Pirates defeat Braves

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2005

ATLANTA — Zach Duke pitched into the ninth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates got home runs from Jose Castillo and Chris Duffy to snap a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory Monday over the Atlanta Braves.

Duke (4-0) outpitched Tim Hudson (7-6) to end Atlanta's six-game winning streak and become the first Pirates starter in 35 years to begin his career with a 4-0 record. Jim Nelson opened 4-0 in 1970.

In 39 1-3 innings spanning five starts, Duke has allowed only four earned runs for a 0.92 ERA. His streak of consecutive innings with allowing an earned run ended at 30 when the Braves scored in the fifth. It was the first earned run allowed by Duke since the fifth inning of his major league debut on July 2 in Milwaukee.

The left-hander gave up seven hits and one walk in 8 1-3 innings, the longest outing of his brief career. Jose Mesa got two outs for his 26th save in 29 chances.

Castillo drove in three runs, helping Pittsburgh avoid a four-game sweep.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 5

ST. LOUIS — Career pinch-hit leader Lenny Harris had a three-run go-ahead double in the sixth inning and Mike Lowell hit only his second road home run of the season and had three RBIs for Florida, which has won five of six.

Albert Pujols hit his 29th homer, John Rodriguez had two hits and two RBIs, and So Taguchi had three hits for the Cardinals, who opened a seven-game homestand against NL East opponents. St. Louis is an NL-best 66-39 but only 7-9 against the East.

Harris' hit off Jason Marquis (9-9) was his major league-leading 205th as a pinch-hitter. The 40-year-old Harris is 12-for-39 (.308) in the pinch for the Marlins with seven RBIs, and has only eight at-bats as a position player.

Ismael Valdez (1-0) allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings for his first victory since Sept. 28 at Montreal.

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