Cubs best Astros to extend NL Central lead

Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2001

HOUSTON -- Jon Lieber pitched a three-hitter and Joe Girardi drove in three runs as the Chicago Cubs defeated Houston 5-1 Wednesday night and extended their NL Central lead to 1 1/2 games over the second-place Astros.

After losing the series opener and dropping out of first place for the first time since May 29, the Cubs rebounded to win the final two games of the series.

Phillies 8, Brewers 6

MILWAUKEE -- Scott Rolen homered and singled as Philadelphia won its fifth straight game.

Rolen went 2-for-4 and is 16-for-30 (.533) during an eight-game hitting streak.

Cardinals 8, Reds 4

ST. LOUIS -- Jim Edmonds homered and drove in four runs to support Woody Williams and lead St. Louis Cardinals to its seventh straight win.

The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 44-23 during the run, which has thrust them back into the NL Central race.

Padres 2, Mets 1

SAN DIEGO -- Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 300th career save, completing a two-hitter that lifted San Diego over New York.

Giants 2, Marlins 1

SAN FRANCISCO -- John Vander Wal's double with two outs in the ninth inning gave San Francisco its fourth straight win. Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds grounded out before Jeff Kent walked, and Preston Wilson couldn't quite get to Vander Wal's hit to center off Vic Darensbourg (1-1).

Diamondbacks 5, Pirates 2

PHOENIX -- Curt Schilling won his career-high 18th game, most in the majors, as Arizona completed a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh.

Braves 7, Rockies 2

DENVER -- Chipper Jones hit a grand slam, John Burkett (10-8) pitched seven strong innings and Atlanta snapped a six-game losing streak.

Dodgers 13, Expos 1

LOS ANGELES -- Shawn Green hit three home runs and had a career-high seven RBIs as Los Angeles stopped a season-high five-game losing streak.

Green hit a three-run homer to left in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth, both off Carl Pavano (0-1). He added a two-run homer in the seventh against Masato Yoshii.

Giovanni Carrara (3-1) allowed on run and four hits in six innings to win for the first time since Aug. 23, 1996, with Cincinnati.

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