National League roundup
Phillies 12, Pirates 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Kyle Kendrick pitched eight impressive innings, Ryan Howard hit a grand slam and had six RBIs, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-2 on Monday night.
Jayson Werth had a three-run homer for the NL East-leading Phillies, who have won four straight and 12 of 15. The two-time defending NL champions are 24-13 despite a slew of injuries.
Pitching in a steady rain, Kendrick (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits, striking out four.
The Phillies got one of their injured stars back when Jimmy Rollins returned to the lineup after missing 29 games with a calf injury. The three-time All-Star shortstop and 2007 NL MVP had two hits and an RBI.
Pirates starter Charlie Morton (1-7) gave up six runs and six hits in four innings.
Padres 3, Giants 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Adrian Gonzalez homered off Matt Cain, Clayton Richard and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Padres stayed atop the NL West by beating the Giants for the seventh straight time this season in a matchup of the division’s top two teams.
The Padres bounced back from being swept in three games by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants came in trailing San Diego by a half-game after they swept the Houston Astros.
Richard (3-2) beat Cain (2-3) for the second time in a span of six games by holding the Giants to one run and three hits in seven innings. The left-hander also beat Cain 5-2 at San Francisco on Wednesday in the middle game of a three-game sweep.
Mets 3, Braves 2
ATLANTA (AP) – Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets a lift with 7 2-3 strong innings and New York beat the Braves to end a five-game losing streak.
Pelfrey (5-1) became the first Mets starting pitcher to win a game this month. He was perhaps an unlikely choice to end the May drought as he improved to only 3-10 in 19 career starts in the month.
Rod Barajas gave the Mets a 2-0 lead with a two-run double off Derek Lowe (5-4) in the second.
Pedro Feliciano struck out Brian McCann with the bases loaded in the eighth to protect a one-run lead. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his sixth save. With two outs, Yunel Escobar walked and stole second. Rodriguez struck out Nate McLouth to end the game.
Reds 6, Brewers 3
CINCINNATI (AP) – Jonny Gomes’ three-run homer completed a five-run rally in the seventh inning, and the Reds made sure they’d stay in first place for yet another day by beating the Brewers.
Gomes’ homer off Todd Coffey (1-1) sent the Reds to their eighth victory in nine games. They moved into first place in the NL Central on Sunday – they haven’t been there this deep into a season since 2006.
Johnny Cueto (3-1) fanned seven and gave up seven hits in seven innings, including Corey Hart’s solo homer. Hart also homered off Daniel Ray Herrera in the ninth.
The sleepy and slumping Brewers lost their season-high seventh straight.
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 1
MIAMI, Fla. (AP) – Edwin Jackson struck out a career-high 12 in eight shutout innings to lead the Diamondbacks to a victory over the Marlins.
Stephen Drew, John Hester, and Conor Jackson each drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who won for just the second time in 10 games.
Jackson (2-5), who went 13-9 with Detroit last season and earned a spot on the All-Star team, came in with a 1-5 record and 7.43 ERA. In addition to his struggles, he was facing a team that he was 0-3 with an ERA over 11 in four career appearances.
Chris Volstad (3-4) took the loss.
Manuel Gonzalez became the first Venezuelan umpire in major league baseball history, working at third base. Gonzalez, 30, was filling in for John Hirschbeck, who was dealing with a personal matter.
Cardinals 6, Nationals 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Albert Pujols had three hits and a walk and helped fuel a four-run first inning from the cleanup slot in the Cardinals’ victory over the Nationals.
Kyle Lohse (1-3) became the final member of the rotation to win, a day after the Cardinals fell out of the NL Central lead for the first time since July 30, 2009. Jason Motte struck out pinch hitter Adam Dunn on a high fastball with two men in scoring position to end the seventh for St. Louis, which won for only the fourth time in 13 games.
The big first inning against Craig Stammen (1-2) came with Pujols batted fourth for the first time since May 30, 2003.
Cubs 4, Rockies 2, 11 innings
CHICAGO (AP) – Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, his first home run in more than a month, lifting the Cubs to a victory over the Rockies.
Starlin Castro opened the 11th with his third hit of the game, a single off Matt Belisle (1-1). After Derrek Lee lined out, Ramirez lined a 1-0 pitch through a stiff wind into the left-field bleachers.
Ramirez, who also drove in Chicago’s first run with a first-inning single, has been in a season-long slump. Even after the two-hit game, he is batting only .175 after hitting .300 in his first seven seasons with the Cubs.
Sean Marshall (3-1), the fourth Cubs pitcher, worked two perfect innings, striking out four.
Dodgers 6, Astros 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) – John Ely pitched his third straight game of six or more innings without issuing a walk, Casey Blake and Blake Dewitt each drove in two runs and the Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight games with a victory over the Astros.
Ely (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings and struck out eight, six days after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks for his first big league victory.
The rookie right-hander, who turned 24 last Thursday, has faced 84 consecutive batters without allowing a base on balls.
Wandy Rodriguez (2-5) allowed four runs – one earned – and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. His only strikeout came against his first batter, Russell Martin.