Sunday's National League Capsules

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Roy Oswalt pitched six strong innings against his former team and Ryan Howard homered and drove in four runs to help the Philadelphia Phillies complete a season-opening, three-game sweep with a 7-3 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.

Oswalt (1-0), who spent 10 years with the Astros before a midseason trade to Philadelphia last year, allowed two runs on five hits while striking out six and walking one in his first start against his former club. It was the first walk by the Phillies’ heralded starters this season — Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee didn’t issue a free pass in their outings.

Howard gave Oswalt some early run support, launching a three-run shot in the first. He also had an RBI double in the third and is 7 for 13 with six RBIs through three games.

Ben Francisco also homered for Philadelphia, which opened a home series with three wins for the first time since 1970.

Bud Norris (0-1) Happ, was roughed up in his first start, allowing five runs and six hits in four innings while managing seven strikeouts. Hunter Pence homered and had three hits for the Astros.

Cardinals 2, Padres 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaime Garcia threw a four-hitter with a career-best nine strikeouts, moving beyond a shaky spring as St. Louis beat San Diego to avoid a season-opening sweep at home.

Yadier Molina’s RBI single off Dustin Moseley (0-1) in the fifth inning was the difference for the Cardinals, who haven’t been swept by the Padres at home since 1980. Moseley allowed only four hits in seven strong innings for San Diego, which missed a chance to open 3-0 for the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since 1984, when it won the NL pennant.

Garcia (1-0) walked two in his second career shutout and the majors’ first this season, needing only 102 pitches in a game that lasted 2 hours, 3 minutes.

Dodgers 7, Giants 5

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marcus Thames tripled in the go-ahead run during a four-run seventh inning as the Dodgers took three of four from the defending World Series champions.

The Dodgers scored all four runs off reliever Dan Runzler (0-1).

Pinch-hitter Aaron Miles followed Thames’ clutch hit with a single to right, scoring pinch-runner Tony Gwynn Jr. Rafael Furcal doubled deep to right center, scoring Miles and making it 6-3. They added another run on Andre Ethier’s single.

Hiroki Kuroda (1-0) allowed three runs and six hits — including homers to Pablo Sandoval and Pat Burrell — in seven innings. He struck out five, walked none and retired 14 consecutive batters during one stretch.

Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth to earn his third save in as many games, although he gave up a leadoff homer to pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand.

Reds 12, Brewers 3

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ryan Hanigan hit two of Cincinnati’s four homers on a windy afternoon, finishing with a career-high four hits as the Reds completed an emphatic season-opening sweep by overpowering Milwaukee.

Hanigan’s first career multihomer game highlighted an afternoon of all-or-nothing swings into a brisk wind, connecting on solo and three-run shots. Jonny Gomes and Brandon Phillips also homered.

Bronson Arroyo (1-0) went seven innings even though he’s still recovering from mononucleosis, giving up solo homers to Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun.

The Reds are 3-0 for the first time since 2005, when they swept the Mets to open the season. They’ve won 18 of their last 21 against the Brewers, who are 0-3 for the first time since 2003.

Cincinnati had 19 hits, matching its season high from last year when it won the NL Central and had the league’s top offense. Randy Wolf (0-1) lasted only six innings, giving up six runs and 10 hits.

Mets 9, Marlins 2

MIAMI (AP) — Willie Harris and Ike Davis homered, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey picked up where he left off last year and New York beat Florida to win the season-opening series two games to one.

Dickey (1-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits, struck out seven and walked three. The right-hander went 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA last season with the Mets, easily the best year of his career.

New York jumped all over Javier Vazquez (0-1), who was making his Marlins debut. Jose Reyes led off the game with a double and Harris followed with a drive over the fence in right.

Vazquez, who signed a $7 millon, one-year contract over the winter, was charged with seven runs, four earned, and six hits in 2 1-3 innings. He also walked five.

Braves 11, Nationals 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tim Hudson pitched seven solid innings in another strong start against Washington and Brian McCann had four RBIs for Atlanta.

Hudson (1-0) gave up one run and three hits, struck out five and walked one. He didn’t allow a baserunner after Danny Espinosa singled to lead off the second, getting 18 consecutive outs.

Hudson improved to 11-2 with a 1.88 ERA against the Nationals franchise.

McCann drove in four runs on three singles for the Braves, who took two of three in the season-opening series. Martin Prado had three hits, including two doubles, and an RBI after opening the season 0 for 9.

Atlanta put the game away with a six-run eighth.

Jordan Zimmermann (0-1) pitched six innings for Washington and was charged with three runs, two earned, and four hits.

Pirates 5, Cubs 4

CHICAGO (AP) — Pedro Alvarez drove in two runs with an infield single off closer Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning and Pittsburgh rallied past Chicago to take two of three in the series.

With the Cubs leading 4-3, Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones led off the ninth with a walk against Marmol (0-1) and Neil Walker singled before Lyle Overbay sacrificed to put runners at second and third.

Alvarez hit a slow roller to shortstop Starlin Castro. As Jones raced home, Castro’s throw to first pulled Carlos Pena off the bag and Walker rounded third. Pena threw to the plate, but Walker made a hard slide under Cubs catcher Geovany Soto to score the go-ahead run.

The Pirates won only four road series last season, two at Wrigley Field. Now they have another.

Jeff Karstens (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Joel Hanrahan the ninth for his second save, getting Marlon Byrd to hit into a game-ending double play with runners at first and third.

Pittsburgh’s rally prevented Matt Garza from getting a victory in his Cubs debut. He left with a 4-3 lead after allowing 12 singles and striking out a career-high 12 in seven innings.

Alfonso Soriano homered for Chicago and Carlos Pena had a two-run double. Castro tripled twice.

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