St. Louis nears NL Central title

Sosa's error pushes Cardinals to four-game sweep of Chicago

Posted: Monday, September 18, 2000

ST. LOUIS -- Right fielder Sammy Sosa's three-base error allowed three runs to score in the eighth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 Sunday.

The Cardinals won their seventh in a row, completing a four-game sweep of the Cubs for the first time since 1963. St. Louis cut its magic number for clinching the NL Central to two over Cincinnati.

Expos 5, Mets 0

MONTREAL -- Vladimir Guerrero homered twice and doubled, leading Tony Armas Jr. and the Montreal Expos over the New York Mets.

The Mets fell 2 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta. New York's lead over Arizona for the wild card spot dropped to 4 1/2 games.

Astros 5, Pirates 3

HOUSTON -- Moises Alou hit his 30th homer and drove in four runs as Scott Elarton and the Houston Astros sent the Pittsburgh Pirates to their ninth straight loss.

Pittsburgh's losing streak is its longest since a nine-game skid in 1985.

Reds 8, Brewers 4

CINCINNATI -- Alex Ochoa's three-run homer capped a four-run fifth inning and paced the Cincinnati Reds to a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pete Harnisch (8-6) allowed three solo home runs, but drove in two with a single and a groundout.

Phillies 6, Marlins 5

PHILADELPHIA -- Randy Wolf pitched seven strong innings and Bobby Abreu hit his 24th homer, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Florida Marlins.

Wolf (11-7) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out five and walked none to win for the first time in four starts since Aug. 26.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 1

PHOENIX -- Andruw Jones homered and tripled, and Kevin Millwood outpitched Curt Schilling as the Atlanta Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Braves took a three-game lead in the NL East over New York, which lost to Montreal 5-0. The Mets start a three-game series at Turner Field on Monday night.

The Diamondbacks stayed five games behind the Mets in the wild card race.

Giants 5, Padres 1

SAN DIEGO -- Jeff Kent went 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple as the San Francisco Giants, despite resting four regular starters, beat the San Diego Padres.

Mark Gardner (11-6) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings to win his fourth straight decision, helping the Giants win for the 15th time in 18 games. He had missed his previous scheduled start because of fatigue.

San Francisco's magic number for clinching the NL West is six. With a trip to the playoffs pretty much secure, the Giants rested Barry Bonds, Bill Mueller, J.T. Snow and Rich Aurilia.

Dodgers 12, Rockies 6

LOS ANGELES -- Luke Prokopec, an Olympic hopeful whose promotion to the Dodgers kept him from pitching for Australia in Sydney, got his first major league victory as Los Angeles beat the Colorado Rockies.

Adrian Beltre drove in three runs with two homers, and Chris Donnels and Alex Cora also homered, accounting for the Dodgers' first seven runs. Chad Kreuter added a three-run homer.

Prokopec (1-0), brought up from Double-A San Antonio on Sept. 1, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.

Masato Yoshii (6-15) allowed five runs and five hits in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest start this season.

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