PITTSBURGH (AP) - Francisco Liriano allowed one run over seven dominant innings, Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 Monday night.
Liriano (11-4) struck out eight and walked just two to win his fifth straight start. The Pirates kicked off the key series at PNC Park by sending the Cardinals to their fourth straight loss to pull within a half-game of the lead in the NL Central.
Clint Barmes doubled twice and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen added two hits and an RBI.
Jake Westbrook (7-5) continued to struggle against the Pirates. He fell to 1-8 against Pittsburgh in his career after surrendering four first-inning runs. Matt Carpenter and Shane Robinson hit RBI singles for St. Louis, which has scored just four runs during its longest losing streak of the season.
BRAVES 9, ROCKIES 8, 10 INNINGS
ATLANTA (AP) - Andrelton Simmons drove in Dan Uggla from first base with a triple off Edgmer Escalona in the 10th inning, and Atlanta won its fourth straight game.
After Uggla led off with a walk, Simmons hit the ball too deep into the gap in left-center field for Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler to keep it from reaching the wall.
Scott Downs (1-0) earned the win after being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels earlier in the day and arriving at Turner Field not long before the first pitch. The left-hander allowed one hit and struck out one in 1 1-3 innings.
Escalona (1-4) allowed one hit, one run and one walk in 12 pitches.
Gonzalez went 5 for 5 with two RBIs after missing the last three games with a sprained middle right finger. He drove in the tying run in the ninth off Jordan Walden.
PADRES 2, REDS 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Chris Denorfia hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Padres.
Chapman (3-4) walked leadoff batter Yonder Alonso on a 3-2 pitch, then Denorfia drove a 98 mph first-pitch offering from Chapman over the center-field fence 423 feet away to deal the Reds their fourth straight loss.
Luke Gregerson (5-5) pitched the ninth for the win.
METS 6, MARLINS 5
MIAMI (AP) - Ike Davis had a go-ahead RBI double in a three-run seventh inning, Daniel Murphy drove in three runs, and New York snapped a five-game skid against Miami.
David Aardsma (2-0) pitched an inning in relief of Jeremy Hefner for the win. Bobby Parnell retired Giancarlo Stanton with runners on first and third to end it for his 21st save in 25 opportunities.
Jeff Mathis drove in two runs for Miami.
Miami's Jacob Turner was in line for the win when he was pulled with a 5-3 lead after 6 1-3 innings. But Miami relievers Mike Dunn and A.J. Ramos (3-4) struggled to get out of the seventh as the Mets scored three runs.
BREWERS 5, CUBS 0
CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Gomez broke a scoreless tie in the ninth inning with an RBI single and Jeff Bianchi added a two-run double to lift Milwaukee over Chicago.
The Brewers, sitting in last place in the NL Central, won for the third time in eight games and ended the Cubs' winning streak at three games.
Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (1-1) gave up the single to Gomez on an 0-2 pitch and Jean Segura easily scored from second to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. With one out and the bases loaded, Bianchi gave the Brewers insurance with a double to right to score two more runs and Rickie Weeks also added a two-run double as Milwaukee batted around in the ninth.