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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 21, 2001

Larkin, Reds slam Mets

Larkin, Reds slam Mets

CINCINNATI -- Barry Larkin's first career grand slam capped a six-run second inning and the Reds beat the Mets 9-5 Friday night.

Larkin, who broke in with the Reds in 1986, had led all active major-leaguers in at-bats without a slam at 6,734 before connecting against Al Leiter.

"I hit a ball off the wall in San Francisco a few years ago, and I hit a ball off the wall in Pittsburgh last week," Larkin said. "I just happened to get some elevation on that one."

Aaron Boone had a two-run homer and Jason LaRue drove in two with a single and double.

Osvaldo Fernandez allowed four runs on seven hits, three walks and three strikeouts in six innings.

Jim Brower pitched three innings for his first major-league save.

Leiter was the last pitcher to shut out the Reds, allowing two hits in the Mets' 5-0 win in the 1999 regular-season playoff. Cincinnati has scored in every game since.

Leiter gave up eight runs -- tying his career high -- on six hits and two hit batsmen in three innings. It was his shortest non-injury outing since going three innings on May 15, 1999, at Philadelphia.

"I've given up grand slams to lesser names than Barry Larkin," Leiter said. "I can't believe it was his first."

MARLINS 5, EXPOS 1: Preston Wilson hit two home runs and Jason Grilli allowed three hits in seven innings for host Florida.

Wilson, who began the game with one homer this season, hit a two-run shot in the third off Tony Armas. Wilson added one in the eighth.

Grilli limited the Expos to one hit through six innings, giving up a single to Armas in the third.

Grilli's only rough inning was the seventh. Fernando Tatis homered with one out to make it 3-1 and Lee Stevens followed with a double.

But Grilli worked out of the jam by getting Jose Vidro to line out and Milton Bradley to ground out.

Grilli, a 24-year-old right-hander, struck out one and walked two.

Wilson hit an opposite-field homer in the third after Cliff Floyd reached on an error by Stevens at first base.

Wilson's homer and a run-scoring single by Charles Johnson added two runs in the eighth.

PHILLIES 8, BRAVES 3: Pinch-hitter Kevin Jordan's grand slam capped a six-run seventh inning for host Philadelphia.

The Phillies, who tied the Cubs for the worst record in the majors last season, snapped a two-game losing skid and are in first place in the East at 9-6.

Wayne Gomes pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. Starter Omar Daal, a 19-game loser last season, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Andruw Jones homered and Chipper Jones added a run-scoring double for the Braves, who had won four of six. Atlanta, at 8-9, is worse than .500 this late in the season for the first time since starting 12-13 in 1993.

CUBS 8, PIRATES 2: Sammy Sosa hit a grand slam and visiting Chicago won behind Jon Lieber.

Sosa worked the count full with two outs in the ninth before hitting Jose Silva's pitch into the rightfield seats for the first grand slam in PNC Park.

Sosa has six homers in 12 games. It was his fifth career slam.

The Cubs won their sixth in seven -- they are 4-0 against Pittsburgh -- and are 11-5 for the first time since 1985, when they opened 17-8.

Lieber withstood Kevin Young's two-run homer in the fourth to win for the first time in 10 starts since Aug. 30, allowing five hits in eight innings to remain unbeaten against his former team.

Lieber is 5-0 in eight starts with two complete games against Pittsburgh since the Pirates traded him to the Cubs for outfielder Brant Brown after the 1998 season.

ASTROS 10, CARDINALS 1: Moises Alou drove in three runs in his first start of the season for host Houston, as St. Louis' Rick Ankiel struggled with control again.

Alou, who has been on the disabled list with a strained right calf, was 2-for-4 with a double and scored a run. His only previous appearance this season had been Wednesday against Pittsburgh when he grounded out.

Scott Elarton beat the Cardinals for the second time in a row, going seven innings and allowing one run and three hits. He struck out seven.

Elarton retired 13 of 14 batters from the first to the fifth innings with only a hit batter in the fourth breaking the streak.

Ankiel lost for the second time in a row to Houston. He allowed three hits in three innings, but walked five and hit two batters and left in the fourth with no outs. He allowed five runs, three earned, and struck out two.

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