Diamondbacks, Phillies Win Key Games

Thursday, September 6th 2007, 10:35 am
By: News On 6

Even with Jake Peavy on the mound, the San Diego Padres were unable to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks to take the lead in the NL West.

The Philadelphia Phillies were in perfect position to pick up a game on the New York Mets in the NL East, before a shocking comeback by the Atlanta Braves handed them a most deflating loss.

Pitching on three days' rest, San Diego's ace gave up eight runs to the host Diamondbacks, who defeated the Padres 9-6 on Wednesday night and grabbed a one-game division lead over San Diego.

``I picked a bad night to have a bad night,'' Peavy said.

At Atlanta, Matt Diaz capped an improbable rally with a two-out, three-run double in the ninth inning, giving the Braves a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Phillies.

The Phillies led 5-0 and 8-2 before giving up four runs in the eighth and watching in disbelief as Diaz's liner skidded off the tip of right fielder Chris Roberson's glove with the bases loaded.

``I'm not believing that,'' said Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, whose team remained five games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets. ``I totally can't believe that. I've never seen that _ ever. It's mind-boggling.''

In other NL games, it was: Cincinnati 7, New York 0; Milwaukee 14, Houston 2; Chicago 8, Los Angeles 2; San Francisco 5, Colorado 3; Pittsburgh 8, St. Louis 2; and Washington 6, Florida 4.

The eight earned runs matched a career high for Peavy, who lasted only four innings, his shortest start since July 21, 2006.

``OK, he wants to pitch with three days off, we've got to make him pay,'' said Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero, who homered twice _ once off Peavy.

Conor Jackson added a home run, and Chris Young drove in three runs as the Diamondbacks restored the one-game lead they carried out of San Diego a week ago, when the Padres beat them three out of four.

The Diamondbacks rebounded from a crushing 10-2 loss in the series opener by outscoring the Padres 18-7 over the next two nights, roughing up Padres aces Chris Young and Peavy.

``They kind of sent a message to us over there (in California), and after the first game here, when they beat us up, we needed to send a message back,'' Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. ``The guys responded beautifully the last two games against two of the better pitchers in all of baseball.''

The Braves' chances looked slim when Brett Myers (3-6) retired the first two hitters in the ninth with an 8-6 lead. But Jeff Francoeur and Martin Prado hustled to beat out infield hits, and Yunel Escobar walked to load the bases.

That brought up Diaz, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He went the opposite way with a liner that eluded Roberson's lunging attempt and stuck at the base of the wall.

Roberson hit the relay man, but the throw home was up the first-base line. Escobar slid across with the winning run, thrusting his right index finger toward the stands. Diaz, who had just rounded second, pumped his fists and was mobbed by his teammates in a wild pile beside the pitcher's mound.

``When I got it in the air, I thought I got too much,'' Diaz said. ``I didn't realize how shallow he was playing.''

Manuel remained on the top step of the dugout for at least a minute, watching the celebration and subtly shaking his head. Finally, he headed for the clubhouse.

``It didn't look good,'' Braves manager Bobby Cox said. ``But we did it.''

Cubs 8, Dodgers 2

At Chicago, Ted Lilly (14-7) got his first win in nearly a month and Aramis Ramirez homered to keep the Cubs a half-game ahead of Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Ramirez hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot in the third for a 3-0 lead against lefty Eric Stults (1-3).

Reds 7, Mets 0

At Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips broke Cincinnati's record for homers by a second baseman in a season and helped end New York's five-game winning streak.

Right-hander Tom Shearn (2-0), a 30-year-old rookie relishing his long-awaited trip to the big leagues, gave up only three hits in six innings to a Mets lineup missing five of its regulars.

Pirates 8, Cardinals 2

At St. Louis, Mark Mulder (0-1) lasted four innings and gave up six runs and eight hits in his first start in more than a year.

Ronny Paulino was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, Jack Wilson was 3-for-4 with a three-run double and Adam LaRoche was 2-for-4 with a homer for the Pirates, who won for only the second time in eight games. Tony Armas (3-5) worked six innings and limited St. Louis to two runs and five hits.

Brewers 14, Astros 2

At Milwaukee, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart each hit three-run homers, and the Brewers connected five times in all.

Yovani Gallardo (7-4) pitched seven shutout innings, and Milwaukee won for the fifth time in six games.

Giants 5, Rockies 3

At Denver, Barry Bonds hit his 762nd home run to back Kevin Correia (4-6).

It was a costly loss for the Rockies, who began the day four games behind San Diego and Arizona in the NL West and the wild-card race. Colorado lost for only the second time in seven games.

Nationals 6, Marlins 4

At Washington, Wily Mo Pena singled off Matt Lindstrom (2-4) to break a tie in the seventh, helping the host Nationals to their fifth straight win.