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Houston, Clemens smoke Phillies

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

HOUSTON Roger Clemens won for the first time in almost a month the 323rd victory of his career and Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer to lead the Houston Astros over the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 Monday night.

Clemens (14-8), who left in the fourth inning of his start against the Phillies last week after injuring his right calf, hobbled around on the injured leg throughout much of his impressive seven-inning outing.

But he fought through the discomfort, allowing only two runs and five hits in his first win in five starts since July 28 against Arizona. He also had eight strikeouts his most since the win over the Diamondbacks and two walks.

The 42-year-old right-hander trails Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton by one win for 12th on the career list.

Beltran connected in the seventh to become the 45th player in major league history with 30 home runs and 30 steals in a season.

Jim Thome hit his 38th homer for Philadelphia. Cory Lidle (7-12) is still looking for his first win since joining the Phillies in a trade from Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Cubs 8, Brewers 3

CHICAGO Carlos Zambrano took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and struck out nine to lead Chicago over Milwaukee.

Moises Alou went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two doubles for the Cubs, who won for the fifth time in six games and moved less than a percentage point ahead of San Francisco in the NL wild-card standings.

The Brewers have lost a season-high six straight.

Geoff Jenkins broke up the no-hit bid with one out in the seventh when he blooped a double that barely stayed fair down the left-field line. Zambrano (12-7) then gave up three more hits and three runs before he was lifted for Kent Mercker, who pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief.

For the second time this season, the city gave the Cubs a game day go-ahead to play ball at Wrigley Field after the stadium passed another round of inspections of repair work done on its crumbling upper deck.

Chicago shortstop Nomar Garciaparra missed the game because of a strained left wrist and is day-to-day.

Brewers starter Ben Sheets (9-10) gave up six runs and 10 hits six innings. He is 0-5 in eight outings since July 10.

Expos 8, Dodgers 7

MONTREAL Giovanni Carrara walked Juan Rivera with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, spoiling Los Angeles' six-run comeback and handing the Expos a victory.

Trailing 7-1, Los Angeles scored four in the seventh keyed by Steve Finley's three-run double off Joey Eischen. In the ninth, Adrian Beltre tied it at 7 with a two-run shot off closer Chad Cordero (4-3) for his 39th homer.

Brian Schneider hit a one-out double off Carrara (1-1) in the bottom half and Brad Wilkerson was intentionally walked. Carrara struck out Alex Gonzalez before Tony Batista walked to load the bases.

Einar Diaz hit his first NL homer, and Gonzalez and Wilkerson also connected for Montreal off Odalis Perez.

Padres 9, Mets 4

NEW YORK Phil Nevin homered, doubled and drove in five runs, and San Diego built a big lead for Jake Peavy in beating New York.

The Padres roughed up newly promoted Aaron Heilman (0-1) in going ahead 5-0. Mike Cameron rallied the Mets with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, then Nevin broke it open with a three-run shot in the eighth.

Peavy (10-3) has a 2.22 ERA this season and is unbeaten since July 7.

Diamondbacks 5, Pirates 4

PITTSBURGH Alex Cintron's RBI single with one out in the ninth pushed Arizona past Pittsburgh.

Pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga led off the inning against John Grabow (2-5) with an infield single. Pinch-runner Jerry Gil moved to second on Quinton McCracken's sacrifice before Cintron singled up the middle.



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