Tuesday's National League Capsules

Sep 26, 2007 - 5:45 AM By PA SportsTicker

MILWAUKEE 9, ST LOUIS 1 -----------------------

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) - MVP candidate Prince Fielder hit his 49th and 50th home runs and the Milwaukee Brewers climbed a game closer to the Chicago Cubs with a 9-1 victory over the reeling St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

Jeff Suppan pitched eight strong innings, while Rickie Weeks and Bill Hall added home runs to send the Cardinals to their 11th consecutive road loss.

The Brewers (81-76), who trail the Chicago Cubs (83-74) by two games in the National League Central, play their remaining five games at Miller Park where they have won 10 of their last 13 games and are a NL-best 49-27.

Fielder has three home runs in the last two games and is batting .516 (16-for-31) with seven homers and 16 RBI in 10 home games this month. The slugging first baseman was called out for two curtain calls by the home crowd and was serenaded by chants of "MVP" all night.

In becoming the youngest player in history to reach 50 home runs, Fielder surpassed Hall of Famer Willie Mays. Mays set the mark in 1955 when he was 24 years and 137 days. Fielder is 23 years, 139 days old.

Suppan (11-12) improved to 3-0 and has only allowed four runs over 23 1/3 innings against his former team this season. The righthander, who allowed one run and nine hits in eight innings, has won his last three starts at Miller Park and is 8-3 with a 3.76 earned-run average at home.

Milwaukee jumped on St. Louis righthander Braden Looper (12-12) early, pounding him for four runs in the first two innings. Bill Hall tacked on a three-run home run in the fifth and Fielder's second of the night gave the Brewers a 9-1 advantage.

Looper has struggled in night games in his first season as a starter. He is 7-1 with a major league-best 1.69 ERA in 10 day games, but is 5-12 with a 6.78 ERA in 20 night starts. Looper went five innings and gave up seven runs and seven hits.

The Cardinals' 11-game road losing streak is the longest streak for the team since May 12-29, 1978. During the losing streak they have been outscored, 79-32.

Despite going 2-for-3 with a double, Albert Pujols remained stalled at 99 RBI. With one more RBI, Pujols will become the first player in major league history to reach 100 RBI in each of his first seven seasons in the league.

FLORIDA 4, CHICAGO CUBS 2 -------------------------

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Dontrelle Willis tossed eight solid innings and Jeremy Hermida had three hits and two RBI as the Florida Marlins held on for a 4-2 victory over the first-place Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game set.

With the loss, Chicago (83-74), is just two games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers (81-76) in the National League Central Division.

Chicago has not qualified for the postseason since 2003 when it suffered an excruciating seven-game defeat in the NL Championship Series to the eventual World Series champion Marlins.

That series was marred by Cubs' fan Steve Bartman, who interfered with Chicago left fielder Moises Alou - leading to an eight-run eighth inning and an eventual loss in Game Six.

Willis (10-15), who appeared in relief in that contest, again stopped the Cubs in this one - allowing two runs and two hits. He also walked three and struck out seven, setting the club record for career strikeouts with 755 - surpassing A.J. Burnett (753).

ATLANTA 10, PHILADELPHIA 6 --------------------------

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) - Atlanta scored four runs in the sixth inning and went on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-6, in the opener of a crucial three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

The Braves (83-74) won for the eighth time in their last nine games and moved within 2 1/2 games of the San Diego Padres (85-71) for the NL wild card. The Phillies (85-72) fell a half-game behind San Diego.

With Atlanta trailing, 6-5, Jeff Francoeur opened the sixth with a double and scored on Andruw Jones' bloop single to shallow center to tie the game at 5-5. One out later, Geoff Geary replaced Phillies starter Jamie Moyer, but Matt Diaz grounded his first pitch for an RBI single to center, giving the Braves a 6-5 lead.

One out later, Yunel Escobar doubled to put runners on second and third. Edgar Renteria followed with a two-run single to right to give Atlanta an 8-5 advantage.

Philadelphia's Chase Utley hit his 22nd home run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 8-6, but Chipper Jones blasted a two-run home run off Tom Gordon in the ninth to make it 10-6. Jones' 28th homer went off the facing of the second deck in right field.

WASHINGTON 10, NY METS 9 ------------------------

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) - Austin Kearns hit a three-run homer and Tony Batista and Justin Maxwell added solo shots as the Nationals survived a furious rally to defeat the Mets, 10-9.

The Nationals banged out 16 hits and defeated the Mets (87-70) for the fourth time in five meetings this month.

The Mets rallied for six runs in the ninth as Reyes hit a three-run homer off Jesus Colome and Moises Alou hit a three-run double off closer Chad Cordero to cut the deficit to 10-9.

However, Jon Rauch struck out Carlos Delgado while pinch runner Endy Chavez stole third. Paul Lo Duca then flew out to end it.

New York remained two games ahead of the Phillies (85-72) in the National League East. The Phillies lost, 10-6, to Atlanta, so the Mets' magic number for clinching their second straight division title was reduced to four.



PITTSBURGH 6, ARIZONA 5 -----------------------

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - Josh Phelps' two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Adam LaRoche as the Pittsburgh Pirates overcame a four-run rally by the Arizona Diamondbacks in securing a 6-5 victory.

Arizona (88-69), which had won four of its past five and 12 of 17 coming in, still holds a 2 1/2-game lead over San Diego in the NL West with five games to play. The Padres played the Giants later Tuesday evening.

Trailing, 5-1, heading into the eighth, the Diamondbacks made a game of it with four runs. Chris Snyder doubled in the first run, Conor Jackson singled in three runs and Stephen Drew capped the rally with a flare RBI single to left off Salomon Torres (2-4), who got the final out of the inning to record the victory.

In the ninth, LaRoche roped a one-out double off of Brandon Lyon (6-4) and Phelps' plated him with a sharp ground single to left.

Matt Capps earned his 18th save by pitching the ninth.

HOUSTON 8, CINCINNATI 5 ------------------------

CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Craig Biggio had two RBI, including the go-ahead single in the top of the sixth inning, to help lead the Houston Astros to a 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Rookie Josh Anderson had two RBI and fellow rookie Hunter Pence added a solo home run and two RBI for the Astros, who beat the Reds for the ninth time in 13 games this season.

Trailing, 5-4, with nobody on base in the top of the sixth, J.R. Towles reached on an error by Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion to keep the inning alive and knock out Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey.

The Astros took advantage with three straight singles - two off reliever Jon Coutlangus - to take the lead. Anderson tied the game with an RBI single to left and Biggio followed with a run-scoring single to right, giving Houston a 6-5 advantage.

Biggio, who had recorded his 3,000th hit on June 28, announced earlier in the year that he will retire at the end of this season.

Astros rookie starter Felipe Paulino (1-1) earned his first major league win, allowing five runs and eight in five innings. He struck out two and walked one.

SAN DIEGO 6, SAN FRANCISCO 4 ----------------------------

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Brian Giles hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Padres to a 6-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

With four consecutive losses, San Diego (86-71) was on the verge of collapsing both in the National League West and wild card races. The Padres were one out away from falling further until Giles drilled a 2-0 fastball from Brian Wilson (1-2), who blew his first save in seven chances.

Giles had just four hits in his previous 50 at-bats.

The Padres remained one game ahead of Philadelphia (85-72) for the lead in the wild card and moved within two games of Arizona (88-69) for the lead in the National League West. Both Philadelphia and Arizona lost on Tuesday. Colorado (84-72) could remain within a game for the wild card with a win against Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Barry Bonds missed his ninth straight game with a sore toe and was seen working a Fox Sports camera during the game. He has been taking batting practice but it is still unknown whether he will play in the home-season finale on Wednesday.

COLORADO 9, LA DODGERS 7 ------------------------

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Troy Tulowitzki hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning, leading the Colorado Rockies to a club record-tying ninth straight win with a 9-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Because Philadelphia (85-72) lost to Atlanta earlier in the day, Colorado (85-72) pulled even with the Phillies in the wild card race, with each team one game behind San Diego (86-71), which beat San Francisco. The win streak matches the only other time the Rockies won that many consecutive games from August 26-September 5, 1997.

Trailing in the sixth, 5-4, Colorado moved ahead when Ryan Spilborghs singled to lead off the inning. After Dodger reliever Mark Hendrickson (4-8) struck out Jeff Baker and forced Kaz Matsui into a groundout, Tulowitzki belted the second pitch he saw from the lefthander over the fence in left-center to increase his own major league record for homers by a rookie shortstop to 23.

Tulowitzki also doubled and scored in the eighth to increase the lead to 7-5.

Former Dodger Matt Herges (6-1) pitched perfect frames in the sixth and seventh to get the win for Colorado. Reliever Brian Fuentes made things interesting in the eighth, walking the first two batters he faced before surrendering Andy LaRoche's RBI single to trim the lead to 7-6.






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