Reds clobber Astros' relievers

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2005

HOUSTON — Joe Randa homered and had three RBIs, and Aaron Harang struck out 10 Monday to spoil a solid effort by Roger Clemens and help the Cincinnati Reds beat the Houston Astros 9-0.

Clemens (3-3) made his first start since last Tuesday, when he left after five scoreless innings with a strained right groin. He allowed two runs in eight innings, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out seven.

After a single to center by Sean Casey in the third, Clemens retired the next 11 batters in a row and 16 of his last 17.

The Reds scored seven runs off three relievers in the ninth, highlighted by Ryan Freel's three-run homer and Jason LaRue's two-run single, both off Russ Springer.

The Astros were shut out for a league-leading ninth time this season.

Nationals 3, Braves 2

WASHINGTON — Marlon Byrd had two RBI doubles, Tomo Ohka (4-3) allowed just one unearned run and two hits over seven innings, and the Nationals were helped by a reversed umpire's call that turned Brian Jordan's apparent game-tying homer in the seventh inning into a foul ball.

With the scored tied at 1 and one out, Jordan drove a 1-1 pitch into the left-field corner. Byrd drifted back for the ball and was in foul territory when he jumped for it. TV replays appeared to show the ball hit the black base of the foul pole, just beyond Byrd's glove and the wall.

Third-base umpire Jerry Layne ruled it a homer, but Washington manager Frank Robinson jogged to the outfield to argue the call, and crew chief Ed Montague eventually changed it.

Pirates 3, Marlins 2

PITTSBURGH — Freddy Sanchez's opposite-field single in the 10th inning drove in the winning run and the Pirates won a one-run game at home for the first time this season.

Pittsburgh was 0-7 at home and 3-11 overall in one-run games before Jack Wilson doubled with two outs against Todd Jones (0-1), Florida's sixth pitcher, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Sanchez's single to right.

Cubs 5, Dodgers 3

LOS ANGELES — Greg Maddux got his 308th victory and the Cubs moved above the .500 mark for the first time in a month by beating the Dodgers.

Jerry Hairston, Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez homered for the Cubs, who have won four straight and have a winning record for the first time since they were 12-11, after games of April 30.

Maddux (3-3) allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits in six innings to win for the first time in four starts since beating the New York Mets 7-0 on May 10 in Chicago. It was the third consecutive start without a walk for the four-time Cy Young Award winner.

Ryan Dempster, the fourth Chicago pitcher, finished the six-hitter for his fifth save in six chances, allowing a solo homer to Olmedo Saenz, who drove in all three Los Angeles runs.

Cardinals 5, Rockies 4

DENVER — Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to add to the Colorado bullpen's misery.

Pujols put a 1-2 pitch from Jay Witasick (0-2) barely over the left-field wall for a 4-3 lead. The homer halted Witasick's 10-game streak without allowing an earned run and marked the major league-high 11th blown save of the season for Colorado's beleaguered relievers.

Abraham Nunez added an RBI double in the eighth for St. Louis, and after the Rockies cut the lead back to one, Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 15th save, and his 20th straight dating to last season.

Padres 2, Brewers 1

SAN DIEGO — Pinch-hitter Miguel Ojeda doubled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning and the San Diego Padres improved to 21-6 in May, extending the franchise record for most wins in a month.

The Padres extended their lead in the NL West to a season-high three games over idle Arizona. The Padres won their fifth straight game overall and tied the franchise record with their 10th straight win at home.

Geoff Blum singled to center with two outs and scored from first on Ojeda's double into the left-field corner off Jorge De La Rosa (2-1). Blum slid in ahead of the relay throw from Junior Spivey to catcher Chad Moeller.

Scott Linebrink (2-1) allowed one hit in two innings for the win.

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