CHINO, Calif. (AP) _ Roger Freed, mostly a reserve during eight seasons in the major leagues, died early Tuesday of heart problems. He was 49.

Freed had been hospitalized since Dec. 18 for a ruptured appendix.

A backup first baseman and pinch hitter, Freed had a career average of .245 with 22 home runs and 109 RBIs in 344 games with the Orioles, Phillies, Reds, Expos and Cardinals from 1970-79.

In 1979, his pinch-grand slam off Joe Sambito with two outs in the bottom of the 11th gave the Cardinals a 4-3 victory. That year he finished with two home runs and eight RBIs.

He also had a three-run pinch homer for another comeback victory in 1978. He had his own fan club in St. Louis, where he played his final three seasons.

In 1976, he was the MVP of the Triple A American Association when he hit 42 home runs for Denver.

Freed is survived by his wife, Linda, and three daughters.