While it wasn't as rare as Mickey Morandini's unassisted triple play, the Atlanta Braves' four-homer inning was pretty special, too.
David Justice, Brian Hunter and Ron Gant hit consecutive home runs in a seven-run sixth off Al Osuna, and Mark Lemke homered one out later off Rich Scheid as the Braves routed the Houston Astros 16-1 Sunday."This team can do unpredictable things like that," Gant said. `It was a cool thing to watch."
It was the fourth time in franchise history the feat was accomplished; the last time was on June 21, 1971, against Montreal when Mike Lum, Hal King, Hank Aaron and Darrell Evans did it. The Milwaukee Braves also did it twice: on June 8, 1965, and June 8, 1961.
"We're lucky you don't count total runs," Houston manager Art Howe said. "You count wins and we had two out of three, so we had a heck of a series."
Atlanta lowered its magic number to seven, maintaining a 71/2-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL West.
"We need to go out there and do something - like win, win, win," said Terry Pendleton, who reached 100 RBIs for the first time. "The bottom line is we've got to do it ourselves. We've got to get our rear ends in gear and get going."
Steve Avery (11-10) won for the first time in seven starts since Aug. 15 as Atlanta set a season high for runs and stopped visiting Houston's five-game winning streak. Ryan Bowen (0-6) was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in 11/3 innings.
"It's pretty hard to lose a ball game like this," Avery said. "It just evens up."
Pirates 3, Phillies 2
Morandini turned Jeff King's sixth-inning liner into the ninth unassisted triple play in major league history, but King came back to single home the winning run in the 13th inning.
"I felt lousy about it," said King, who earlier failed to bunt the runners over. "Then I happened to look at the scoreboard and saw it was the first time it had happened since 1927 and I really felt lousy."
Mets 1, Expos 0
Sid Fernandez (13-10) pitched a five-hitter and struck out 10 at Shea Stadium as he beat Ken Hill (16-9), who had shut out the Mets twice earlier this season.
New York scored in the second when Jeff Kent singled, took third on Dick Schofield's hit-and-run single and came home on rookie Ryan Thompson's bloop single to right.
Reds 6, Padres 1
Tim Belcher (13-14) struck out a career-high 13, walked none and scattered seven hits in his second complete game. Dave Martinez hit a two-run homer and Paul O'Neill added a solo shot for the Reds, who have won four straight.
Cardinals 16, Cubs 4
Stan Royer hit his first major league homer and drove in four runs. Geronimo Pena's three-run double capped a six-run first for visiting St. Louis, which got 22 hits.
Ryne Sandberg homered for the fourth time in six games, hitting his 24th in the seventh inning. Shawn Boskie (5-10) faced seven batters and retired none in the shortest start of his major league career.
Giants 3, Dodgers 2
Matt Williams' bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth capped a two-run rally as San Francisco beat Los Angeles in what could be the final game between the teams in San Francisco.
Willie McGee tied it with an infield single and advanced to second on third baseman Mike Sharperson's throwing error. Will Clark was walked intentionally and Darren Lewis reached on reliever Roger McDowell's error to lead the bases for Williams.