ATLANTA Chipper Jones homered twice and pinch-hitter Julio Franco had a go-ahead. two-run double in the seventh inning to lead the Atlanta Braves over St. Louis 9-7 Saturday, only the third loss in the Cardinals' last 11 games.
In a matchup of division leaders, Andruw Jones and Rafael Furcal also homered for the Braves, who opened a season-high eight-game lead over second-place Philadelphia in the NL East. Furcal had four hits.
Albert Pujols homered twice for St. Louis, raising his total to 35 and tying for the major league lead.
St. Louis, 12 1/2 games ahead of second-place Chicago in the NL Central, took a 7-6 lead with an unearned run in the seventh off Antonio Alfonseca (6-4) on an error by Furcal. Ray King (4-2) was the loser, and John Smoltz got four outs for his 29th save.
Cubs 2, Dodgers 0
CHICAGO Kerry Wood (7-5) homered, and allowed four hits and struck out seven in eight innings as Chicago won for just the third time in eight games.
He hit his seventh homer in 305 career at-bats in the third inning off Kazuhisa Ishii (11-6), a drive into the left-field bleachers against a 15 mph wind. Chicago added a run in the fifth when Michael Barrett tripled leading off and scored on Corey Patterson's two-out single.
Mike Remlinger finished with a one-hit ninth for his first save since Aug. 22, 2001, for Atlanta against San Diego. Los Angeles, the NL West leader, had won eight off 11.
Giants 7, Phillies 6
PHILADELPHIA Yorvit Torrealba hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning off former-Giant Felix Rodriguez (4-6).
Cody Ransom, Dustan Mohr and Marquis Grissom also homered for San Francisco, which has won three in a row for the first time in a month. The Giants moved within 6 1/2 games of the Dodgers and remained one game behind Chicago in the wild-card race.
Jason Christiansen (2-2) got two outs in the seventh, and Dustin Hermanson got three out for his second save. Philadelphia dropped eight games behind Atlanta and 4 1/2 games behind the Cubs.
Pirates 6, Rockies 1
PITTSBURGH Jose Castillo drove in a career-high three runs to back a wild Oliver Perez, and Pittsburgh beat Colorado.
Castillo and Craig Wilson homered for the Pirates, who had lost two straight after winning four in a row. Castillo, a rookie second baseman, was 3-for-4 with two singles.
Perez (8-6) matched his career high with seven walks, but allowed only one run and two hits in six innings, striking out six.
Vinny Castilla homered for the second straight game for the Rockies, 4-2 on their seven-game road trip. Jamey Wright (1-1) allowed six runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings.
Marlins 11, Brewers 1
MILWAUKEE Jeff Conine's third grand slam of the season highlighted Florida's seven-run ninth inning.
Dontrelle Willis threw seven strong innings, and Paul Lo Duca and Miguel Cabrera each drove in two runs for the Marlins, who pounded out 12 hits in their largest victory of the year. Florida had lost six of its last seven games on the road.
Willis (9-8) gave up one run and seven hits to earn his second win in six starts since the All-Star break.
Top Brewers prospect Jorge de la Rosa (0-1) made his first career start and gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.
Mets 4, Diamondbacks 3
NEW YORK Cliff Floyd homered and drove in three runs and New York extended Arizona's losing streak to nine games.
Al Leiter (9-4) worked into the seventh inning to earn the victory, the Mets' third in a row and fourth in five games.
Braden Looper pitched the ninth for his 24th save.
Floyd, 2-for-4, entered with a .368 career batting average against Arizona, the third-highest lifetime average for anyone with 100 at-bats against the Diamondbacks. He added to that production against Edgar Gonzalez (0-6).
Expos 8, Astros 3
MONTREAL Nick Johnson hit his first NL grand slam, Tony Armas Jr. pitched five hitless innings before leaving because of a high pitch count, and Montreal stretched its season-best winning streak to seven.
Brad Wilkerson hit a disputed homer leading off the first, and Johnson hit his second career grand slam. Montreal has won 10 of 13 and 16 of 21.
Houston (56-60) dropped seven games behind Chicago in the NL wild card race.
Armas, pitching for the first time in 18 days and limited to 77 pitches, became the second straight Expos starter to have a hitless outing. Jon Rauch held the Astros hitless through 4 2-3 innings Friday before leaving because of injury.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the same team's starters had consecutive hitless outings since the New York Yankees' Fritz Peterson went 1 2-3 innings against the Kansas City Athletics in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 29, 1967, and Al Downing lasted one hitless inning the following day.
T.J. Tucker (3-1) inherited and lost a no-hit bid for the second straight night.
Carlos Hernandez (0-1) took the loss in his first major league start since 2002.
Reds 11, Padres 5
CINCINNATI Wily Mo Pena homered twice and drove in four runs, helping Cincinnati beat San Diego.
Pena and Darren Bragg hit home runs on back-to-back pitches from Brian Lawrence to spark a six-run sixth inning. In the next inning, Pena followed Adam Dunn's major-league leading 36th homer with his 21st on consecutive pitches from Rod Beck.
Bragg, who just joined the Reds on Thursday, went 3-for-3 and fell a triple short of the cycle against his former team.
San Diego was knocked out of a share of the NL wild-card lead with the loss and Chicago's victory over Los Angeles earlier in the day.
Jose Acevedo (5-10) got his first win in 10 appearances since beating Pittsburgh on June 25.
Lawrence (11-10) gave up a season-high six runs and matched his season high by allowing 10 hits. He lost his third consecutive start and suffering his fifth loss in six decisions.
Peninsula Clarion ©2015. All Rights Reserved.