Dempster fires one-hitter at Mets; Astros roll

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 8, 2000

The Associated Press

Dempster threw a one-hitter, blemished only by Mike Piazza’s double in the sixth inning, and the Florida Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-0 Sunday at Pro Player Stadium.

Monday, May 08, 2000

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Dempster threw a one-hitter, blemished only by Mike Piazza’s double in the sixth inning, and the Florida Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-0 Sunday at Pro Player Stadium.

”He just pitched fantastic,” Marlins manager John Boles said. ”He was awfully, awfully good today. We think that he’s going to be around for a while. We’re looking at a future 20-game winner. It’s just a matter of experience.”

Dempster, who turned 23 last Wednesday, earned his first career shutout. He’s 3-2 with a 2.39 ERA after seven starts, and has struck out 51 in 49 innings.

”I was confident before the start today,” he said. ”I feel like I can get anyone out when I make my pitches.”

Wood, who turns 23 next month, had a little more trouble in his second outing for the Chicago Cubs.

The 1998 NL Rookie of the Year, who missed all of last season while recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, gave up seven runs in 6 2-3 innings during an 11-3 loss to Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field.

Wood made a neat return to the majors last Tuesday, pitching six sharp innings in a win over Houston.

”I thought my stuff was better today,” Wood said. ”My velocity I thought was better, my breaking stuff I was able to throw more consistently in the zone, my changeup was better. It just didn’t have the same results.”

In other NL games, Houston beat Los Angeles 14-8 in 10 innings, Arizona routed San Diego 8-1, Cincinnati downed St. Louis 9-7, Philadelphia topped Atlanta 7-4 and Milwaukee beat Montreal 9-4.

The Colorado at San Francisco game was rained out. It was the second rainout at Pacific Bell Park this year, and marked the first time since 1967 the Giants have been washed out more than once at home in a season.

Dempster struck out five of six hitters before Piazza hit a two-out drive beyond the reach of left fielder Cliff Floyd.

”If Cliff would have caught it, I would have run out and given him a big hug,” Dempster said. ”But the sixth inning is way too early to be thinking about a no-hitter.

”It was important I didn’t let myself feel down about it. My next pitch to (Robin) Ventura was a changeup for a swing and a miss. I knew then I was going to stay on my game,” he said.

Dempster retired Ventura on a grounder and went on to finish for his first career complete game.

Astros 14, Dodgers 8, 10 innings

Jeff Shaw hit Richard Hidalgo with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run and Roger Cedeno added a three-run homer in a seven-run 10th inning in Houston’s victory in Los Angeles.

Mitch Meluskey led the Astros’ 17-hit attack with a career-high five hits, including a two-run single in the 10th. Shaw (2-2) hit Hidalgo after walking Ken Caminiti.

Pirates 11, Cubs 3

Kevin Young and Brian Giles hit three-run homers off Kerry Wood that led Pittsburgh over the Chicago.

Wood struck out six, reaching 97 mph with his fastball. He also walked five, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

Phillies 7, Braves 4

Philadelphia became the first visiting team to win a series at Turner Field this season behind Mike Lieberthal’s four hits.

Lieberthal hit a two-run homer and pitcher Andy Ashby had a two-run single as the Phillies won two of three at Atlanta.

Diamondbacks 8, Padres 1

Todd Stottlemyre pitched Arizona to its fourth straight win, completing a three-game sweep of visiting San Diego.

Stottlemyre (6-1) became the NL’s third six-game winner. Teammate Randy Johnson leads the league with seven victories and St. Louis’ Darryl Kile has six.

Brewers 9, Expos 4

Jose Hernandez homered and hit a two-run single as Milwaukee broke loose and ended a three-game losing streak.

The Brewers, who began the day with a major league-low .227 average, finished a 3-7 homestand. Ron Belliard drove in three runs and Jeromy Burnitz hit his first home run since April 8.

Jose Vidro and Lee Stevens homered for the Expos.