Cardinals hold off Astros in slugfest

Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2005

HOUSTON — Reggie Sanders hit a grand slam and pitcher Jason Marquis added a two-run homer during an eight-run third inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals held off the Houston Astros 11-9 Saturday.

Sanders went 4-for-4 with five RBIs, Marquis was 3-for-3 with two hits in the third and Albert Pujols homered in the eighth to help preserve the victory for the Cardinals, who have won 11 of 15.

Jason Isringhausen got three outs for his 17th save in 18 chances, rebounding from his first blown save Thursday against Colorado.

The Cardinals have won five straight and six of seven against the last-place Astros, a totally different club than the one they beat in seven games in the NL championship series last fall.

Mets 5, Giants 1

NEW YORK — Tom Glavine pitched effectively into the eighth inning and New York defeated San Francisco, sending the Giants to their eighth straight loss.

Mike Cameron homered off Noah Lowry (2-6) and Mike Piazza hit a two-run single for the Mets, who have won three in a row and six of eight.

The Giants are on their longest losing streak since also dropping eight straight in May 2000. They finished that season with the best record in baseball.

Phillies 10, Diamondbacks 6, 1st game

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 3, 2nd game

PHILADELPHIA — Placido Polanco homered twice in the nightcap and Philadelphia beat Arizona for its fifth straight victory and a doubleheader sweep.

In the opener, Bobby Abreu homered twice and drove in four runs, Jim Thome also connected and Vicente Padilla (2-5) pitched the Phillies to a win that pushed them above .500 for the first time since April 18.

After taking the second game, the best last-place team in baseball is two games over .500 for the first time all year and even closer to climbing out of the cellar. The Phillies (29-27) have won 14 of 20 overall and are just 1 1/2 games behind division-leading Atlanta.

Brett Myers (5-3) beat Russ Ortiz (4-5) in the nightcap. Ryan Madson struck out four in two scoreless innings and Billy Wagner finished for his 13th save in 15 chances. With Troy Glaus at the plate, Luis Gonzalez was thrown out at second on the back end of a double steal for the final out.

Nationals 7, Marlins 3

WASHINGTON — Nationals outfielder Marlon Byrd knocked over one umpire during an argument with another, an ugly moment in Washington's victory over Florida.

In a rare big-margin victory for the Nationals, Vinny Castilla hit a three-run double, Nick Johnson drove in two runs, and even slumping Cristian Guzman contributed two hits and an RBI.

But the night's most talked-about moment surely will be Byrd's outburst. It came after he was called out on strikes to end the sixth, when first-base umpire Bill Miller ruled that Byrd went around on a checked swing with the count full.

Byrd, thinking he had drawn a walk, was about halfway to first when he realized Miller had called him out. Byrd began arguing with the umpire, and first-base coach Don Buford stepped between them.

As the Nationals took the field for the top of the seventh, Byrd continued arguing on his way to left, and Miller ejected him.

Byrd then headed toward Miller, and second-base umpire Joe Brinkman tried to get in the player's way. They collided, sending Brinkman tumbling to his back on the infield dirt. He was attended to by a Washington trainer, and eventually Byrd walked off the field.

Braves 1, Pirates 0

PITTSBURGH — Julio Franco's two-out double in the ninth inning scored the game's only run, and rookie Kyle Davies shut down the Pirates into the eighth, leading Atlanta over Pittsburgh.

Dominated for eight innings by Mark Redman, the Braves advanced only one runner to second — and that on a strikeout — until the 46-year-old Franco's double off reliever Mike Gonzalez (0-2) scored Brian Jordan, who reached on a force play.

Rockie s 7, Reds 5

DENVER — J.D. Closser hit a two-run double in a six-run sixth inning, and Colorado won its season-high third straight with a victory over Cincinnati.

Clint Barmes added two hits to help Jamey Wright (3-5) win for the first time since May 9. Wright was 0-3 in his previous four starts. Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Dodgers 2, Brewers 1

LOS ANGELES — D.J. Houlton earned his first major league victory in his first start, J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent hit consecutive homers for the second time in three games.

Houlton (1-0) had a 7.13 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season before holding the Brewers to a run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Cubs 11, Padres 5

SAN DIEGO — Greg Maddux won his 309th game, major league batting leader Derrek Lee had two hits during a seven-run fifth inning and the Chicago Cubs won their eighth in nine games.

Even Maddux singled and scored in the big inning, when the first eight Cubs batters reached base, with the first seven scoring for an 11-1 lead. Maddux's victory tied him for 19th on the all-time list with Mickey Welch. Maddux (4-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.

, struck out four and walked one.

Lee went 2-for-5 to raise his average to .380. He was one of six Cubs with at least two hits. Aramis Ramirez and Jerry Hairston had three each.

The Cubs sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth, had eight hits, an intentional walk and chased two pitchers.

Darrell May (0-1) took the loss.

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