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Utley, Phillies edge Atlanta

Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2005

PHILADELPHIA #&151; Jon Lieber outdueled John Smoltz and Chase Utley had a tiebreaking RBI single and game-saving catch, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Lieber (3-0) allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings to win his third straight start since joining the Phillies. Billy Wagner pitched a shaky ninth for his second save. He allowed two hits, two long fly outs and threw a wild pitch, but second baseman Utley made a diving, backhanded catch on Brian Jordan's liner to end it with runners at second and third.

Mets 4, Marlins 3

NEW YORK #&151; Ramon Castro singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, leading the Mets to their sixth straight victory.

Pedro Martinez struck out nine in a stellar home debut for New York #&151; but the Mets' new ace was outpitched by their old one, Al Leiter.

Reds 3, Astros 2

CINCINNATI #&151; Left-hander Eric Milton finally pitched like a pricey and prized acquisition, and the Reds ended their 12-game losing streak against Houston.

Milton (2-1) gave up three hits in seven innings, his first impressive showing in three starts for the team that made him the centerpiece of its offseason overhaul. Milton got a $4 million bonus as part of a three-year, $25.5 million deal last December.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 3

MILWAUKEE #&151; Scott Rolen snapped out of his early-season slump with a two-run homer and two singles.

St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter (2-1) left in the seventh inning with a 5-0 lead and the bases loaded. Brady Clark greeted reliever Al Reyes with a three-run double to make it 5-3.

Nationals 9, Diamondbacks 3

WASHINGTON #&151; Vinny Castilla has yet to make an out at RFK Stadium, going 3-for-3 and driving in four runs for the second straight game to help the Nationals win their fourth straight.

John Patterson (1-1) threw seven shutout innings, and Washington broke open a tight game by sending 11 men to the plate and scoring seven runs in the seventh.

Cubs 4, Pirates 3

PITTSBURGH #&151; Neifi Perez doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run homer to carry Chicago past the Pirates.

Perez went 2-for-4, giving him nine hits in four games, and Ramirez hit his first homer since opening day. LaTroy Hawkins, who struggled frequently last season as the Cubs' closer, pitched the ninth for their first save of the season.

Rockies 5, Giants 4

DENVER #&151; Joe Kennedy outpitched Jason Schmidt and had two hits to help the Rockies end an eight-game losing streak.

Rookie Clint Barmes led Colorado's offense from the No. 2 spot, driving in a run with a nice push bunt, stealing two bases and tying a team record by getting hit by a pitch twice.

Dodgers 8, Padres 3

LOS ANGELES #&151; Scott Erickson pitched six sharp innings for his first NL victory, and the Padres lost shortstop Khalil Greene when he broke his right ring finger.

Ricky Ledee homered and Jason Phillips had a pair of RBI singles for Los Angeles.

Erickson (1-0) allowed two runs, four hits and three walks in six innings after getting staked to a 5-0 lead.

Greene fractured the finger while trying to field a poor throw by catcher Ramon Hernandez on a steal by Cesar Izturis in the first inning.

Adam Eaton (1-1) allowed five runs #&151; three earned #&151; and eight hits in six innings.



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