John Smiley loves to pitch against the New York Mets. And he's not quite sure why.
Smiley pitched a one-hitter to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past New York 4-0 Wednesday night. He lowered his ERA to 0.53 and his fast start is erasing the bad memories of 1990."It just seems like there are certain teams you do well against and some you don't," Smiley said. "I've had success against the Mets, but I haven't been able to beat the Phillies, expecially in Philadelphia. When you're facing one of the teams you've done well against, I think you take a little mental edge out there with you."
Smiley (2-0) struck out four and walked none in his third major league shutout, his first since beating San Francisco 1-0 on April 28, 1989. After allowing Kevin McReynolds' one-out double in the second, Smiley retired the final 23 Mets in order.
Dodgers 6, Giants 2
Brett Butler broke a dry spell against his former teammates by doubling and scoring the go-ahead run, and Bob Ojeda got his first victory for Los Angeles.
Butler, hitless in his previous nine at-bats in the series, reached second after getting a two-out hit off the glove of second baseman Robbie Thompson against reliever Rick Reuschel (0-2) in the seventh.
Centerville's Kelly Downs, activated from the disabled list, started for the Giants and pitched five shutout innings, leaving with two runners on and two outs in the sixth.
Cubs 4, Phillies 1
In Chicago, George Bell homered and drove in two runs, and Shawn Boskie pitched well as Chicago won its fifth straight.
Boskie (1-1) allowed one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Dave Smith, the third Chicago pitcher, got the last three outs for his fourth save.
Reds 5, Padres 1
Rookie Chris Hammond (1-0) gained his first major league victory by allowing five hits in six innings, striking out two and walking one.
Scott Scudder, whom Hammond replaced in the starting rotation, finished with two-hit relief and gained his first career save for the visiting Reds.
Expos 1, Cardinals 0
Bill Sampen allowed three hits in seven innings at Olympic Stadium and Barry Jones finished the six-hitter.
Montreal got the only run in the first when Delino DeShields led off with a single off Jamie Moyer (0-2), took second on Marquis Grissom's sacrifice, stole third and scored on catcher Tom Pagnozzi's throwing error.
Astros 4, Braves 3
Mark Davidson drove in two runs in a three-run first inning against the Braves, who have lost four of their last five home games.
Houston took a 3-0 lead in the first off Steve Avery (1-1). Rafael Ramirez walked, Craig Biggio singled to extend his hitting streak to eight, Ken Caminiti hit an RBI single and Davidson added his two-run single.