Burnett increases trade value by dominating Nationals

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2005

MIAMI — Making his final start before Sunday's trade deadline, A.J. Burnett pitched seven dominant innings to win his third start in a row and the Florida Marlins extended their winning streak to four games by beating the slumping Washington Nationals 3-0.

The Nationals have lost a season-high six consecutive games and 18 of 23.

Burnett (8-6) becomes a free agent after this season and has been the subject of trade speculation for more than a month. But with the Marlins in the thick of the playoff race, they may decide to keep the right-hander.

Burnett allowed four hits, including two infield singles, and struck out eight.

Guillermo Mota pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. Todd Jones followed with a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances and his fourth in four days.

A 50-minute rain delay after the second inning failed to faze either starting pitcher, and John Patterson (4-3) was almost as good as Burnett. Patterson limited Florida to five hits in six innings, but he threw wild pitches to help Paul Lo Duca score twice.

Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 2

CHICAGO — Arizona rookie Conor Jackson got his first two major league hits, including a go-ahead double in the eighth inning.

Making his first start in the majors, at first base, Jackson hit an RBI double to left in the eighth inning off Roberto Novoa (3-4) to score Troy Glaus and break a 2-all tie. He singled in the second inning for his first hit in his second at-bat.

Lance Cormier (7-1) replaced Michael Gosling with two men on and two outs in the sixth and walked Neifi Perez, who had doubled twice already, to load the bases. He struck out rookie Matt Murton to end the inning.

Greg Aquino pitched the final two innings for his first save of the year.

Troy Glaus hit his 21st homer to lead off the sixth against Rich Hill to tie the game.

Cardinals 9, Dodgers 4

LOS ANGELES — Jim Edmonds and John Mabry hit two-run homers early and David Eckstein added a three-run shot late, powering St. Louis over the Dodgers.

Jeff Suppan (10-7) won his fourth straight road start, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings.

Derek Lowe (7-11) lost for the seventh time in nine decisions, allowing five runs and eight hits over five innings.

Jeff Kent hit his 19th homer for the Dodgers.

Astros 2, Mets 0

HOUSTON — Andy Pettitte baffled the New York Mets for eight shutout innings and Jason Lane spoiled an equally strong outing by Tom Glavine with a towering home run in the seventh inning, sending Houston 10 games over .500.

The Astros have won a season-best seven straight games and 13 of 14. They're also on a 25-5 roll and are 42-17 since bottoming out at 15 games under .500 in late May.

Pettitte (9-7) won his sixth straight decision, scattering three hits and two walks. He struck out six.

Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances.

Glavine (7-9) allowed just five hits, including Lane's homer, and struck out three and didn't walk a batter, needing only 86 pitches over seven innings.

Brewers 7, Giants 1

MILWAUKEE — Ben Sheets pitched a six-hitter and Geoff Jenkins hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the sixth inning.

Sheets (7-7) struck out eight in his ninth career complete game and first since Oct. 2 against St. Louis.

Pinch-hitter Wes Helms hit a three-run homer in the eighth for the Brewers, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the first time in 12 home games against the Giants.

Giants starter Jason Schmidt (7-6) had allowed just one hit through 5 1-3 innings before consecutive singles by Rickie Weeks, Lyle Overbay and Carlos Lee loaded the bases. Jenkins followed with a three-run double into the right-field corner, making it 4-1.

Braves 9, Pirates 6

ATLANTA — Rookie Jeff Francoeur homered and drove in four runs, and Atlanta used a seven-run sixth inning to rally for its fifth straight victory.

Francoeur's two-run double started the scoring in the sixth and gave the Braves their first lead at 4-3. Johnny Estrada and Kelly Johnson followed with RBI doubles to chase Mark Redman (5-11) with none out.

Rookie Kyle Davies (5-3) earned the win after being recalled from Triple-A Richmond earlier in the day. The 21-year-old right-hander, who allowed two hits, three runs, three walks and a career-high eight strikeouts, trailed 3-0 after Bay hit his 19th homer in the first.

Reds 9, Padres 1

SAN DIEGO — Aaron Harang threw eight strong innings against his hometown team, and Sean Casey and Javier Valentin homered as Cincinnati dropped the NL West-leading Padres to two games under .500.

The Padres have lost 11 of 12 overall and 34 of 52 since June 1, when they were 14 games over .500.

During the game, the Padres acquired catcher Miguel Olivo from the Seattle Mariners for catcher Miguel Ojeda and minor league right-handed pitcher Nathanel Mateo.

Harang (7-9), who was born in San Diego and still lives here in the offseason, improved to 3-0 in his career against the Padres. He held them to one run and seven hits, struck out four and walked one.

Astacio (0-2) threw 108 pitches in 4 2-3 innings. He allowed five runs and five hits, walked six and struck out two.

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