Smoltz smooth for seventh straight victory

Posted: Thursday, July 21, 2005


  Washington Nationals' third baseman Carlos Baerga slides past Colorado Rockies' catcher J.D. Closser during the third inning, Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at RFK Stadium in Washington. Baerga scored off a hit by Jamey Carroll. AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari

Washington Nationals' third baseman Carlos Baerga slides past Colorado Rockies' catcher J.D. Closser during the third inning, Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at RFK Stadium in Washington. Baerga scored off a hit by Jamey Carroll.

AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari

SAN FRANCISCO — John Smoltz pitched eight smooth innings for his seventh straight win, and rookie Jeff Francoeur went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer in the Atlanta Braves' 4-1 victory Wednesday over the San Francisco Giants.

Smoltz (11-5) allowed six hits and struck out seven. He didn't walk a batter and permitted just two runners to reach second base in his first victory over San Francisco since April 26, 1996.

He even added a run-scoring double in the seventh, padding a lead that was never threatened by the Giants' meek bats. Alex Sanchez's leadoff double and Pedro Feliz's fourth-inning homer were San Francisco's only extra-base hits.

Astros 8, Pirates 0

PITTSBURGH — Andy Pettitte pitched seven sharp innings to extend one of the best runs of his career, and give Houston a sweep of the four-game series.

Pettitte (7-7) improved to 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his last six starts. He struck out seven and walked one, allowing only one runner to reach second after striking out Jose Castillo to leave the bases loaded in the first.

Mets 7, Padres 3

NEW YORK — Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer to move into a tie with Johnny Bench on the career home run list, and Carlos Beltran also had a two-run shot for the Mets.

Tom Glavine (7-7) won his third consecutive decision for New York. He allowed two runs and six hits in six innings and now has given up three runs or fewer in his last five starts. The win was the 269th of his career.

Reds 9, Cubs 3

CINCINNATI — Ken Griffey Jr. hit one of Cincinnati's homers off Kerry Wood, who was forced from the game after only three innings because of a stiff shoulder.

Aaron Harang (6-8) pitched a seven-hitter for Cincinnati's first complete game of the season, slowing a Cubs offense that has nine homers in the series' first three games. Derrek Lee hit his major league-leading 31st and Jeromy Burnitz followed with a solo shot in the seventh.

Dodgers 10, Phillies 2

PHILADELPHIA — Jeff Kent hit a three-run homer and Jayson Werth a two-run shot during a nine-run fifth inning, and Derek Lowe pitched seven strong innings for Los Angeles.

Lowe (6-10) allowed six hits, struck out five, gave up two unearned runs and walked none in winning for the first time since June 6. David Bell hit a two-run homer off Lowe in the seventh.

Rockies 3, Nationals 2

WASHINGTON — J.D. Closser hit a decisive two-run homer off Livan Hernandez — who plunked the previous batter — in the sixth inning, and Colorado hung on to win a road series for the first time this season.

Hernandez (12-4) became the first NL pitcher to hit four batters in a game since Pedro Astacio of Colorado in 2001. He left after seven innings, and the Nationals lost for the seventh time in nine games.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 2

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols homered for the third straight game to back Mark Mulder as the Cardinals won for the fifth time in six games since the All-Star break.

Pujols' two-run homer off in the third off Ben Sheets (5-7) gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. John Rodriguez added his first major league homer for St. Louis.

Mulder (11-5) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his 27th save.

Marlins 9, Diamondbacks 2

PHOENIX — Juan Encarnacion had a homer, two doubles and three RBIs, and Carlos Delgado added a two-run shot.

Brian Moehler (6-6) worked seven innings to extend his winning streak to four straight. He allowed two runs and 10 hits, walked none and struck out five. He also had an RBI double.

American League

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox gave David Wells great run support again, scoring five times before making an out Wednesday and coasting to a 9-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

One start after staking Wells to a 17-1 lead, the Red Sox scored six runs in the first inning and led 9-2 when he left after seven. Wells (8-5) earned his seventh win in eight decisions, allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Twins 3, Orioles 2

MINNEAPOLIS — Jacque Jones homered with one out in the ninth inning for the Twins.

Jones connected on the first pitch he saw from Jason Grimsley (0-1), getting his second decisive RBI in two games. His infield single Tuesday night gave Minnesota a 4-3 win.

Tigers 8, White Sox 6

CHICAGO — Nate Robertson scattered four hits over seven innings, and Chris Shelton and Omar Infante homered as Detroit took two of three games in the series and won for the ninth time in 13.

Robertson (5-7) allowed three runs, struck out six and walked two. Shelton hit a two-run homer in the first, and Infante homered leading off a four-run ninth for the Tigers.

Freddy Garcia (9-4), failed in his bid to win a seventh straight decision. He allowed six runs and 12 hits in eight-plus innings.

Yankees 8, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jason Giambi and Tino Martinez homered twice each, and New York matched its season high with six while winning for the 12th time in 15 games.

Giambi and Jorge Posada put the Yankees ahead to stay with consecutive homers in the second off Joaquin Benoit (1-1), who worked five innings. Robinson Cano added a three-run homer.

Blue Jays 9, Mariners 4

TORONTO — Frank Catalanotto and Shea Hillenbrand homered to highlight a five-run fifth inning by the Blue Jays.

Rookie Aaron Hill also homered, and Gustavo Chacin (9-5) won his third straight start, allowing one run and six hits in six innings.

Richie Sexson and Scott Spiezio homered for Seattle.

Ryan Franklin (5-11) allowed 12 hits and a career-high eight earned runs in 5 1-3 innings.

Royals 5, Indians 3

CLEVELAND — Kansas City's Jose Lima stopped his winless streak on the road at 14 starts and sent the Indians to their 11th loss in 13 games.

Lima (3-8) gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings. He's 1-6 in 11 road starts this season. He last won away from home Aug. 10 for Los Angeles at Cincinnati.

Athletics 3, Angels 0

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Barry Zito combined with two relievers on a seven-hitter to win his fifth straight start, and Mark Ellis and Mark Kotsay homered for Oakland.

Zito (8-8) allowed five hits over seven innings, struck out six and walked two. Huston Street got three outs for his seventh save.

The Angels' Bengie Molina tied a career high with four hits, three of them against the 2002 Cy Young winner.

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