Giants ahead, and after J.T. Snow was hit by a pitch, David Bell singled to drive in Aurilia and Bonds.

        Bonds, who joined Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews as the only players in history to open a season with a pair of two-homer games, also grounded out in the first and doubled in the fourth off Perez and walked in the eighth off Paul Quantrill.

        Jensen (1-0) allowed three hits while walking one and striking out four in his longest big-league stint before being relieved by Felix Rodriguez to start the eighth. Robb Nen worked the ninth for his first save.

        Braves 11, Phillies 2

ATLANTA — Gary Sheffield homered for the third straight game, and Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones homered during a seven-run sixth inning as the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies.

        Sheffield, acquired from Los Angeles in an offseason trade for outfielder Brian Jordan and pitcher Odalis Perez, hit a three-run homer in the first inning.

        Sheffield has seven RBIs this year. After getting three hits, he's batting .462 (6-for-13).

        Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones singled and Sheffield hit the first pitch he saw from Terry Adams (0-1) over the left-center field fence for a 3-0 lead.

        The Phillies got to 3-2 off Jason Marquis (1-0) on Mike Lieberthal's RBI double in the fourth and Scott Rolen's first homer in the sixth.

        Marlins 1, Expos 0

        MONTREAL — Brad Penny pitched a four-hitter and Derrek Lee homered for the third straight game to lead the Florida Marlins over the Montreal Expos.

        A sparse crowd of 4,551 at Olympic Stadium saw Penny (1-0) continue his mastery of Montreal.

        Penny, who went 4-0 with a 0.30 ERA against the Expos last season, struck out three and walked two in recording his second career shutout. Vladimir Guerrero flied out to the warning track in center field to end it.

        Penny's only previous complete game was a four-hit shutout over Montreal last April 21.

        Lee homered over the wall in deep right-center field with one out in the fourth off Carl Pavano (0-1).


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