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Smoltz reaches 3,000 strikeout mark

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- John Smoltz became the 16th pitcher in major league history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, but was outpitched by John Lannan in the Washington Nationals' 6-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Smoltz fanned Felipe Lopez in the third inning, the veteran hurler's fourth of the game, to reach the mark. He struck out 10 for the second straight start and for the 45th time in his 20-year career.

Lannan (1-2), a rookie, allowed five hits in seven innings and the Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak. Washington had lost six of seven and is just 3-15 since winning its first three games of the season.

The Braves' five-game winning streak came to an end.

Smoltz (3-1) allowed a run and five hits in seven innings, and didn't walk a batter. Still, his ERA rose 22 points to 0.78. He got no run support from an offense that came into the game leading the NL with a .286 average.

Brewers 9, Cardinals 8

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Gabe Kapler singled home the winning run with one out in the 12th inning and the Brewers overcame another blown save by Eric Gagne, beating the Cardinals.

The Brewers wasted a five-run lead before Kapler's hit. The Cardinals' loss came with an oddity: Slugger Albert Pujols wound up playing second base for the first time in his big league career.

Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen (1-1) walked Gabe Gross with one out. Gross then easily stole second, with Pujols covering the bag. Kapler followed with a flare to right-center and Gross scored without a throw as his teammates streamed out of the dugout.

Pujols began the game at first base, and shifted over in the bottom of the ninth after shortstop Cesar Izturis left because of a bruised right forearm.

Seth McClung (1-0) pitched one perfect inning to earn the victory. The Brewers' beleaguered bullpen blew an 8-3 lead in the seventh inning -- their defense didn't help, failing to turn a double play that would've ended the game.

Cubs 8, Mets 1

CHICAGO (AP) -- Ronny Cedeno hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, Ted Lilly won for the first time in five starts, and surging Chicago won for the 13th time in 16 games.

The Cubs, who were 7-13 at this point a season ago, had 14 hits and improved to 14-6, their best record after 20 games since 1975.

New York was outscored 15-2 in the two-game series and has lost three in a row following a five-game winning streak.

Lilly (1-3) retired his first 10 batters, lowered his ERA from 9.16 to 7.30 and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter. Lilly allowed one run, four hits and four walks in six innings, striking out four.

Nelson Figueroa (1-1) gave up three runs, seven hits and five walks -- one intentional -- in five-plus innings. Pirates 3, Marlins 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Xavier Nady's two-run single completed a three-run Pirates comeback after a questionable call apparently cost them a run in the sixth inning, and Pittsburgh ended a six-game losing streak by beating Florida.

Paul Maholm (1-2) limited the Marlins to one run and four hits over six innings, ending a slide in which Pirates starting pitchers had an 11.38 ERA over the six games. The Marlins' three-game winning streak was also halted.

Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (1-2) allowed only one hit, Maholm's single, over five shutout innings and appeared to get a break in the sixth when second base umpire Scott Barry called Nate McLouth out at second on a steal attempt. TV replays showed McLouth coming up from his pop-up slide, his foot on the base, before he was tagged by second baseman Dan Uggla.

The call, argued briefly by manager John Russell, may have been what the Pirates needed to shake themselves out of their slump. They responded with four consecutive two-out hits, with Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay getting singles ahead of Ryan Doumit's game-tying RBI double.

Reds 8, Dodgers 1

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jerry Hairston Jr. had four hits in his debut as Cincinnati's leadoff hitter, and Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips each homered, leading the Reds over the Dodgers.

After scoring only three runs over the weekend while getting swept in Atlanta, the Dodgers piled up 15 hits in a 9-3 win on Monday night. Hairston, batting .421 in the minors, was called up before that game, and got the Reds rolling a day later.

He singled and doubled off Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1), then singled home a pair of runs off Scott Proctor as the Reds pulled ahead 7-1 after five innings. Hairston also singled home a run in the eighth, becoming the first Reds player to get four hits in a game this season.

Dunn and Phillips added solo homers -- for Phillips, his first in 72 at-bats -- as the Reds piled up a season-high 15 hits.

Edinson Volquez (3-0) remained unbeaten in four starts by giving up three hits and a run in seven innings, his longest appearance for Cincinnati so far.



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