Nationals' pastime

Washington in first place after sweep

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2005


  Washington Nationals', from left, Nick Johnson, Jose Guillen, Vinny Castilla and Terrmel Sledge celebrate their team's 7-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, April 17, 2005, at RFK Stadium in Washington. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivai

Washington Nationals', from left, Nick Johnson, Jose Guillen, Vinny Castilla and Terrmel Sledge celebrate their team's 7-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, April 17, 2005, at RFK Stadium in Washington.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivai

WASHINGTON — Just 12 games into the season, the Washington Nationals are more than merely ex-Expos.

Breaking out with a big seventh inning for the second game in a row, the Nationals extended their winning streak to five by completing a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 7-3 comeback victory before 35,463 on Sunday.

Eight starters had at least one hit — only slumping Cristian Guzman didn't, but even he contributed an RBI with a bases-loaded walk — and five players each drove in at least one run. The Nationals improved to 8-4, first in the NL East.

Washington trailed 3-1 heading into the seventh, then sent 11 batters to the plate en route to scoring six times off four pitchers.

Nick Johnson hit a two-run triple off Mike Koplove (1-1), Brian Schneider had an RBI single, Guzman had his walk and Vidro had a two-run single — his second hit of the inning.

T.J. Tucker (1-0) got the win by facing just one batter — he got Troy Glaus to fly out, ending the seventh.

Marlins 5, Mets 2

NEW YORK — A.J. Burnett pitched a four-hitter for his second straight complete game, and the Marlins took advantage of Tom Glavine's wildness to end the Mets' six-game winning streak.

The Marlins had nine hits — eight singles — in avoiding their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Burnett (2-1) improved to 2-5 in 12 career start against the Mets with his second commanding performance in a week.

He limited New York to one hit over the first five innings before Victor Diaz homered leading off the sixth.

Glavine (0-2) struggled with plate umpire Angel Hernandez's strike zone as he tried to work the corners, throwing 96 pitches in six innings — only 52 for strikes.

Reds 6, Astros 5

CINCINNATI — Wily Mo Pena hit a three-run homer so deep into the upper deck that it drew an extra standing ovation, then hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning to lead the Reds.

Pena's fourth-inning homer off Brandon Duckworth crashed down in the upper deck in left-center field, an estimated 498 feet from home plate — the second-longest homer in Great American Ball Park's three seasons.

Joe Randa had a more modest two-run shot off Duckworth, who lasted five innings in his first start this season and left trailing 5-3. After the Astros tied it in the seventh, Randa singled off Chad Qualls (1-1) with one out in the eighth and came around on Pena's double to the wall in right.

Ryan Wagner (1-1) struck out the side in the eighth, and Danny Graves got his fourth save in four chances.

Cubs 4, Pirates 2

PITTSBURGH — Derrek Lee hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth and drove in three runs as the Cubs took advantage of 300-game winner Greg Maddux's first effective start this season.

The Cubs (6-6) won for the second straight day and are .500 for the first time since being 3-3. The Pirates are 4-8 for the first time since their last 100-loss season in 2001 and have dropped 10 of 11 to the Cubs dating to last season.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Scott Rolen had three hits and three RBIs, including a tiebreaking home run in the top of the ninth inning, to help the Cardinals sweep the Brewers in Milwaukee for the first time since Sept. 9-11, 2002.

Rolen, a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, hit his second homer of the season on the second pitch he saw from reliever Mike Adams (0-1).

Giants 8, Rockies 6

DENVER — Michael Tucker hit his second grand slam against the Colorado Rockies this season and drove in five runs to rally the Giants.

Tucker also had and RBI double, and Edgardo Alfonzo had three hits and scored three times for the Giants, who took two of three at Coors Field.

Four San Francisco relievers combined to allow just one run and three hits in six innings. Matt Herges (1-0) got five outs to earn the win. Armando Benitez worked the ninth for his third save, allowing Todd Helton's first home run of the season.

Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, the Giants loaded the bases on three walks, the first two issued by starter Jason Jennings. Byung-Hyun Kim (0-2) relieved with two outs and walked Alfonzo on four pitches. Tucker hit the next pitch into the Colorado bullpen in right field.

Dodgers 6, Padres 0

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Weaver pitched a five-hitter for his fourth career shutout, Jeff Kent and Milton Bradley hit back-to-back homers for the second time in three days, and the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Padres.

Weaver (2-0) threw his 11th complete game in 177 career starts, just two days after Derek Lowe beat the Padres with a three-hit shutout. Weaver struck out seven, walked one and retired his final 10 batters en route to his first shutout and complete game since June 18, 2002, with Detroit.

Phillies 2, Braves 1, 10 innings

PHILADELPHIA — Placido Polanco's bases-loaded single capped the Phillies' two-run rally in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Raul Mondesi's sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th against Ryan Madson (1-1) broke a scoreless tie, but the Phillies came back against Braves closer Dan Kolb (0-2).

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