While three teams remain bunched atop the wild-card standings, Andruw Jones is giving the Atlanta Braves plenty of breathing room in the NL East.
He and Chipper Jones hit consecutive homers off closer Chad Cordero with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday, rallying Atlanta to a 9-7 victory at Washington. The first-place Braves increased their lead to seven games over Florida, and Andruw Jones connected twice to boost his big league-leading home run total to 49.
''He's totally a star now,'' Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. ''Andruw is putting a lot of guys in his shadow.''
The Gold Glove center fielder is making a strong bid to win his first MVP award. He broke the franchise record of 47 homers shared by Hall of Famers Hank Aaron (1971) and Eddie Mathews (1953).
''All these records I already proved what I can do this season. I just want to get it done, help my team, and get back into the World Series,'' Andruw Jones said.
Brewers 4, Astros 2
At Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer and Rick Helling (2-0) pitched seven strong innings to lead the Brewers.
Houston remained a half-game ahead of Florida in the wild-card race. The Astros, who failed to move a season-high 12 games over .500, begin a four-game series with the Marlins on Monday night at home.
Phillies 11, Marlins 1
At Philadelphia, Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, Jon Lieber (14-12) pitched seven sharp innings and the Phillies moved within 1 1/2 games of Houston in the wild-card chase.
Dodgers 7, Padres 3
At Los Angeles, Brad Penny (7-9) overcame a shaky start to pitch six solid innings, Jose Cruz Jr. and Dioner Navarro hit back-to-back homers, and the Dodgers moved within six games of NL West-leading San Diego.
The win was the fourth in five games for the Dodgers, who have 20 games left and finish the season with a three-game series in San Diego. The Padres dropped to .500 by losing two straight in Los Angeles after winning the opener of the series.
Mets 7, Cardinals 2
At St. Louis, Pedro Martinez pitched eight strong innings to stop his two-game skid and New York's six-game slide.
Carlos Beltran homered and Mike Jacobs doubled twice with an RBI to help the Mets win in St. Louis for the first time in 12 tries and avoid a four-game sweep. Victor Diaz hit a three-run shot in the ninth.
Cubs 3, Giants 2
At San Francisco, Neifi Perez hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth against his former team, and Chicago wrapped up an 8-2 road trip. The Giants have lost five of six.
Reds 5, Pirates 3
At Cincinnati, pinch-hitter Austin Kearns had a tying, two-run single, and Felipe Lopez delivered the go-ahead hit as the Reds came from behind to win.
Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 2
At Denver, Aaron Cook (5-1) pitched his third career complete game to win his fifth straight decision and Matt Holliday keyed a six-run fourth with a three-run double as Colorado ended its four-game skid.
Russ Ortiz (5-10) dropped to 1-8 in his last 11 starts. Troy Glaus homered twice for Arizona.
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