Saturday's National League Capsules

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ramon Hernandez broke open a close game with his sixth career grand slam and the Cincinnati Reds overpowered the Pirates 11-2 on Saturday, sending Pittsburgh to its fifth loss in six games.

Hernandez’s fifth-inning homer was his third hit off James McDonald (0-1), who let a tied game get away quickly. The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate for seven runs in the inning, capped by Drew Stubbs’ two-run homer.

Jonny Gomes also had a solo shot and a two-run homer. The Reds’ four homers matched their season high.

Mike Leake (2-0) was a little off with his control in an unexpected start. He filled in for Edinson Volquez, who was pushed back a day because of a stiff neck. Leake gave up four hits and walked four in six innings.

National League MVP Joey Votto had a triple among his three hits, raising his average to .451.

Cardinals 9, Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Allen Craig hit a three-run homer and St. Louis defeated the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers to win its fourth in a row and sixth in seven games.

It was the seventh straight game that the Cardinals scored six or more runs and the first time in six games that they didn’t put up at least 14 hits. They had 13, including five straight in the ninth off Ramon Troncoso, to win their third in a row over Los Angeles.

Kyle McClellan (2-0) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings to earn his second major league victory as a starter in six days. He did not walk a batter.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-2) labored through 4 2-3 innings. The left-hander gave up five runs and six hits, struck out a season-low five and walked a season-high five.

Los Angeles lost its fifth in a row and sixth in seven games.

Braves 4, Mets 2, 1st game

Braves 4, Mets 0, 2nd game

ATLANTA (AP) — Jair Jurrjens threw seven sharp innings in his return from the disabled list and Atlanta shut out the struggling New York Mets on two hits to complete a doubleheader sweep.

In the opener, Alex Gonzalez hit two of Atlanta’s four solo homers and the Braves finally provided some offense for Derek Lowe.

The Mets were swept in a doubleheader for the second time in three days to extend their losing streak to seven games, their longest since dropping 11 straight in 2004. Colorado swept the Mets in New York on Thursday.

The Mets (4-11) have matched the third-worst start in franchise history, according to STATS LLC. They opened 3-12 in 1962 and 1964. They also lost 11 of their first 15 games in 1974 and 1981.

New York has lost 10 of 11 after winning three of its first four games under new manager Terry Collins.

Jurrjens (1-0) looked strong in his return from a right oblique strain, facing the minimum 15 batters through five innings. He gave up two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. George Sherrill and Scott Linebrink finished the two-hitter.

Mike Pelfrey (0-2) allowed 11 hits and four runs in five-plus innings.

Chipper Jones and rookie Freddie Freeman also homered for the Braves in the opener. Lowe (2-2) gave up two runs in six innings and Craig Kimbrel earned his fourth save.

D.J. Carrasco (0-1) gave up four hits, including three homers, in 3 2-3 innings as a fill-in starter for the Mets, who placed right-hander Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis.

Astros 5, Padres 3

HOUSTON (AP) — Pinch-hitter Joe Inglett had a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning and Houston beat San Diego.

With the score tied 3-all, Inglett hit the first pitch from Chad Qualls for an RBI single. Angel Sanchez also had a run-scoring single in the seventh.

Mark Melancon (1-0) entered with runners on first and third in the seventh and got Orlando Hudson to hit a low fly to left. Carlos Lee made a diving catch to keep the score tied.

Brandon Lyon got his third save in four chances. Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer for the Astros.

Mat Latos (0-2) pitched 6 1-3 innings for the Padres. He walked consecutive batters in the seventh to set up Inglett’s go-ahead hit.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 3

PHOENIX (AP) — Freddy Sanchez doubled home the tying run in the sixth inning, then put San Francisco ahead for good with a two-run single in the seventh and the Giants won their fourth in a row by beating Arizona.

San Francisco starter Barry Zito sprained his right foot lunging for a bunt in the second inning and left the game. Giants reliever Guillermo Mota pitched a career-long 4 1-3 innings to get the victory. Mota (1-0) allowed one run and three hits, striking out four with no walks.

The Diamondbacks tied a franchise record by converting five double plays to erase a big share of San Francisco’s 13 hits.

Buster Posey hit an early two-run homer off Joe Saunders (0-3), who gave up five runs and 12 hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Brian Wilson pitched a perfect ninth to give him a save in each of the Giants’ four straight wins. The reigning World Series champions have won seven of nine after opening the season 1-4.

Cubs 8, Rockies 3

DENVER (AP) — Casey Coleman scattered four hits while working into the sixth inning and Starlin Castro went 4 for 5 with a three-run homer as Chicago snapped Colorado’s seven-game winning streak.

Alfonso Soriano also went deep for the Cubs, who had 17 hits and ended a six-game skid at Coors Field that dated to Aug. 9, 2009.

The Rockies, who were missing Carlos Gonzalez (soreness) and Todd Helton (rest) from their starting lineup, hadn’t been blown out all year, losing just twice in their first 13 games, both in extra innings.

Jason Hammel (1-1) became the first Colorado starter to lose this season, allowing three runs and seven hits over six innings.

Despite walking three and hitting two batters with pitches, Coleman (1-0) kept the Rockies off balance while giving up just one run.

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