Monday's National League Capsules
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Lohse outpitched Roy Halladay, and the St. Louis Cardinals held off the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Monday night to gain ground on Atlanta in the NL wild-card chase.
Lance Berkman homered and had an RBI single for the surging Cardinals, who moved within 2 1/2 games of the wild card-leading Braves. Atlanta lost at Florida.
St. Louis, which took three of four in the series, has won 10 of 12 overall.
Despite the loss, the NL East champion Phillies clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason when Milwaukee lost to the Chicago Cubs.
Lohse (14-8) tossed 7 1-3 strong innings, allowing an unearned run and seven hits.
Philadelphia scored two runs in the ninth off Jason Motte, but Octavio Dotel retired Hunter Pence with a runner on to earn his second save with the Cardinals.
Phillies slugger Ryan Howard (left ankle) is expected to miss a couple of days.
Halladay (18-6) allowed four runs in eight innings. He had won seven straight September decisions and was 9-0 with a 1.97 ERA in his last 10 September starts dating to 2009.
Marlins 6, Braves 5
MIAMI (AP) — The sliding Atlanta Braves stumbled again, losing to Florida on Omar Infante’s two-run homer off Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Atlanta has dropped three of four.
Kimbrel came in with a 5-4 lead and retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth. But Emilio Bonifacio then hit a chopper to third baseman Chipper Jones, who could not come up with the infield hit.
Infante drove a 1-0 pitch to left for his first game-ending homer. His sixth homer of the season came against his former team and handed Kimbrel (4-3) his seventh blown save in 52 chances.
Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward homered for Atlanta, which scored four runs in the seventh to take the lead. Infante had a costly error at second base in the inning, allowing the Braves to score the tiebreaking run.
Mike Stanton homered twice for the Marlins and Logan Morrison added a two-run shot. Clay Hensley (6-6) pitched two scoreless innings.
Diamondbacks 1, Pirates 0
PHOENIX (AP) — Ian Kennedy pitched eight dominant innings to become the NL’s first 20-game winner, Justin Upton hit a broken-bat homer and Arizona moved a step closer to its first NL West title in four years with a victory Pittsburgh.
Kennedy (20-4) allowed one hit, walked one and tied his career high with 12 strikeouts to become the fourth Diamondbacks pitcher to reach 20 wins.
Upton led off the sixth with his 31st homer off Jeff Karstens (9-9), snapping off his bat on a shot to left that was upheld by a video review.
J.J. Putz stranded Alex Presley at third to close out the two-hitter with his 42nd save, dropping Arizona’s magic number to four over idle San Francisco.
Cubs 5, Brewers 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Geovany Soto hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in all of Chicago’s runs in a victory over Milwaukee.
The loss and St. Louis’ win over Philadelphia kept the Brewers’ magic number at four for clinching the NL Central. They are looking for their first division title in 29 years.
The Cubs snapped a six-game losing streak to the Brewers.
All three of Soto’s two-homer games have come against Milwaukee. He hit one off starter Chris Narveson (10-8) in the third and the second against reliever Marco Estrada in the sixth.
Cubs starter Casey Coleman (3-8) allowed one run and two hits in six innings, striking out a career-high eight. He ended a five-game losing streak with his first win since May 19.
Carlos Marmol gave up a solo homer to Casey McGehee in a shaky ninth. Jerry Hairston Jr. also homered for the Brewers.
Astros 3, Reds 2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Matt Downs hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Houston beat slumping Cincinnati.
Downs greeted Nick Masset (3-6) with a leadoff drive to left, sending the Astros to their second straight win after a three-game skid. Six Houston pitchers combined for a four-hitter.
Brandon Phillips hit a leadoff homer in the first for Cincinnati, which has lost four straight.
David Carpenter (1-3) earned his first career win by getting Phillips to ground into a forceout with two on in the seventh. Mark Melancon worked the ninth for his 19th save.
Padres 8, Rockies 2
DENVER (AP) — Cory Luebke took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and San Diego got homers from Cameron Maybin and Aaron Cunningham to beat slumping Colorado.
Mark Ellis homered for Colorado’s only hit. The Rockies have lost five straight and six of seven.
Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (left hip), first baseman Todd Helton (back) and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (right wrist) were out of the lineup.
The Padres have never thrown a no-hitter in their 43-year history, but Luebke (6-9) took a run at it before Ellis connected for a two-run shot with two outs in the sixth.
Luebke, lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth, struck out a career-high nine. Ernesto Frieri pitched two hitless innings to finish up.
The Padres broke it open in the fourth and chased Kevin Millwood (3-3), who allowed seven runs — six earned — and nine hits.
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