May 01, 1999

Astros: The bullpen hasn't squandered a lead after the seventh inning this season. The team is 10-0 when leading after seven and 12-0 when leading after eight. Third baseman Ken Caminiti was given the night off. He was hit on the elbow by a bat in batting practice before Thursday's game against Arizona, then got three hits. The elbow swelled overnight.

Braves: It was John Smoltz's first complete game since a three-hit, 4-0 win over the Mets last Sept. 6. It was Atlanta's second shutout of the season. Smoltz pitched seven innings in the first one, a 4-0 win over the Phillies on April 7. Third baseman Chipper Jones, who jammed his right ankle Thursday, was replaced in the starting lineup by Ozzie Guillen. Jones is day-to-day.

Cardinals: Mark McGwire homered eight times on 21 swings in batting practice, including six of his last eight.

Giants: Shawn Estes has not won a road game since May 4 last year, going 0-7 with a 9.43 ERA. San Francisco is 14-3 against teams under .500 and 2-5 against clubs with winning records.

Pirates: Mike Benjamin had two hits and is 13-for-23 (.565) since starting 1-for-26. Until Al Martin doubled, 25 of the Pirates' previous 26 hits were singles.

Rockies: Colorado has won three straight since losing four in a row.

Pub Date: 5/01/99

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