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Harris' diving catch saves Nationals 1-0 win over Mets

Thursday, May 15, 2008

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Willie Harris' diving catch in the ninth saved the Washington Nationals, who beat the New York Mets 1-0 Thursday behind Jason Bergmann's fantastic pitching performance.

Washington won an unlikely duel between Bergmann and Mike Pelfrey, who carried a no-hit bid into the seventh. Harris' bunt set up Felipe Lopez's sacrifice fly in the eighth, helping the Nationals take three of four at Shea Stadium.

Pelfrey (2-4) held Washington hitless until Boone's leadoff single in the seventh. He allowed one run and three hits in 7 2-3 winnings, the longest outing of his career.

But he was outdone by Bergmann (1-1), recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game. He pitched seven sharp innings, giving up three hits and striking out nine, one shy of his career high. He didn't allow a runner past second.

Dodgers 7, Brewers 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent and Gary Bennett homered during a six-run seventh inning, leading Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers past Milwaukee.

After Jones and Kent hit solo shots, Bennett capped the burst with a three-run homer.

Billingsley (3-5) didn't allow a hit until Brewers starter Ben Sheets, a career .078 hitter, singled with two outs in the fifth. Billingsley gave up three hits and struck out five.

Sheets (4-1) allowed six runs off nine hits. He had five strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings to end the first 4-0 start of his career.

Pirates 11, Cardinals 5

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Jason Bay's three-run homer off Jason Isringhausen snapped an eighth-inning tie and capped Pittsburgh's rally from an early four-run deficit.

Nate McLouth added his 11th homer for the Pirates, who outscored the sagging Cardinals 10-0 the last five innings to take two of three in the series.

Isringhausen (1-5) was demoted from the closer's role last week and was serving as the setup man for Ryan Franklin, but ended up with his sixth blown save in 17 chances.

John Grabow (3-1) got the last two outs in the seventh for the Pirates, who nailed down their eighth victory in 10 games with three more runs in the ninth off Ron Villone.

Cubs 4, Padres 0

CHICAGO (AP) -- Ryan Dempster struck out a career-high 12 and hit a go-ahead single against Greg Maddux during a four-run fifth inning, leading Chicago over the punchless Padres.

Jim Edmonds singled in his debut with the Cubs, who won three of four from the team with the worst record in the major leagues (15-27). NL Central-leading Chicago has won six of seven.

Dempster (5-1) allowed six hits in 8 1-3 innings and walked one, leaving after 115 pitches. He retired 15 straight batters after a first-inning single by Brian Giles, who had three hits.

Maddux (3-4), who entered the major leagues with the Cubs in 1986, made what might have been his final start at Wrigley Field. He allowed four runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Astros 8, Giants 7

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Lance Berkman splashed his major league-leading 15th home run into McCovey Cove, breaking a ninth-inning tie and helping Houston rally past the Giants.

Houston came back from a 6-0 deficit to take three of four from the Giants, its first series win at San Francisco since a three-game sweep in September 2001.

Pinch-hitter Darin Erstad hit a tying, three-run homer in the eighth and Carlos Lee also homered in the inning off Tyler Walker, who faltered on his 32nd birthday. Berkman connected off Vinnie Chulk (0-2) for the first splash-hit homer by an Astro.

Tim Byrdak (2-0) got two outs for the win and Jose Valverde struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 14 opportunities. Byrdak hasn't allowed a run in 11 outings.

Phillies 5, Braves 0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Cole Hamels pitched his first career shutout, Ryan Howard homered and the Phillies moved within a game of the NL East-leading Florida Marlins.

Pedro Feliz and Shane Victorino also homered and drove in two runs each for the Phillies, who lead the major leagues with 59 home runs. Florida has hit 58.

Hamels (5-3) gave up just four hits, struck out six and walked two in his first complete game of the season. Only two runners reached second base against Hamels, who has lasted at least seven innings in eight of his nine starts this season.

All three Phillies homers came against Braves starter Chuck James (2-3), who allowed the five runs on six hits and five walks over four shaky innings.

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