The Los Angeles Dodgers, who entered Saturday's game with the New York Mets as the worst fielding team in baseball, got a chance to capitalize on some shoddy fielding for a change.
New York committed three of its four errors in the eighth inning, with Gregg Jefferies botching consecutive plays with two out. When the third baseman allowed pinch-hitter Jeff Hamilton's chopper to carom under his glove, two runs scored to complete a four-run outburst that handed Los Angeles a 4-3 victory."We got the breaks today," said Hamilton, whose team played errorless ball Saturday after making 37 errors in its first 33 games. "We've struggled like that, so it's nice to have it go our way. Maybe this will mean a change for the better."
Trailing 2-0, the Dodgers - who finished with just five hits - got a leadoff walk from Juan Samuel in the eighth off rookie Pete Schourek. Pinch-hitter Stan Javier then reached on an error by second baseman Keith Miller, who had just entered as part of a double-switch with reliever John Franco, 1-2.
Eddie Murray made it 2-1 with an RBI double and Kal Daniels tied it with an RBI groundout. But the Dodgers weren't finished.
After pinch-hitter Gary Carter walked, Jefferies tagged out Murray after fielding Mike Scioscia's grounder. But he bobbled Jose Offerman's grounder for an error, then couldn't knock down Hamilton's chopper along the line as two runs scored. It was ruled an error.
"I had a chance to get it and I missed it," Jefferies said. "It was do or die. It caught the dirt and bounced a bit left and I missed it.
Expos 3, Giants 1
At San Francisco, Tim Burke recorded his 100th career save in relief of a strong effort by Oil Can Boyd as the Montreal Expos beat the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants, last in the NL West, have lost 14 of their last 18 games to fall to 12-24.
Boyd (2-4) blanked the Giants on two singles through seven innings and was lifted when Robby Thompson opened the eighth with a double.
Phillies 5, Cubs 2
At Philadelphia, John Kruk hit a two-run double and Ricky Jordan followed with a two-run single in the eighth inning to rally the Philadelphia Phillies past the Chicago Cubs.
Joe Boever (3-3) pitched 1 2-3 innings and Mitch Williams got his eighth save as Philadelphia won for the fifth time in six games. Phillies starter Danny Cox left with a groin injury after retiring the first two batters in the sixth.
Padres 5, Reds 2
At Cincinnati, Adam Peterson pitched six strong innings for his first National League victory and the San Diego Padres ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Cincinnati Reds.
Paul Faries, Fred McGriff and Tony Gwynn had run-scoring singles and Benito Santiago and Bip Roberts had sacrifice flies as the Padres rocked Jack Armstrong (3-2) for only their second victory in 10 games. Tony Fernandez added four hits and scored a run.