Astacio comes close to Mets' first no-hitter

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2002

NEW YORK -- Pedro Astacio didn't allow a hit until Geoff Jenkins lined a single to left field with one out in the seventh inning Saturday, and the New York Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1.

Less than 24 hours after teammate Shawn Estes retired the first 18 Brewers and finished with a one-hitter, Astacio almost pitched the first no-hitter in Mets' history.

Astacio (4-1) allowed one run and three hits in eight innings. He walked one and struck out two. Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Reds 8, Giants 4, 7 1/2 innings

CINCINNATI -- Jose Rijo made his first Cinergy Field start in seven years and put on another nostalgic show, pitching six remarkable innings in a steady rain as the Cincinnati Reds beat the San Francisco Giants in a game called in the middle of the eighth.

The Reds' seventh straight win kept them in first place in the NL Central, a major surprise that pales alongside Rijo's renaissance.

Cardinals 5, Expos 0

MONTREAL -- Reliever Mike Matthews combined with three St. Louis pitchers on a five-hitter and the Cardinals beat the Montreal Expos.

St. Louis won its second straight to improve to 4-8 with one game remaining on a season-long 13-game road trip. Montreal lost its second in a row after a six-game winning streak.

Matthews (1-0) allowed one hit in 3 2-3 innings after relieving rookie Michael Crudale -- the 10th starter the Cardinals have used in 24 games -- to begin the third.

Matthews walked four and struck out five. Luther Hackman relieved Matthews and got the last out of the sixth, before pitching the seventh and eighth. Gene Stechschulte pitched the ninth.

Rockies 8, Phillies 6

DENVER -- Todd Helton hit a bases-loaded triple and the Colorado Rockies improved to 2-0 under new manager Clint Hurdle, beating the Philadelphia Phillies.

Colorado had lost five straight and was 6-16 before manager Buddy Bell was fired Friday.

Philadelphia has lost four straight and eight of nine. The Phillies dropped to 0-13 when trailing after seven innings.

Shawn Chacon (2-3) allowed two earned runs on five hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings. Jose Jimenez pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances. He struck out Travis Lee with the bases loaded to end it.

Astros 6, Braves 3

ATLANTA -- Gregg Zaun, 2-for-27 (.074) against the Braves coming in, broke a 2-all tie in the fifth with a two-out, three-run double off Kevin Millwood (2-3) and added an RBI triple in the ninth off Darren Holmes.

Atlanta outfielder B.J. Surhoff injured his right knee when he slid into the wall in the right-field corner chasing down the triple. Surhoff was on the ground on the warning track but threw to second baseman Marcus Giles, who relayed the ball home in time to retire Zaun at the plate.

Braves trainer Dave Pursley did not know the extent of the injury, and Surhoff probably will have more tests Sunday.

Marlins 6, Diamondbacks 3

MIAMI -- Playing in right for the first time since 1997, Cliff Floyd looked awkward in the field but swift on the bases, scoring twice from first on doubles.

Brad Penny (3-1), once a top prospect in the Diamondbacks farm system, beat them for the first time. He allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings, and Vladimir Nunez pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save.

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