- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
New Braves led Atlanta (4-2) to a pair of 4-3 wins over Houston, Jeff Burroughs hammering a two-run homer in his first Atlanta Stadium at-bat and Gary Matthews driving in the clinching run in the seventh inning the next day. Dick Ruthven picked up that win and also stopped the Astros 6-0.
San Diego (3-3) beat Cincinnati twice, 12-4 as Bob Shirley struck out 11 in his major league debut and 5-4 as Dave Roberts drove in the winning run in the ninth. "The Padres are forcing things, stealing bases, doing things we do to win," said Joe Morgan of the Reds (1-5), who fell into the cellar. The Reds suffered four one-run losses. Morgan, though, was at his best, socking his second and third homers off lefties, against whom he had only three all last season.
LA 6-2 HOUS 5-3 ATL 4-4 SD 4-5 SF 3-5 CIN 3-6
The Cardinals (3-3) did not waltz into first place, they got there with the help of pregame pas d'action exercises. Said Lou Brock of the 15-minute dancelike warmups St. Louis has been using since the start of spring training, "We never went into a season in better shape." Then, after rookie Reliever John Urrea halted a Pirate uprising in his first big-league outing, he improvised a dance of his own, jumping up and down and war-whooping in the dugout. Urrea went on to save that game and another four days later.
Wearing black armbands in honor of owner Philip K. Wrigley, who died last week, the Cubs (4-1) climbed to second place. On Easter Sunday Ivan DeJesus hit his first homer in 91 major league games, a three-run drive that beat the Mets 5-2.
Manager Joe Frazier of New York (2-4) bemoaned his "leaky" infield, which failed to flag down grounders, botched up relays and lost balls in the sun. But he could not fault Tom Seaver, who stopped St. Louis 4-0.
Pittsburgh (4-1) got back-to-back shutouts from Bruce Kison, who defeated Montreal 3-0 with a two-hitter, and Jim Rooker, who disposed of St. Louis 7-0 on three hits. In their other wins, the Pirates got game-winning hits from Rennie Stennett.
Construction and confusion prevailed as Montreal (2-3) opened at uncompleted Olympic Stadium. Early-arriving fans were unable to enter the park for nearly an hour because no one could find the keys to unlock the gates. Eventually, 57,592 got in and, together with construction workers who peered through scaffolding, saw the Expos lose to the Phillies 7-2. However, Montreal took two other games against Philadelphia. Tony Perez had four RBIs in one of the wins.
"Baseball is a game of inches. The Bull just happened to put 3,800 [sic] inches together" was how Tug McGraw of the Phillies (1-4) summed up a 450-foot homer by Greg Luzinski that helped spoil Montreal's home opener.