Marlins rip Giants, chase wild card

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2004

MIAMI Alex Gonzalez hit a three-run homer to cap a seven-run first inning, and Mike Lowell drove in five runs to help the Florida Marlins beat the San Francisco Giants 9-1 Tuesday night.

Florida won for the eighth time in 11 games and pulled within four games of the Giants, who began the night tied with Chicago for the NL wild-card lead.

Padres 3, Mets 1

NEW YORK David Wells continued his road dominance, taking a shutout into the ninth inning and pitching San Diego past the Mets.

The only hits against the 41-year-old left-hander until the ninth were a pair of first-inning singles to Jeff Keppinger and Gerald Williams. The Mets knocked Wells out of the game with two outs on a double by Williams and Richard Hidalgo's RBI single.

Pirates 3, Diamondbacks 1

PITTSBURGH Oliver Perez pitched eight sharp innings, Daryle Ward homered and the Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Arizona.

Pirates left fielder Jason Bay reached over the wall to take away a two-run homer from Alex Cintron in the first, and Perez faced few problems after that.

Dodgers 10, Expos 2

MONTREAL Adrian Beltre hit a grand slam to become the first player to reach 40 home runs this year, and Alex Cora homered and had five RBIs to lead Los Angeles over the Expos.

Los Angeles scored eight times in the fifth, its biggest inning of the season. Beltre connected off Rocky Biddle (4-7) for his fourth career slam, his second this season, and Cora hit a three-run drive against Francis Beltran.

Astros 4, Phillies 2

HOUSTON Lance Berkman and Mike Lamb hit RBI singles in the eighth inning and the Astros used a rare relief appearance by Roy Oswalt to defeat Philadelphia.

The Astros won for the seventh time in nine games.

Reds 4, Cardinals 3

CINCINNATI Pitching while appealing a 10-day suspension, Julian Tavarez allowed the game-winning run to score in the 10th inning on Darren Bragg's single, which gave the Reds a win over St. Louis.

Tavarez (5-4), penalized by the commissioner' s office for applying a foreign substances to balls in a game he pitched last week, gave up a leadoff single in the 10th to Juan Castro, who advanced on Jason LaRue's sacrifice.

Braves 6, Rockies 5

ATLANTA Rafael Furcal went 4-for-4, including a two-run triple in Atlanta's four-run sixth inning, and Eli Marrero drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the seventh to lead the Braves over Colorado.

Marrero and Julio Franco each went 3-for-4 for the Braves, who used 14 hits to rally past the Rockies after falling behind by four runs. Atlanta remained 7 1/2 games ahead of Florida in the NL East.

Cubs 13, Brewers 4

CHICAGO Moises Alou homered twice and had a career-high six RBIs, and Derrek Lee hit a grand slam to send Milwaukee to its seventh straight loss. Chicago won for the sixth time in seven games and opened a one-game lead in the NL wild-card race over San Francisco.

Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer, and Corey Patterson went 3-for-4 and scored four runs for the Cubs, who built a 10-0 lead by the fourth.

Matt Clement (9-11) struck out eight in six innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. Chris Capuano (6-8) gave up seven runs and six hits in 1 1-3 innings.

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