CINCINNATI -- Darryl Strawberry and Lenny Harris hit two-run homers and Orel Hershiser won for the first time in a month, as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-2, last night to end a four-game losing streak.
Hershiser (4-2) allowed one run and five hits over six innings for his first victory since July 6. The right-hander had no-decisions in his last four starts.
Strawberry and Harris homered off Kip Gross (4-3), and Harris later added an RBI double to send the Reds to their 18th loss in 26 games. The third-place Reds fell to 6 1/2 games behind Los Angles in the National League West.
The Dodgers snapped out of their slump with a rare road win. Los Angeles is 3-13 away from Dodger Stadium since the All-Star break and had lost its last 11 games on artificial turf. But the surface didn't matter last night, as Los Angeles got another homer from Strawberry and one from Harris.
Kal Daniels led off the fourth with an infield single and Strawberry hit his 16th homer, a shot off the facing of the second deck in right-center field. It was Strawberry's third homer in five games and his eighth in his past 64 at-bats.
Hershiser led off the fifth with a single to center. One out later, Harris pulled his second homer of the season over the right-field wall. His other homer was a grand slam June 10 at Chicago.
Rookie Milt Hill gave up his first major-league run in the seventh when Brett Butler singled and Harris doubled to the wall in left-center for a 5-1 lead.
Pirates 3, Mets 1
NEW YORK -- Randy Tomlin again made fast work of the Mets, pitching a four-hitter that sent New York to its seventh straight loss.
Lloyd McClendon hit a two-run homer in the second inning and that was enough for the Pirates, who won their second in a row after an eight-game losing streak.
The Mets, meanwhile, lost for the 12th time in 14 games. By dropping the opener of a three-game series, they fell 7 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh in the NL East, their biggest deficit of the year. The losing streak is their longest since a seven-game slide in July 1989.
Tomlin (7-4) beat the Mets for the third time in as many starts this year. New York has 13 hits and four earned runs in 23 innings against him.
Tomlin is 11-8 lifetime, including 4-0 against the Mets. This time, he struck out four, walked two and allow only one hit after Gregg Jefferies' one-out double in the fourth.
The Mets tried stepping out of the batter's box often against Tomlin, who pitched quickly and kept the New York hitters and the less-than-sellout crowd quiet. The Mets got two runners on base against him only once, in the second inning when they scored their lone run on a trick play.
Sid Fernandez (0-2), forced to leave his last start July 30 with a stiff shoulder, gave up five hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out six, but remained winless since last Aug. 30, a span of six losses.
Fernandez, who missed the first half of the season with a fractured wrist, was in command except for one lapse. After Barry Bonds singled with one out in the second, McClendon hit the next pitch way back into the left-field seats for his seventh home run.
Kevin McReynolds led off the Mets' second with a triple and Hubie Brooks walked with one out. With two out, Brooks broke for second base and then stopped, and when catcher Tom Prince threw through, McReynolds walked home without a play. Brooks was tagged out after the run scored.