Hitting the ground cranking

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2003

ATLANTA Atlanta became only the second team in major league history to start a game with three straight homers and went on to a 15-3 rout of the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield began the game with back-to-back-to-back homers against Jeff Austin. Javy Lopez also hit a two-run homer in the first to knock out the Reds starter.

The only other team to start a game with three straight homers was the San Diego Padres on April 13, 1987.

Cubs 5, Pirates 4

CHICAGO Damian Miller hit a three-run homer and Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run drive as Chicago beat Pittsburgh and stopped the Pirates' three-game winning streak.

Mark Prior (6-2) struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. Mike Remlinger relieved and escaped an eighth-inning jam when Randall Simon flied out, and Joe Borowski finished for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Marlins 4, Expos 3, 1st game

Marlins 6, Expos 0, 2nd game

MIAMI Michael Tejera pitched six shutout innings to help Florida complete a doubleheader sweep of Montreal.

The Marlins have won six in a row, their longest winning streak since a six-game string from Sept. 26-Oct. 1, 2000.

Tejera (1-3) gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four.

Zach Day (4-3) took the loss in the second game, giving up six runs on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Phillies 11, Mets 3

PHILADELPHIA Ricky Ledee and Bobby Abreu hit three-run homers and Vicente Padilla pitched seven solid innings, leading Philadelphia over New York.

Jim Thome, Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had solo homers for the Phillies, who stopped a three-game losing streak.

Padilla (4-6) allowed one run and three hits in his first victory since shutting out the Atlanta Braves on April 19. Despite six walks, he improved to 5-1 against the Mets.

Cardinals 3, Astros 1

ST. LOUIS Jason Simontacchi pitched a six-hitter for the first complete game of his career and St. Louis, despite losing center fielder Jim Edmonds, beat Houston.

Edmonds bruised ribs on his right side making a lunging catch of Brad Ausmus' sinking liner to end the second inning. Edmonds will miss at least the series finale on Thursday and a team spokesman said the injury would be re-evaluated this weekend.

Simontacchi (2-3) walked none and struck out five in his 34th major league start.

Rockies 6, Dodgers 0

DENVER Shawn Chacon pitched two-hit ball over eight innings and hit a two-run single as Colorado defeated Los Angeles.

The Rockies beat the Dodgers for the second straight game after Los Angeles came to Coors Field with a 10-game winning streak.

Mark Sweeney hit a two-run homer for Colorado.

Giants 10, Diamondbacks 2

SAN FRANCISCO Benito Santiago homered twice, Barry Bonds also connected and Damian Moss snapped a three-game losing streak, as San Francisco routed Arizona.

The NL West-leading Giants have won four of five this season against the Diamondbacks, who have lost five straight in Pacific Bell Park.

Santiago hit his eighth and ninth homers of the season off Arizona starter John Patterson (0-2).

Padres 8, Brewers 6

SAN DIEGO Gary Bennett hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning to give San Diego the win over Milwaukee.

Bennett's first homer of the season, on a 1-1 pitch from Luis Vizcaino (1-3), barely cleared the left-field fence. It was the catcher's first homer in 163 at-bats dating to July 21 while with Colorado.

San Diego's Brian Buchanan tied his career-highs with four hits and four RBIs, and started the winning rally with an infield single.

Mike Matthews (2-3) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

It was just the fifth victory in 30 games for the Padres (15-38), who have the NL's worst record. San Diego had lost four straight games over the previous nine days to the Brewers (19-33), who have the NL's second-worst record.

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