Oswalt shuts down Cubs' offense

Monday, September 1, 2008

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Roy Oswalt allowed four hits and came within two outs of a shutout and the Houston Astros ran their winning streak to six games with a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

The Cubs have lost three straight, all at home -- their first three-game skid at Wrigley Field since August of last year. They remained 4 1/2 game ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central after Milwaukee lost 4-2 to the Mets.

Oswalt (13-9), who has won seven of his last eight decisions, took a two-hit shutout into the ninth. But pinch-hitter Daryle Ward and Alfonso Soriano hit back-to-back singles with one out before Jose Valverde was summoned from the bullpen.

Valverde got his 38th save in 44 chances when Kosuke Fukudome hit into a forceout and Derrek Lee flied out to the right field warning track to end the game.

Jason Marquis (9-8) went six innings and allowed five hits and two runs with a season-high eight strikeouts.

Mets 4, Brewers 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Carlos Delgado's two-run home run off Eric Gagne in the eighth inning propelled New York to a victory over the Brewers.

Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets pitched five scoreless innings but left the game due to tightness in his left groin. The extent of the injury was not immediately known.

Nelson Figueroa (3-3) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the victory in relief of Johan Santana. Luis Ayala pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

Gagne (4-3) gave up three runs and four hits in the eighth. He has a 6.81 ERA this year after signing a $10 million, one-year contract with the Brewers.

Six Milwaukee relievers allowed four runs and seven hits with four walks in the final four innings. Nationals 7, Phillies 4

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run home run and the Nationals won their seventh straight game.

Starter Tim Redding didn't allow a hit in the first five innings for the Nationals, who are on their best streak since a 10-game stretch in June 2005.

The Phillies dropped two games behind the Mets in the NL East.

The only two hits given up by Redding (10-8) came in the sixth, before he was lifted for a reliever. Redding allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings. He hit two batters.

Kyle Kendrick (11-8) got the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits in four innings. Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer for the Phillies, his 10th. Rockies 4, Giants 0

DENVER (AP) -- Jorge De La Rosa pitched seven shutout innings and had an RBI single, Willy Taveras stole three bases and scored twice and Colorado shut out San Francisco.

De La Rosa (8-7) was sharp for the fifth straight start, allowing four hits, striking out six and walking one. He didn't allow a runner past first base and twice erased leadoff singles by inducing double plays.

The defending NL champion Rockies began September six games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West. They are hoping for another spectacular finish, after going 20-8 last September. Colorado has won 14 of their last 15 September games overall.

Jonathan Sanchez (8-10), who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, struck out six, walked three and allowed only three hits in seven innings.

Molina had three hits for the Giants, who have lost six of their last seven.

Marlins 4, Braves 3

MIAMI (AP) -- Jorge Cantu homered and John Baker hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run in the ninth, helping Florida beat Atlanta.

Baker's fly ball to shallow left drove in Dan Uggla, who beat left fielder Brandon Jones' throw to the plate.

The Marlins loaded the bases in the ninth off closer Mike Gonzalez (0-1). Uggla led off with a walk then went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Gonzalez intentionally walked Cody Ross, then walked Wes Helms to fill the bases.

Matt Lindstrom (3-2) pitched the ninth for the Marlins and got the win.

Florida remained seven games back in the NL East, but hasn't won two games in a row since the end of July.

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