Home-run Cards tap the Rockies

Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2004

ST. LOUIS The St. Louis Cardinals celebrated Mark McGwire's return with a few home runs.

Scott Rolen homered on consecutive at-bats and had four RBIs, Albert Pujols also connected and the Cardinals rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 8-4 Saturday.

McGwire, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, was given a pregame standing ovation by the crowd of 46,471. It was his first appearance at Busch Stadium since retiring after the 2001 season.

Rolen has never hit more than 31 home runs in a season, but leads the major leagues with 23 RBIs and has seven homers.

Phillies 6, Expos 3

PHILADELPHIA David Bell, Pat Burrell, Placido Polanco and Bobby Abreu homered to help hand Montreal its sixth straight loss.

Kevin Millwood (1-2) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings and struck out seven to win his fifth straight decision against the Expos.

Roberto Hernandez and Billy Wagner finished, with Wagner getting three straight outs for his fourth save. Philadelphia won its third straight following a 1-6 start.

Pirates 2, Mets 1

NEW YORK Tike Redman doubled leading off the eighth, scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Kendall and Pittsburgh won its second straight one-run game against New York.

Redman ripped a shot into the right-field corner against Steve Trachsel (1-2). Jack Wilson sacrificed and Kendall drove in the run with a fly ball to center as Redman beat Mike Cameron's throw to the plate.

Mike Johnson and Solomon Torres retired the final two hitters in the eighth and Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Reds 3, Cubs 2

CHICAGO Kerry Wood blew a one-run lead in the ninth and Cincinnati took advantage, in another emotional game at Wrigley Field.

Wood (2-1), who heaved a batting helmet and gloves onto the field, was ejected in a heated exchange with plate umpire Eric Cooper. Wily Mo Pena then doubled in Adam Dunn with the go-ahead run and two outs.

As Wood was being taken out of the game, fans at Wrigley Field littered the warning track with debris and the game was held up for several minutes while the grounds crew cleaned it up.

Wood allowed three runs and six hits in 8 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.

Dodgers 5, Giants 4

SAN FRANCISCO Barry Bonds hit his 663rd homer and second in two days, but Los Angeles still beat San Francisco again.

A night earlier, Bonds hit a two-run homer against Eric Gagne in the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss. Saturday's homer was Bonds' fifth this season.

Milton Bradley homered and drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who won their fourth straight despite a shaky ninth inning from Gagne.

Paul Lo Duca and Jose Hernandez each had four hits, and Jose Lima made a successful first start for Los Angeles. Lima (2-0) allowed two runs in five innings.

Braves 4, Marlins 1

ATLANTA Chipper Jones homered for the second straight night, and Russ Ortiz outpitched Josh Beckett to lead the Braves over the World Series champions.

Jesse Garcia added his first homer in more than four years, helping Atlanta move back over .500 at 6-5.

Florida arrived in Atlanta with the best record in the majors (8-1) and a seven-game winning streak but has lost the first two of the three-game series.

Ortiz (1-2) gave up one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, lowering his ERA from 6.75 to 4.50. John Smoltz, who followed Kevin Gryboski and Chris Reitsma out of the bullpen, got three straight outs for his third save, completing a six-hitter.

Astros 14, Brewers 5

HOUSTON Richard Hidalgo hit a pair of two-run doubles, and Houston beat Milwaukee for its sixth win in seven games.

Craig Biggio and Mike Lamb each hit a three-run homer for the Astros. Jeff Bagwell had a solo shot, tying Hidalgo for the team lead with four homers.

Hidalgo has 19 RBIs, second in the majors behind Scott Rolen of St. Louis, who has 23.

Biggio's first-inning double was his 525th, tying him with Ted Williams for 30th on the career list, one behind Dave Parker.

Padres 3, Diamondbacks 2

SAN DIEGO Ismael Valdez won his first start of the season and the San Diego Padres edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing skid.

Richie Sexson hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, but San Diego took advantage of a wild Brandon Webb to score three times in the first inning.

Valdez (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, drawing the start after three relief appearances this season. He moved into the starting rotation in place of injured Sterling Hitchcock.

The Padres took a 3-0 lead in the first against Webb (1-1) with the help of two walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch.

Sexson pulled the Diamondbacks to 3-2 in the sixth. He followed a single by Luis Gonzalez with his fourth homer of the season. It came with two outs.

Scott Linebrink and Akinori Otsuka each worked a scoreless inning in relief of Valdez before Trevor Hoffman finished with a perfect ninth for his second save in three opportunities.

Otsuka escaped trouble in the eighth after allowing runners to reach first and third with one out. He got Luis Gonzalez on a popup and struck out Sexson.

Webb settled down to work six innings, allowing two hits, all in the first. He struck out seven and walked a season-high five.

In the first, Sean Burroughs and Mark Loretta singled to start the Padres' rally. After a walk loaded the bases, Phil Nevin was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run.

Another run scored when Ryan Klesko grounded into a forceout. After a walk loaded the bases again, Webb threw a wild pitch with two outs, making it 3-0.

The three runs matched the total of earned runs allowed by Webb in his previous two starts, spanning 12 innings.

Coming into the game, Valdez had pitched only 2 2-3 innings this season. In his previous appearance, he went two innings and gave up one run in San Diego's 8-3 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Notes: Padres C Miguel Ojeda made his first start of the season in place of Ramon Hernandez. Manager Bruce Bochy noted that Ojeda often worked with Valdez in spring training. ... Bochy planned to hold Valdez to approximately 75 pitches in his first start of the season. Valdez ended up throwing 79 pitches, including 51 strikes. ... Arizona's Danny Bautista extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the second inning when the ball fell in front of RF Brian Giles, who apparently lost it in the lights. ... The Padres set a season attendance high with 42,261 fans, their fourth sellout in eight games at new Petco Park.

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