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National League Game Capsules (Sunday, September 18th)
Final Score: Milwaukee 8, Cincinnati 1
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Carlos Gomez and Prince Fielder each hit two-run homers in the first inning to power the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and a sweep of the three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Corey Hart went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and Ryan Braun added three hits in the victory, Milwaukee's fifth in six games. Rickie Weeks also chipped in two hits and two runs batted in, as the Brewers' top five batters in the starting lineup accounted for 11 of the team's 12 hits and all eight runs. Zack Greinke (15-6) took a no-hitter into the fifth and finished seven innings allowing just two hits with one run. He walked three and struck out 10, improving to 8-2 in his last 11 starts. Matt Maloney (0-3) made the spot start for Cincinnati after Dontrelle Willis was scratched because of back spasms. Maloney got just five outs and was tagged for seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits. He was slated to start Monday against Houston in place of the injured Johnny Cueto, who could miss the rest of the season because of a strained lat muscle.
Final Score: New York 7, Atlanta 5
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Ruben Tejada's RBI single in the eighth inning put the Mets ahead for good as New York took a 7-5 victory over the Braves in the rubber match of this three-game series. Tejada had two hits and knocked in four runs as the Mets won for the second time in three games. Tim Byrdak (2-0) got the win in relief of starter Dillon Gee, who lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks. Byrdak signed a one-year contract with the Mets after the game. Jonny Venters (6-2) gave up the deciding runs to take the loss. Brandon Beachy allowed four runs on five hits and five walks while striking out eight through 4 1/3 innings in the start for Atlanta. Alex Gonzalez homered for the Braves, who have lost six of their last nine games and sit 3 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals for the NL wild card.
Final Score: Washington 4, Florida 3
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Chris Marrero knocked in two runs and Chien- Ming Wang was solid through 6 2/3 innings, as the Nationals downed the Marlins, 4-3, to avoid a three-game sweep. Wang (3-3) allowed three runs on six hits to record his first victory since August 16. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. Drew Storen tossed a scoreless ninth to record his 38th save of the season. Brad Hand (1-8) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- over four innings to suffer his fifth consecutive loss. Brett Hayes hit a two- run home run and Gaby Sanchez added a solo homer for the Marlins.
Final Score: Houston 3, Chicago 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Clint Barmes' two-run single in the first proved to be the game-winner as the Houston Astros held on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a three-game set. J.D. Martinez drove in the other run for the Astros, who had dropped their previous three games. Brett Myers (6-13) won his third straight start as he gave up just two runs -- one earned -- and seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Aramis Ramirez and Bryan LaHair each drove in a run for the Cubs, who have lost four of their past six. Ryan Dempster (10-13) lost his fifth straight decision after giving up three runs on seven hits over seven innings.
Final Score: San Francisco 12, Colorado 5
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Pablo Sandoval homered twice during an eight-run fourth inning, and the streaking San Francisco Giants teed off against the Colorado Rockies, belting a season-high six longballs in a 12-5 romp. Mike Fontenot and Matt Cain added two-run blasts, while Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford both clubbed a solo shot for the Giants. San Francisco completed its first four-game sweep at Coors Field since August 26-29, 2002, and extended its winning streak to a season-best eight games. The Giants are still five games behind the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, but closed to within four games of Atlanta in the wild card race. Despite the rare run support, Cain (12-10) labored through five innings, tossing 111 pitches. The right- hander gave up five runs -- three earned -- on five hits and walked four. The Giants averaged just 3.27 runs in Cain's previous 31 starts this season. Seth Smith and Ty Wigginton both had two hits and an RBI for Colorado. Esmil Rogers (6-6) was tagged for nine runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Final Score: Arizona 5, San Diego 1
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Paul Goldschmidt homered and drove in three runs as Arizona downed San Diego, 5-1, in the finale of a three-game set. Miguel Montero added a solo homer for the D-Backs, who avoided a sweep and remained five games up in the NL West after the Giants won in Denver earlier Sunday. Joe Saunders (12-12) worked 8 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and one unearned run. J.J. Putz recorded the final out with two runners in scoring position to earn his 41st save. Jason Bartlett's third-inning RBI groundout was the lone offense for the Padres, who have dropped four of six. Aaron Harang (13-7) pitched well in defeat, allowing eight hits and two runs in six full frames.
Final Score: Los Angeles 15, Pittsburgh 1
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - James Loney had his first career five-hit game, while Matt Kemp and Jerry Sands both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 15-1, to win the last three games of a four- game series. Los Angeles starter Chad Billingsley (11-10) picked up the win in five innings, allowing one run on four hits while walking two and fanning five. Pirates starter Brad Lincoln (1-3) lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He surrendered six runs on eight hits and struck out one. The Dodgers have won four of their last five, while the Pirates have lost three straight and eight of their last 10.
Final Score: St. Louis 5, Philadelphia 0
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals are injecting more drama into the NL wild card race. Behind a pair of Allen Craig home runs, a two-run blast by Albert Pujols and a stellar outing from Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals continued their late-season surge with a 5-0 win over the newly crowned five-time NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies. Carpenter (10-9) scattered eight hits, walked one and struck out five over eight innings. Fernando Salas pitched the ninth to preserve the shutout. St. Louis upped its September record to 11-5 while closing to within 3 1/2 games of the wild card-leading Atlanta Braves. Cole Hamels (14-9) gave up four runs on seven hits in seven frames for Philadelphia, which has dropped two of three to the Cardinals in a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park that concludes Monday.