NL roundup: Ankiel breaks out of skid with winning hit

ST. LOUIS (AP) " Rick Ankiel hit a go-ahead RBI double after Daniel Murphy misplayed Brendan Ryan's liner to left field for a triple, and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied from four runs down to beat the New York Mets 6-4 Tuesday night.

Albert Pujols had a two-run double, Ankiel broke out of a 1-for-20 slide with three hits for the Cardinals. Khalil Greene, Joe Thurston and Ryan Ludwick also had RBIs for St. Louis.

Jason Motte (1-0) got two outs in the eighth to earn his first major league win. Ryan Franklin pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

Ryan led off the bottom half with a liner off J.J. Putz (1-1) to left that Daniel Murphy charged in for, but Murpy misjudged the ball and fell trying to correct himself. The ball rolled to the wall and Ryan had a triple. Ankiel followed with his double to right.

Carlos Beltran had an RBI double, and Jose Reyes, David Wright and Murphy had RBI singles for the Mets. Pirates 3, Marlins 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) " Jeff Karstens pitched six sharp innings, Freddy Sanchez homered and the surging Pirates beat Florida.

Karstens allowed one and three hits for the Pirates, who lead the league in ERA and have won four of their last five games. Sanchez finished with three hits.

Cameron Maybin hit his first homer for Florida, which has lost two straight against the Pirates after opening the season with an 11-1 stretch.

Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Karstens (1-0) won for the first time since Aug. 6.

Sanchez led off the third with a drive to left-center off Anibal Sanchez (1-1).

Nationals 4, Braves 3

WASHINGTON (AP) " Adam Dunn homered, Washington's beleaguered relievers tossed three scoreless innings for the second day in a row and the Nationals beat Atlanta for their second consecutive victory.

After opening the season 0-7, then dropping to 1-10, Washington is 3-10. Atlanta has lost five of six games.

Shairon Martis (2-0) went six innings and gave up three runs " two earned.

Then came the procession of Nationals relievers: Mike Hinckley went 1 2-3 innings, Julian Tavarez got one out, and closer Joel Hanrahan had an adventurous ninth for his second save.

Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami (1-2) left after failing to record an out in the sixth. Reliever Jeff Bennett gave up the go-ahead run on pinch-hitter Josh Willingham's single to left.

Astros 8, Dodgers 5

HOUSTON (AP) " Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer, Russ Ortiz pitched well after a rough first inning and the Astros ended Los Angeles' eight-game winning streak.

Miguel Tejada drove in three runs and Jose Valverde shrugged off a bruised right heel to shut out the Dodgers in the ninth for his first save.

Ortiz (1-0) gave up three runs in the first inning, then stifled the Dodgers for the next four while the Astros took over. Los Angeles came in with the highest batting average in the majors (.302) and an NL-leading 82 runs.

Clayton Kershaw (0-1) gave up eight hits and six runs in 4 1-3 innings.

Manny Ramirez homered for the Dodgers.

Cubs 7, Reds 2

CHICAGO (AP) " Rookie Micah Hoffpauir homered and hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Rich Harden pitched six strong innings for the Cubs.

Hoffpauir, playing in place of the injured Milton Bradley, hit solo homer in the second inning to tie the score at 1, and his sacrifice fly drove in the first run in a three-run fifth that broke a 2-2 tie.

Harden (1-1), coming off of a poor outing in which he struggled with his control, gave up three hits and walked two whiles striking out eight.

Micah Owings (0-2), undermined by the Reds' bad defense and relief pitching, gave up five runs " two earned " and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Phillies 11, Brewers 4

PHILADELPHIA (AP) " Pedro Feliz homered and drove in three runs, Jamie Moyer pitched six-plus effective innings and the Phillies overcame two homers from Ryan Braun.

Braun had a career-high five hits for the Brewers in a rematch of last year's NL first-round playoff series won by the Phillies. Braun finished 5-for-5 with three infield singles and four RBIs.

Moyer (2-1) allowed four runs and seven hits. The 46-year-old left-hander earned his 248th career win, moving into a tie with Amos Rusie for 45th on the career list.

Brewers starter Manny Parra (0-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings. Milwaukee is off to a 4-9 start.

Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 6

PHOENIX (AP) " Todd Helton broke out of a slump with three hits, including his first homer, and drove in three runs for Colorado.

Helton entered the night hitting .231, 97 points below his career average. He singled twice and added a two-run shot off Jon Rauch in the eighth.

Garrett Atkins also had three hits for the Rockies, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Matt Belisle (1-0) retired all five batters he faced, and Manny Corpas pitched the ninth for his first save in two chances.

Chris Young, Eric Byrnes and Mark Reynolds each homered for the Diamondbacks, who have followed all five of their victories with a loss.

Juan Gutierrez (0-1) was the loser.

Giants 8, Padres 3

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) " Edgar Renteria hit a grand slam off Jake Peavy and matched his career high with five RBIs, leading the Giants.

Peavy (2-2) allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings.

Matt Cain (2-0) beat San Diego for the first time since 2006 and improved to 2-0 for the first time in his career. The right-hander, who didn't get his first win last year until April 23, scattered nine hits over six innings, yielding just two runs.

Renteria was batting just .200 through the first two weeks, leading to some early criticism for the shortstop's $18.5 million, two-year deal with the Giants in the offseason.


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