Cardinals continue to own Astros at Busch Stadium

Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2005

ST. LOUIS — Jason Marquis pitched eight sharp innings to earn his first victory in more than a month, and Larry Walker hit a three-run homer to help the St. Louis Cardinals continue their dominance of the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium with a 4-2 win Saturday.

Dating back to Game 1 of last year's National League championship series, the Cardinals have beaten the Astros nine straight at home. St. Louis has won eight of 10 against Houston overall this year.

The loss snapped Houston right-hander Roy Oswalt's six-start winning streak. Oswalt (12-8) had not lost since dropping a 3-1 decision to the New York Mets on June 7. He had an ERA of 0.96 in his previous six starts. Oswalt gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings Saturday.

Marquis (9-6) won for the first time in six starts dating to June 10. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0

CHICAGO — Zach Duke outpitched Greg Maddux for eight innings, allowing six hits.

In his third career start, Duke (2-0) struck out four and extended his scoreless innings streak to 17. The 22-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.23.

Jason Bay ended an 0-for-18 slump with a homer as the Pirates snapped the Cubs' five-game winning streak. Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances.

Dodgers 5, Giants 4

LOS ANGELES — Jason Phillips hit a two-out, RBI single to cap a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Dodgers to their first win in seven games.

The Dodgers entered the ninth with only one hit since the third, and Tyler Walker (2-2) retired the first two batters before pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz drew a four-pitch walk. Oscar Robles followed with a single to center, and Cesar Izturis grounded an 0-2 pitch off the first base bag and into the right-field corner for an RBI double to tie it.

Jeff Kent was walked intentionally to set the stage for Phillips, who grounded a full-count pitch into right field.

Braves 3, Mets 0

NEW YORK — Tim Hudson pitched five-hit ball for six innings and scored a run in his first start in over a month for Atlanta.

Kelly Johnson had two hits with two RBIs for the Braves, who has won two straight following a three-game losing streak.

Hudson was activated from the disabled list before the game and was on the mound for the first time since June 13, when he was forced out after 2 2-3 innings by a strained muscle in his left side.

But Hudson (7-5) showed little signs of rust, striking out one without walking a batter. He is 2-0 against New York this season and hasn't allowed a run in 14 innings.

Chris Reitsma worked the ninth for his ninth save in 13 chances.

Victor Zambrano (4-8) allowed fewer than three earned runs for the 16th time in 17 starts but he is 0-2 in his last three outings. He scattered six hits, striking out six and walking four.

Reds 7, Rockies 6

CINCINNATI — Wily Mo Pena doubled home the tying run in the eighth inning and Ray Olmedo followed with a pinch-hit double, rallying the Reds past Colorado.

The Rockies blew four leads in a back-and-forth game between the NL's two worst teams, falling to 7-35 on the road — worst in the majors. The Rockies have yet to win a series on the road.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit a solo homer for the second consecutive game, leaving him with 520 for his career. Rich Aurilia also had a two-run homer and an RBI single, helping the Reds play catch-up.

Dan Miceli (0-1) was the loser and Jason Standridge (1-0) pitched an inning for the victory. David Weathers got the final two outs for his fifth save in seven chances.

Nationals 5, Brewers 3

MILWAUKEE — Jose Guillen's two-run single in the seventh inning snapped a tie, and Washington ended a four-game losing streak.

Jose Vidro homered and Vinny Castilla added two run-scoring doubles for the Nationals, who won for just the third time in 10 games and remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East.

Esteban Loaiza (6-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings and Chad Cordero pitched the ninth to earn his major league-leading 32nd save.

Ricky Bottalico (2-2) took the loss as the Brewers had their four-game winning streak snapped. Starter Chris Capuano gave up three runs over six innings.

Phillies 10, Marlins 5

PHILADELPHIA — Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and Jon Lieber earned his first win in seven starts as the Phillies won for the fourth time in six games.

Todd Pratt added a solo homer and an RBI single for the Phillies, who have scored 30 runs in the first three games.

Lieber (9-8) allowed four runs and nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts in six innings. He was 0-4 in six starts since beating Texas on June 7.

Juan Encarnacion hit a three-run homer for Florida, which has lost five of six.

Philadelphia jumped on rookie starter Scott Olsen (1-1) for three runs in the first inning, which was extended because of an error by Alex Gonzalez.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1

SAN DIEGO — Ryan Klesko homered for the second straight night, and Damian Jackson and Khalil Greene also connected to lead the Padres.

All-Star Jake Peavy (8-3) pitched seven strong innings to snap a two-game losing skid. He held the Diamondbacks to one run on six hits while striking out eight and walking two.

Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save. With 420 career saves, he needs just four to tie John Franco for second on the all-time list.

Claudio Vargas (3-5) lost for the first time in four decisions. He allowed three runs and three hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.

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