Diamondbacks Hold On To Lead In National League West


Monday, September 17th 2007, 7:53 am
By: News On 6


The Diamondbacks were outhit again, but these days that's hardly surprising. That they won anyway is even less of a shock.

Edgar Gonzalez pitched five solid innings and the Arizona bullpen scraped together four more, making Chris Snyder's three-run homer stand up in a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

The D-backs, who had six hits to the Dodgers' nine, lead the National League West by two games over San Diego with two weeks to go despite being outscored 680-655 and having an NL-low .247 batting average.

``We have to keep grinding,'' Snyder said. ``We're in first place, but in no way is it a lock.''

Jake Peavy lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.39, striking out 10 and winning his 19th game to help the Padres beat San Francisco 5-1. San Diego leads the wild-card race by 1 1/2 games over Philadelphia and 2 1/2 over the Dodgers.

The Phillies beat New York 10-6 to slice the Mets' NL East lead to 3 1/2 games, while the Chicago Cubs remained a game ahead of Milwaukee in the Central Division.

``This was as close to a must-win game as we've had all year,'' Arizona outfielder Eric Byrnes said. ``That's it. Was it a must-win? No. But this was huge _ a really big win for us. Every game from here on out is this way until we clinch.''

In other NL games, it was Chicago 4, St. Louis 2; Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 2; Colorado 13, Florida 0; Atlanta 3, Washington 0; and Houston 15, Pittsburgh 3.

The Diamondbacks, 46-29 at Chase Field, play their final six home games of the season this week _ three against the Giants and three against the Dodgers. Then, they finish with three at Pittsburgh and another three at Colorado.

``I like the fact that we're going back home,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ``We play well at home.''

Gonzalez (8-2) was lifted for a pinch-hitter after yielding one run and six hits in just his second start since June 26.

``He pitched great _ he gave us five innings,'' Melvin said. ``That's all we could ask. You look at his record, it's pretty indicative of how he's pitched for us.''

Snyder's homer in the second was the only hit allowed by Esteban Loaiza (1-2), who walked a career-high seven in 4 2-3 innings. Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew walked to start the inning and one out later, Snyder hit a liner that glanced off the top of the fence in left-center and into the pavilion for his 13th homer.

``I thought I hit it in the gap,'' Snyder said.

Loaiza didn't think it would clear the fence either, saying the homer came ``on a perfect pitch _ a cutter low and away.''

The 35-year-old Loaiza said he's never walked seven batters in a game at any level.

``I always throw strikes. That's the most important thing for me,'' said Loaiza, a winner of 125 major league games. ``They were just waiting for a pitch to hit. One hit _ the home run. That's baseball.''

Padres 5, Giants 1

At San Diego, Josh Bard homered and Peavy (19-6) allowed four hits pitching into the eighth inning to win for the ninth time in 10 decisions.

The Giants' Tim Lincecum (7-5) remained winless in five starts. He allowed four runs, three earned, and six hits in 6 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and five walks.

Phillies 10, Mets 6

At New York, Greg Dobbs had a pinch-hit grand slam, and the Phillies beat the Mets for the eighth straight time and improved to 12-6 against them this season.

Geoff Geary (3-2) pitched two innings in relief of Adam Eaton to earn the win.

Mets reliever Guillermo Mota (2-2) failed to retire any of the three batters he faced.

Cubs 4, Cardinals 2

At St. Louis, Matt Murton hit a three-run homer and Jason Marquis (12-8) allowed his former team just one run while pitching into the seventh inning.

The Cardinals have one win in their past 10 games and dropped seven back of Chicago in the NL Central. Mark Mulder (0-3) lasted just three innings and gave up four runs and seven hits.

Brewers 5, Reds 2

At Milwaukee, Carlos Villanueva (8-4) pitched seven scoreless innings and Joe Dillon drove in a career-high four runs, helping the Brewers win for the 10th time in 15 games.

Francisco Cordero escaped the eighth and struck out three in the ninth for his 43rd save.

After Reds starter Matt Belisle (8-9) walked Rickie Weeks and allowed a single to Craig Counsell, Dillon doubled to right to give himself an early 2-0 lead.

Rockies 13, Marlins 0

At Denver, Todd Helton hit his 300th home run, Chris Iannetta also had a three-run shot and the Rockies avoided being swept at home for the first time this year.

Franklin Morales (2-2) allowed three hits in six innings for the victory.

Florida starter Scott Olsen (9-14) didn't retire a batter in the third.

Braves 3, Nationals 0

At Washington, Tim Hudson (16-8) held Washington to seven hits in a complete game, the first by an Atlanta pitcher this season.

Shawn Hill (4-4), who missed three months with a sore right elbow, lost for the first time since May 1. In his previous eight starts, he had two wins and six no-decisions.

Astros 15, Pirates 3

At Houston, Josh Anderson had five hits and drove in three runs, and Houston piled up a season-high 22 hits to help Brandon Backe (1-1) win for the first time in more than a year.

Paul Maholm (10-15) lasted just 2 2-3 innings, giving up 10 runs and 11 hits.