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SMOLTZ DELIVERS BRAVES THEIR 3RD STRAIGHT SHUTOUT

SHARE SMOLTZ DELIVERS BRAVES THEIR 3RD STRAIGHT SHUTOUT

The Cincinnati Reds were so angry Wednesday night they couldn't wait to pummel Houston's Pete Harnisch. If Atlanta's John Smoltz had been on the mound, chances are they wouldn't have laid a finger on him. Nobody is hitting Smoltz, or any of the other Braves' pitchers these days.

Smoltz posted the third straight shutout by the Braves' pitching staff Wednesday night, stopping the San Francisco Giants on two hits in a 5-0 victory.Smoltz, 8-5, struck out 10 and followed in the footsteps of Mike Bielecki and Tom Glavine. It was the Braves' 21st victory in 24 games and the team's earned run average during that stretch is just over 2.00.

Otis Nixon hit his first home run in nearly two years and drove in three runs to support Smoltz.

Smoltz gave up a two-out single in the first inning to Will Clark, who also singled in the ninth. Robby Thompson walked with one out in the second and was caught stealing and Smoltz then retired 17 in a row before hitting Thompson with a pitch in the eighth.

Expos 8, Phillies 1

At Montreal, Moises Alou drove home three runs with two doubles and Delino DeShields banged out four hits, helping the Expos snap a three-game losing streak. Ken Hill, 8-4, gave up one run and six hits over 6 2-3 innings for the win. He also belted his first career homer and scored three runs.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 1

At Pittsburgh, Bob Tewksbury threw 6 1-3 innings of shutout ball and St. Louis scored four runs in the fourth to beat the Pirates. Tewksbury, 8-2, scattered 10 hits with three strikeouts. Bob McClure and Mike Perez did not allow a run in relief. The Pirates scored their only run in the 9th off Lee Smith.

Mets 3, Cubs 2

At New York, Dwight Gooden limited Chicago to six hits through eight innings and drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the second to help the Mets to their fourth straight victory. Gooden, 5-6, allowed one run, walked one and struck out three.

American League

Athletics 7, Mariners 2

At Oakland, Rickey Henderson doubled twice and scored two runs and Jose Canseco homered as Oakland sent Seattle to its 10th consecutive loss at the Coliseum. Dave Stewart (7-5) gave up four hits, including Jay Buhner's home run, in eight innings. He struck out eight in his fourth straight victory.

Twins 11, Angels 0

At Minneapolis, Kevin Tapani pitched a two-hitter and struck out a career-high 10 as Minnesota won its fifth straight game. California has lost 18 of its last 21 on the road. Tapani (7-5) retired 18 straight batters through the middle innings in his first complete game of the season.

Tigers 5, Red Sox 1

At Detroit, Fielder homered twice and drove in three runs to support the seven-hit pitching of Frank Tanana. The Tigers handed Boston its seventh straight loss, the Red Sox longest losing streak in almost three years.

Orioles 8, Brewers 4

At Milwaukee, Leo Gomez broke up a 4-4 tie with an RBI single in the ninth, keying a four-run inning. It was Baltimore's third win in a row and kept the Orioles within a half game of the American League East leading Toronto Blue Jays.

White Sox 4, Indians 3

At Chicago, Tim Raines hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth and George Bell added a two-run homer, leading the Chicago White Sox to their fifth straight win.

Yankees 6, Royals 3

At Kansas City, Andy Stankiewicz got 4 hits and Dion James and Jim Leyritz added three hits each to lead the Yankees. Stankiewicz finished with a 4-for-5 performance, the first 4-hit game of the rookie's career.

Blue Jays 3, Rangers 2

At Arlington, Roberto Alomar raced home with what turned out to be the winning run on a wild pitch by Bobby Witt in the fifth inning and relievers Duane Ward and Tom Henke retired nine of the last 10 Texas batters.