Nationals finally get to Lieber

Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2005


  Philadelphia Phillies' Jon Lieber pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at RFK Stadium, Tuesday, April 26, 2005, in Washington. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivai

Philadelphia Phillies' Jon Lieber pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at RFK Stadium, Tuesday, April 26, 2005, in Washington.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivai

WASHINGTON — Brad Wilkerson connected off previously unbeaten Jon Lieber for the first upper-deck home run at RFK Stadium in 34 years, leading the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Wilkerson pulled a two-run shot down the right-field line and into the front row of section 470 in the fifth inning. While it lacked the power or magnitude of Frank Howard's mammoth blasts for the old Senators — the landing spots are still marked by white seats in deep left-center — Wilkerson's homer broke a 1-1 tie against a pitcher who was 4-0 and was 11-1 in his last 14 starts dating to last season.

Braves 4, Mets 3

NEW YORK — John Smoltz finally got some run support and bullpen help, earning his first win of the season in Atlanta's victory over Pedro Martinez and the Mets.

Smoltz scattered seven hits over 6 2-3 innings in his fifth start since returning to Atlanta's rotation. He earned his first win as a starter since June 3, 2001, the last season he was a regular member of the Braves rotation.

The Braves barely held on after closer Dan Kolb allowed two runs in the ninth. John Foster came in with two runners on and got Cliff Floyd to pop out for his first career save.

Reds 11, Cubs 9

CHICAGO — Ken Griffey Jr. , who entered with just three RBIs, had a three-run double and a sacrifice fly in Cincinnati's win.

Adam Dunn hit a solo homer in the fifth, his second homer in two days, and has six RBIs in two games. Javier Valentin and Joe Randa had three hits each for the Reds, who set a season high for runs and matched their high with 15 hits.

Marlins 9, Rockies 3

DENVER — Josh Beckett had a two-run double in Florida's five-run seventh inning and matched teammate Dontrelle Willis and Philadelphia's Jon Lieber for the NL lead in wins.

Beckett (4-1) gave up three runs — two earned — in the first two innings and not much else, allowing eight hits in six innings.

Rockies starter Jamey Wright (1-2) got 12 of 14 outs on groundballs, but seven of the 10 hits off him were for extra bases. He allowed seven runs in 6 1-3 innings.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 3

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols was 3-for-5 with a pair of two-run doubles, and closer Jason Isringhausen left the Cardinals' win a strained right abdominal muscle.

St. Louis has won 10 of 11 and is a National League-best 13-5, the best start for the Cardinals since they began 1982 with a 13-4 record and went on to win the World Series.

After walking pinch-hitter Chris Magruder, Isringhausen bent over and winced. Randy Flores then got his second career save when Damien Miller grounded into a double play.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES — Shawn Green had a home run and a diving catch against his former team, Russ Ortiz pitched six effective innings, and the Diamondbacks won their fifth straight.

Green, traded during the offseason after playing five seasons in Los Angeles, hit his third homer off Scott Erickson (1-2) to put the Diamondbacks ahead for good in the second inning. His catch of a liner to right by Jason Phillips in the sixth kept the tying run from scoring.

The Diamondbacks moved within a half-game of the NL West-leading Dodgers, who have lost five of six after going 12-2 to start the season.

Giants 6, Padres 5

SAN FRANCISCO — J.T. Snow matched his career high with four hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning for the Giants.

Phil Nevin extended his hitting streak to 11 games, pinch hitting in the eighth and homering off Armando Benitez, a two-run drive that tied it 5-all.

Benitez (1-1) blew his second save in six chances but got the win. Snow doubled into the right-field corner to score Jason Ellison, who reached on an infield single against Akinori Otsuka (0-2) and stole second.

Benitez retired Geoff Blum on a grounder to first with a runner on second to end the game, but pulled up lame two steps before first base with an apparent right leg injury sustained while taking the flip from Snow. Benitez had to be helped off the field by two trainers.

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