Monday's National League Capsules
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves took another wrenching loss in their September swoon, squandering an early two-run lead against Cliff Lee as the playoff-bound Philadelphia Phillies rallied for a 4-2 victory Monday night.
Lee (17-8) pitched six strong innings, Jimmy Rollins homered and Raul Ibanez drove in two runs, leading the NL East champions past their division rivals to start the final series of the regular season.
The Braves, who began the day with a one-game lead over St. Louis for the wild card, lost their third in a row and seventh in the last 10 games.
With one out in the sixth and the score tied 2-2, Shane Victorino tripled down the right-field line off Cristhian Martinez (1-3). Eric O’Flaherty replaced Martinez and the Braves pulled in the infield looking to cut off the go-ahead run. However, Ibanez grounded one sharply past diving first baseman Freddie Freeman, and Victorino scored the go-ahead run.
Reds 6, Mets 5
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Heisey hit a go-ahead, three-run homer just moments after making a diving catch and Cincinnati held off New York.
Jose Reyes had three hits for the Mets to take over the NL batting lead, but his baserunning blunder in the eighth inning cost them a chance to tie the game. Reyes lined an RBI double into the right-field corner to cut it to 6-5. Perhaps expecting a throw to the plate that would allow him to take third, Reyes took a wide turn around second — much too far. The Reds threw behind him and he was easily tagged out.
Joey Votto and Jay Bruce singled off Tim Byrdak (2-1) in the seventh before Heisey hit the first pitch from Josh Stinson over the 16-foot fence in left field.
Logan Ondrusek (5-5) got one out for the win and Francisco Cordero escaped a jam in the ninth to earn his 36th save.
Nationals 6, Marlins 4
MIAMI (AP) — Michael Morse hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth inning, and Washington rallied past Florida.
The homer came off Edward Mujica (9-6), who was trying to earn the first save for the Marlins since closer Leo Nunez returned last week to his native Dominican Republic and admitted playing under an assumed name.
With two games remaining, the Nationals franchise (79-80) still has a chance at its first winning season since 2003.
Florida led 4-3 when pinch-hitter Laynce Nix and Ian Desmond started the ninth with singles. Mujica retired the next two batters before Morse hit his 30th homer on a 1-1 pitch.
Rookie Atahualpa Severino (1-0) earned his first career win. Henry Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in five chances.
Astros 5, Cardinals 4, 10 innings
HOUSTON (AP) — St. Louis missed out on a chance to join Atlanta atop the wild-card standings when Brian Bogusevic scored on Angel Sanchez’s bunt in the 10th inning to lift Houston.
Slumping Atlanta lost to Philadelphia, but the Cardinals weren’t able to take advantage of the opening. St. Louis rallied from three runs down to force extra innings, but Bogusevic doubled off Octavio Dotel (3-3) in the 10th and advanced on Jason Bourgeois’ bunt. Sanchez then dropped a bunt in front of the plate, and Bogusevic charged home as Dotel mishandled his attempt to flip the ball to catcher Yadier Molina with his glove.
Astros closer Mark Melancon (8-4) pitched two scoreless innings.
Pirates 9, Brewers 8
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Alex Presley homered to lead off the game and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, helping Pittsburgh snap a 12-game skid in Milwaukee.
Presley finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs, reliever Daniel McCutchen (5-3) got the win and Joel Hanrahan held on for his 40th save to give Pittsburgh its fourth victory in 40 tries over the last five years at Miller Park.
Milwaukee (94-66) is the best home team in the majors at 55-24, but failed in its first chance to tie the franchise’s all-time mark for wins at 95.
The NL Central champions are looking to clinch homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and need to finish ahead of Arizona in the standings.
Presley’s two-out double off Takashi Saito (4-2) gave Pittsburgh a 9-8 lead in the seventh and the Pirates shaky bullpen managed to hold on.
Padres 2, Cubs 0
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Mat Latos took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out nine in seven innings to lead San Diego.
It was a strong finish to an uneven season for Latos (9-14) who struggled during the first half. It was the 16th time in his last 17 starts that Latos allowed three or fewer runs. He allowed only two hits before Chad Qualls threw a perfect eighth and Heath Bell a perfect ninth for his 43rd save in 48 chances.
It was the 10th shutout for the Padres and the 10th time the Cubs were shut out.
Casey Coleman (3-9) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out seven and walked two.
Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer, Dana Eveland pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning and Los Angeles won its fourth straight.
Kemp connected against Daniel Hudson (16-12) in the first, hitting a drive to center for his NL-best 38th homer. Kemp also leads the NL with 123 RBIs and is third with a .324 batting average with two games left.
Eveland (3-2) allowed five hits in 5 2-3 innings to snap a personal two-game losing streak and give the Dodgers their second straight win against the Diamondbacks after three straight losses in the season series.
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