- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Greater love hath no fan than to drive his car over a street littered with nails to buy tickets, to attend games where almost no refreshments are on sale and to clean the stadium after the contest. That—and more—is what San Franciscans have endured during a strike of city workers. Still, nearly 25,000 saw the first two games of a home stand. Was it worth it? Certainly, since the Giants beat the Pirates 7-3, with Gary Matthews hitting two homers, and 3-1. Ken Reitz batted .476 and Matthews, who hit .429, slugged two more homers as the Giants fought back from an 8-1 deficit in Atlanta to a 12-11 win.
A 4-1 week by the Giants left them tied for first with Cincinnati (2-3) and Atlanta (3-2), Houston (4-4) being percentage points behind. The Reds' Rawly Eastwick notched a save and a win with superlative relief jobs, the second a 6-4 victory over Montreal in which Dave Concepcion drove in two runs in the 11th. The Braves jolted the Phils 6-5 with a five-run ninth highlighted by five walks and Vic Cornell's double. And former Dodgers Jimmy Wynn, Lee Lacy and Jerry Royster teamed up for seven hits and five RBIs as Atlanta edged Los Angeles 7-6.
Randy Jones of San Diego (4-2) had his fastball clocked at 73 mph, about 10 below what is considered average among major league pitchers. Pinpointing his slow stuff, Jones beat Houston 11-5 and St. Louis 5-1. In other Padre wins, Jerry Turner clipped the Reds 7-5 with a two-run single in the eighth and Tito Fuentes singled in the ninth to nip the Cardinals 4-3.
The Dodgers lost four of seven.
ATL 7-5 CIN 7-5 SF 7-5 HOUS 9-7 SD 7-6 LA 4-9
Leading the Cubs 7-3 in a game delayed four times by rain, the Expos resorted to outlandish tactics as they hurried through the fifth inning so the game would become official. After Tim Foli and Woodie Fryman got hits, they deliberately let themselves be thrown out by trying to take extra bases. Umpire Billy Williams quickly ordered a halt to such shenanigans, and the game, which was suspended after six innings because of darkness, was concluded the next day. Foli, who had singled, doubled and tripled the previous afternoon, hit for the cycle by homering as the Expos (3-3) went on to win 12-6.
Dave Parker of the Pirates (1-4) sported a T shirt that read IF YOU HEAR ANY NOISE, IT'S JUST ME AND THE BOYS BOPPIN. But after bopping the Mets 7-5, Buc bats fell almost silent, producing just five runs in four games. Jim Kaat of the Phillies stopped the Pirates 5-1 and Tom Underwood, aided by Tug McGraw, squelched them 3-0 as Philadelphia (4-1) moved into first place.