No relief: Benitez blows fourth save chance

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

NEW YORK -- New York Mets' Armando Benitez blew his fourth save chance this season, allowing two runs in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Florida Marlins on Saturday.

Luis Castillo hit a game-tying RBI single and Ivan Rodriguez beat out a potential double-play grounder to drive in the go-ahead run.

Benitez (0-3) converted 33 of 37 chances in 2002 for the last-place Mets.

Phillies 4, Braves 0

ATLANTA -- Vicente Padilla (3-1) pitched a four-hitter for his second career shutout, stopping Atlanta's five-game winning streak.

Mike Hampton, in his Atlanta debut, allowed four runs, six hits and four walks -- one intentional -- in five innings. Hampton, who had been on the disabled list because of an injured calf, also threw a pair of wild pitches that led to runs.

Expos 8, Reds 7 Expos 9, Reds 5

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in five runs as Montreal completed a sweep of the day-night doubleheader and extended Cincinnati's losing streak to five. Javier Vazquez (2-1) struck out 11 as Montreal rolled to a 9-0 lead.

Brian Schneider homered twice in the opener, including a leadoff shot in the 10th off Scott Williamson (2-1). Luis Ayala (1-0) won his first major league decision in the opener. Jimmy Anderson (1-2) lost the night game.

Austin Kearns was Cincinnati's lone bright spot, homering in both games to give him a major league-leading eight. The announced crowd of 10,296 for the opener was the smallest for the Expos' eight games so far in Puerto Rico. The second game drew 13,109.

Diamondbacks 4, Cardinals 3

ST. LOUIS -- Byung-Hyun Kim (1-3) won his first career game as a starter and Luis Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth off Jason Simontacchi (0-1).

Kim, a converted closer who had a team-record 36 saves last year, allowed three runs and five hits in a career-high seven innings, and Matt Mantei got six outs for his first save since April 16, 2001, at St. Louis.

Arizona, swept by the Cardinals in the playoffs last fall, had lost six straight in St. Louis since winning Game 3 of the playoffs in 2001.

Brewers 3, Astros 2

MILWAUKEE -- Pitcher Glendon Rusch, pinch hitting because Milwaukee ran out of hitters on the bench. blooped a bunt off Scott Linebrink (0-1 for a game-winning single in the 14th inning.

John Foster (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Houston starter Wade Miller, 10-1 against the Brewers, allowed five hits in seven shutout innings.

Rockies 10, Padres 9

DENVER -- Ronnie Belliard drove in the winning run with a squeeze bunt that capped a three-run, ninth-inning rally off Brandon Villafuerte (0-2), who also allowed an RBI grounder to Bobby Estalella and a tying single to Chris Stynes.

Ryan Klesko homered twice and had five RBIs for San Diego, which overcame a 7-0 deficit to take a 9-7 lead only to lose its fourth straight. Steve Reed (2-0) was the winner, and Larry Walker and Estalella each had three RBIs.

Cubs 6, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH -- Mark Grudzielanek singled home the go-ahead run in a five-run 10th inning as Chicago won its fifth straight -- matching the Cubs' longest winning streak of 2002. Pittsburgh has lost three straight and six of seven.

Prior (3-1), who allowed Randall Simon's RBI grounder in the ninth, gave up six hits in nine innings.

Chicago broke it open in the 10th against Scott Sauerbeck (0-1) and Mike Williams on one-out RBI singles by Grudzielanek and Alex Gonzalez and Sammy Sosa's two-run single. Ramon Martinez had a sacrifice fly.

Giants 9, Dodgers 3

LOS ANGELES -- Rich Aurilia and Andres Galarraga drove in two runs each in the fifth inning, Ruben Rivera hit a solo homer and San Francisco won improved to a major league-best 15-2.

The Giants, off to their best 17-game start in 85 years, scored five runs in the fifth to improve to a franchise-best 8-0 start on the road.

Damian Moss (3-0) gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings.



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