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Lopez single sends Nationals past Braves

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Felipe Lopez's bases-loaded hit to left with no outs in the 12th lifted the Washington Nationals to a 3-2 victory over the Braves on Wednesday, dropping Atlanta to 0-9 in games decided by the slimmest possible margin.

The Braves are the first team since the 2000 Houston Astros to lose their first nine one-run games. The loss went to Manny Acosta (0-1), who came in to start the 10th.

The Nationals, meanwhile, have their first three-game winning streak since opening the season 3-0. They fell behind 2-1 in the 12th on Mark Kotsay's RBI single off Saul Rivera (3-1), who nonetheless earned the win with two innings of relief.

Pirates 13, Mets 1

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage of a sloppy performance by the New York Mets, scoring nine unearned runs in a victory.

Pirates right fielder Xavier Nady, traded by the Mets for Perez (2-2) and Roberto Hernandez in 2006, went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny was bent over in pain in the fifth inning with an apparent back problem. The left-hander (2-3), who allowed just one hit and no runs, stayed in to get the final out of the inning and make himself eligible for the win, but did not return.

Cardinals 5, Reds 2

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Braden Looper worked six solid innings and Rick Ankiel had three hits and two RBIs, helping the St. Louis Cardinals hand Aaron Harang another tough luck loss.

Aaron Miles drove in two runs with and Jason Isringhausen earned his ninth save in 11 chances for the surprising Cardinals, who won a franchise-record 18 games the first month of the season. Last year's team needed 43 games to win No. 18.

Looper (4-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings for the Cardinals.

Harang (1-4) has worked at least six innings in each of his seven starts and has little to show for his 2.98 ERA because the Reds have totaled 23 runs in his outings. He allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.

Padres 4, Phillies 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Chris Young pitched six effective innings for the Padres, who won for the second time in nine games.

After giving up a two-run homer to Chase Utley in the first, Young (2-2) allowed three hits over his last five innings, striking out six and walking three.

Tadahito Iguchi had four hits and drove in a run for San Diego.

Joe Thatcher and Heath Bell each pitched a scoreless inning and Trevor Hoffman got his fifth save in seven opportunities with a scoreless ninth. Jamie Moyer (1-2) gave up nine hits and four runs in 5 1-3 shaky innings.

Dodgers 13, Marlins 1

MIAMI (AP) -- Chad Billingsley pitched seven innings to win for the first time this season and Rafael Furcal had a career-high five hits for the Dodgers.

Furcal went 5-for-6 with a double, giving him 17 extra-base hits, the most by a Dodger at the end of April since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Furcal's average rose to .381.

Billingsley (1-4) allowed three hits and one run to lower his ERA from 6.53 to 5.20. He had eight strikeouts, giving him 40 in 27 2-3 innings.

Scott Olsen (3-1) allowed seven hits and four runs in five innings, and the NL East-leading Marlins lost for the first time in his six starts.

Diamondbacks 8, Astros 7

PHOENIX (AP) -- Pitcher Micah Owings' pinch-hit homer off Dave Borkowski (0-2) tied the game in the sixth and Arizona rallied from four runs down to beat Houston.

Chris Young followed with a double, then scored the go-ahead run on Eric Byrnes' single.

The Astros led 6-2 after two innings against Randy Johnson. Houston scored four in the first, three on Carlos Lee's sixth home run of the season.

Brandon Medders (1-0) gave up an unearned run in two innings. Brandon Lyon threw a scoreless inning to earn his ninth save in 11 tries.

Giants 3, Rockies 2

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jose Castillo ended a 450 at-bat homerless drought with a tiebreaking shot to lead off the seventh inning and Fred Lewis preserved the lead with a diving catch in the eighth for the Giants.

Castillo's homer to left field off Ryan Speier (0-1) was his first since Aug. 14, 2006, for Pittsburgh against Milwaukee.

Merkin Valdez (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings to earn his first career win and Brian Wilson got three outs for his ninth save in 10 chances.



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