NEWS
09/01/2011 11:29 EDT | Updated 11/01/2011 05:12 EDT

NL Roundup: A look at Thursday's games

Chris Heisey and the Cincinnati Reds finally got a couple of big hits against the Philadelphia Phillies.

It was too late to stop an embarrassing four-game sweep.

Heisey came off the disabled list and hit a three-run homer, but Ryan Howard went deep to lead Philadelphia to a 6-4 victory Thursday.

"Everybody's playing well," Howard said. "Atlanta's playing well. Milwaukee's playing well. The way I see it, we need to keep our foot on the gas and not let up."

Mike Leake (11-9) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings for Cincinnati, which had won six of seven coming into the series. Leake struck out six and walked one.

"Leake threw the ball pretty good," Baker said. "They got a some bloops and infield hits."

Philadelphia got to Leake for three runs in the second inning. Brian Schneider, pitcher Vance Worley and Shane Victorino each had an RBI single.

"I was falling behind," Leake said. "I wasn't attacking like I did the rest of the game."

It could have been worse for the Reds but centre fielder Drew Stubbs cut down Schneider when he tried to score on Worley's bouncer up the middle.

"There is a big-time small margin for error against them," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If you don't take advantage of chances which are rare, you don't have much of a chance. They rarely help you out with a walk. They pound the strike zone and throw quality strikes."

Elsewhere in the NL it was: St. Louis 8 Milwaukee 4; Los Angeles 6 Pittsburgh 4; Atlanta 5 Washington 2; and New York 7 Florida 5.

At Cincinnati, the Reds snapped their streak of consecutive scoreless innings at 21 in the bottom half. Brandon Phillips doubled to left, advanced to third on Edgar Renteria's groundout to shortstop and scored on Toronto native Joey Votto's sacrifice fly to centre.

Worley (10-1) allowed four runs and eight hits, struck out seven and walked one. The first six of his Ks came on called third strikes, most of them on sinkers, he said.

The Phillies improved to 15-2 in Worley's 17 starts this season and have won each of his last 13, their longest streak since they won a club-record 15 consecutive Steve Carlton starts in 1972.

Worley was cruising before the Reds opened their seventh with three consecutive hits. Stubbs doubled and Ryan Hanigan singled before pinch-hitter Heisey hit an opposite-field drive to right to get Cincinnati within two.

Heisey was activated from the disabled list before the game. He had been out since Aug. 7 with a strained left oblique.

Michael Martinez hit a two-run homer to help the Phillies (87-46) move 41 games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 26, 1976, when they improved to 83-42 with a win at Cincinnati. It was Philadelphia's first four-game sweep at Cincinnati since May 13-16, 1916.

Martinez's third homer landed in the fourth row of right-field seats in the seventh, giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead. It came against Jared Burton, who was making his first appearance of the year.

"What really hurt was the home run by Martinez," Baker said. "Heisey hit that big home run to make it close. We missed Heisey, big time."

Philadelphia won seven of eight games against the Reds this season to improve to 30-12 against them over the last six seasons.

Howard hit a solo shot to left-centre on a 3-1 pitch from Leake in the sixth, giving Philadelphia a 4-1 lead and extending his streak of consecutive seasons with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs to six.

Cardinals 8 Brewers 4

At Milwaukee, Albert Pujols hit a grand slam and a solo homer, helping St. Louis beat the Brewers to complete a three-game sweep against the NL Central leaders.

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Dodgers 6 Pirates 4

At Pittsburgh, Dana Eveland pitched eight crisp innings and the surging Dodgers survived a shaky ninth inning to get the win.

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Braves 5 Nationals 2

At Atlanta, Tim Hudson gave the Braves' ailing rotation a lift and the Braves got home runs from Brian McCann and Chipper Jones.

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Mets 7 Marlins 5

At New York, Miguel Batista pitched six serviceable innings to earn his 100th win, and David Wright hit a two-run single in a four-run third against the bumbling Marlins.