Braves walk away with NL East lead

Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2005

ATLANTA — Andruw Jones drew a bases-loaded walk from Luis Ayala in the 10th, capping a comeback that gave Atlanta the 3-2 victory Tuesday night and sole possession of first place in the NL East.

Washington closer Chad Cordero blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth, spoiling a strong start by Livan Hernandez against Atlanta's John Smoltz in a matchup of All-Star pitchers. The Braves tied it when Jones doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam LaRoche, who homered earlier.

Rookie catcher Brian McCann led off the 10th with a single against Mike Stanton (0-1), and pinch-runner Jeff Francoeur advanced to second on pinch-hitter Julio Franco's sacrifice. Nationals manager Frank Robinson ordered an intentional walk to Rafael Furcal.

After Kelly Johnson popped out for the second out, Robinson brought in Ayala, who hit Marcus Giles with a pitch, loading the bases. Jones, who already had a triple and a double, took four straight balls.

Pirates 6, Marlins 3

MIAMI — Matt Lawton and Chris Duffy had four hits apiece to help Pittsburgh come from behind twice.

Josh Fogg (5-6) lasted just 5 1-3 innings but won for the first time in 10 starts since his most recent victory on June 1, also against Florida.

Astros 2, Phillies 1

HOUSTON — Mike Lamb led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run and Roy Oswalt threw a complete game to move into a tie for the most wins in the National League.

Houston has won nine of 10 games, while Philadelphia has lost eight of 11 road games.

Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 2

MILWAUKEE — Geoff Jenkins homered to open Milwaukee's six-run seventh, and Lyle Overbay also connected in a come-from-behind victory.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the seventh, the Brewers started the inning with four straight hits and sent 10 batters to the plate. Jenkins led off with his 13th homer off Brandon Webb (8-8), then Russell Branyan singled and Damian Miller doubled to chase Arizona's starter. Carlos Lee finished the rally with a run-scoring single.

Rockies 4, Mets 3

DENVER — Jeff Francis pitched into the seventh and Dustan Mohr homered for Colorado, which played without All-Star first baseman Todd Helton, who strained a calf muscle running the bases Monday.

He was replaced by Ryan Shealy, who had a run-scoring single in Colorado's three-run third and made a tough stop on a one-hopper by Cliff Floyd to start an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

Cardinals 4, Padres 2

SAN DIEGO — Albert Pujols homered and John Gall had a hit and scored twice in his major league debut as St. Louis handed the Padres' their season-high eighth straight loss. San Diego fell to .500 (50-50) for the first time since May 4.

Mark Mulder (12-5) won his fourth straight decision for the Cardinals.

Dodgers 7, Reds 4

LOS ANGELES — Cesar Izturis hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning and Los Angeles got homers from Jeff Kent and Olmedo Saenz.

Odalis Perez (6-5) gave up three runs — two earned — and eight hits in seven innings. It was the third straight start the left-hander didn't allow a walk.

Giants 3, Cubs 2, 11 innings

CHICAGO — Long after Greg Maddux got his 3,000th strikeout, Jason Ellison singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning to send the San Francisco Giants to a victory.

Deivi Cruz and Mike Matheny hit consecutive one-out singles in the 11th off Glendon Rusch (5-4). Michael Wuertz then struck out pinch-hitter Yorvit Torrealba before Ellison hit a 1-2 pitch up the middle to score Cruz.

Jason Christiansen (6-1) worked two innings of scoreless relief for the win, and Tyler Walker got three outs for his 16th save in 21 chances.

The start was delayed 2 hours, 43 minutes by rain, and the game lasted 3:28. The teams play again Wednesday at 1:20 p.m.

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