Chris Speier of the Expos (4-3), who had been hitting .196 with runners in scoring position, had a team-record eight RBIs during an 11-4 rout of the Phils. Although he is hitting .210 (17 for 81) for September, Speier has driven in 22 runs so far this month. Gary Carter, who is batting .296 with 29 home runs, has a chance to become the fifth National League catcher to hit .300 and slug 30 homers in the same season. The others who accomplished that feat were Gabby Hartnett in 1930, Walker Cooper in 1947, Roy Campanella in 1951, '53 and '55 and Joe Torre in 1966.
Pittsburgh (2-5) had little chance of bumping Montreal out of third. But the Pirates did slow down the Cardinals briefly, winning 5-3 with the help of Mike Easler's go-ahead single in the 11th.
"I just hope there are a lot of guys who aren't back here next year," said Manager Lee Elia of the Cubs (3-4). "You get tired looking at garbage in your backyard." And that was after Chicago had defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 and 1-0. Jody Davis' single in the seventh drove in the only run of the second game. Ferguson Jenkins got the win with help from Reliever Bill Campbell. Jenkins won again on Sunday, sidetracking the Cardinals 6-1.
ST.L 90-66 PHIL 84-71 MONT 83-72 PITT 81-74 CHI 69-87 NY 62-93
The San Francisco earthquake reverberated in L.A. The Giants (5-1) defeated Los Angeles 3-2, 5-4 and 3-2 at Dodger Stadium to close to within one game of the lead. In the second of those victories, San Francisco scored twice in the eighth, once after a soft grounder by Chili Davis took a last-instant hop over the head of L.A. Shortstop Bill Russell. The decisive run was then driven in by Joe Morgan's single. Greg Minton pitched two innings of runless relief in each of the wins to notch his 29th and 30th saves. And Al Holland was sensational, running his string of no-hit innings of relief to 17⅔ before he was nicked for two hits in 3⅔ innings on Sunday by the Dodgers. That, though, didn't prevent Holland from completing the first three-game sweep by the Giants at Dodger Stadium since 1967 as he locked up a 3-2 triumph for Fred Breining. A two-run homer by Darrell Evans was the big blow for San Francisco in that game. The victory pulled the Giants into a tie with Atlanta for second place. Since Aug. 1 they have gone 34-17. "I have super rhythm right now," said Holland, who has repeatedly pitched the Giants out of Dutch during their prolonged surge.
The Dodgers (0-5) were not unfamiliar with such a resurgence, having stormed from 10½ games back to move into the divisional lead on Aug. 10. Last week, though, the Dodgers couldn't come up with a single victory as they hit a tranquil .227.
The Braves (2-4) helped their cause with 11-6 and 12-6 wipeouts of the Padres. Half of Rafael Ramirez' 10 RBIs and two of his three home runs last week came in the first of those wins. The second victory represented Atlanta's 45th comebacker of the year. Earlier in the week the Braves had faltered against the Astros (5-1). Houston beat Atlanta 4-3, 5-3 and 3-2, making it six straight over the Braves in nine days. During those nine games, Atlanta committed 11 errors that led to 15 unearned runs. The first of Reliever Dave Smith's two wins over the Braves last week came when Dickie Thon doubled in a run in the last of the ninth inning. Nolan Ryan and Bert Roberge combined to shut out Cincinnati 4-0 on Sunday.
San Diego (3-2) split its season series with L.A. 9-9 by winning 3-0 and 2-1. Luis DeLeon worked the final two innings of the opener and locked up John Montefusco's victory with his 14th save. The next day, DeLeon went two more scoreless innings and earned his eighth victory when Alan Wiggins singled home a run in the bottom of the 10th to finish off the Dodgers.
The smallest crowd ever at Riverfront Stadium (6,038) saw the Reds (2-4) beat the Giants 6-5. And only a few more than that were present to see Bruce Berenyi end his string of eight consecutive losses by defeating the Astros 2-0. In this worst of seasons for Cincinnati there remained only one goal during the final week: to avoid being the first Reds club ever to lose 100 games.