08/19/2012 01:38 EDT | Updated 10/18/2012 05:12 EDT

NL Capsules: Yadier Molina returns to lineup, leads Cardinals 5-4 over Pirates

ST. LOUIS - Yadier Molina had three hits and two RBIs in his return to the lineup, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

St. Louis bounced back from Friday night's 2-1 loss in the series opener and pulled within a game of Pittsburgh for the second NL wild-card spot. Jaime Garcia is expected to come off the disabled list to start Sunday's series finale against Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens.

Molina also scored a run after missing the previous three games with a sore back. He hit a two-run double off Erik Bedard (7-13) in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-3 lead.

Shane Robinson also had a two-run double for St. Louis.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Jason Motte but only managed one run on Andrew McCutchen's infield out. Garrett Jones struck out swinging and Josh Harrison bounced into a fielder's choice to end the game.

Barret Browning (1-2) pitched a scoreless inning for his first major league win. Motte earned his 28th save in 33 chances after blowing his previous opportunity.


HOUSTON (AP) — Aaron Hill hit a three-run homer in a nine-run fifth inning and Chris Young had four hits as Arizona routed Houston.

After the game, the struggling Astros fired manager Brad Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham. Mills was in his third season as manager.

The team said first-year general manager Jeff Luhnow will name an interim manager and other staff members in a news conference Sunday morning. The Astros have the worst record in the majors at 39-82.

Young also drove in three runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Justin Upton added two hits for the Diamondbacks and Ryan Wheeler hit his first major league home run.

Patrick Corbin (5-4) went seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. Corbin has three straight wins in four outings since moving back into the rotation at the beginning of August.

Jordan Lyles (2-10) lost his sixth straight, giving up seven runs — five earned — on eight hits and three walks in four-plus innings.



CINCINNATI (AP) — Brett Jackson hit his first career home run to help Brooks Raley earn his first major league win, leading Chicago over Cincinnati for a split of their day-night doubleheader.

David DeJesus also homered and Starlin Castro had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs. Raley (1-2) allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Carlos Marmol earned his 15th save in 17 chances.

Ryan Ludwick went deep twice and drove in three runs for the Reds. Todd Redmond (0-1) gave up four runs, seven hits and five walks in 3 1-3 innings.

In the opener, Johnny Cueto remained perfect under the sun and Cincinnati's Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead homer for the second straight game.

Xavier Paul and Miguel Cairo added their first home runs of the season as the Reds roughed up another Cubs starting pitcher. They hit three homers off Travis Wood in a 7-3 win Friday night and three more off Jeff Samardzija (8-11) on Saturday.

Cueto (16-6) improved to 11-0 in 13 day-game starts this season. He settled down after allowing Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer in the first. The two RBIs gave Soriano 1,000 for his career.

Cueto gave up three hits and struck out eight in eight innings. He retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced and has won seven of his last eight outings to tie Tampa Bay's David Price for the major league lead in wins.

Aroldis Chapman allowed a run — his first in 24 appearances — but held on for his 29th save.


ATLANTA (AP) — Hanley Ramirez drove in four runs with two homers, including the first of three straight shots by Los Angeles in the second inning against Atlanta.

A crowd of 42,219 attended Major League Baseball's sixth Civil Rights Game. Commissioner Bud Selig sat with Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, who broke the colour barrier for players, and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who broke the colour barrier for managers.

Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz hit consecutive homers in a span of four pitches from Ben Sheets (4-3). Ramirez added a three-run drive in the sixth. The four homers were the Dodgers' only hits.

Martin Prado homered for the Braves, who had won four straight.

The Dodgers were without manager Don Mattingly, whose two-game suspension was announced before the game. He also was given an undisclosed fine "for excessive arguing" with plate umpire Angel Campos in Thursday's loss at Pittsburgh. Bench coach Trey Hillman filled in for Mattingly.

Aaron Harang (9-7) pitched around five walks. He gave up one run and four hits with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings. Kenley Jansen had three strikeouts among his four outs for his 25th save.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joaquin Arias homered and drove in three runs to lead San Francisco past San Diego.

Hunter Pence drove in two runs and Buster Posey had three hits and a sacrifice fly. The Giants have scored 22 runs on 37 hits in three games since All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended Wednesday for 50 games following a positive test for testosterone.

San Francisco remained in first place in the NL West by a half-game over Los Angeles.

San Diego got a three-run homer from Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin's solo shot. The Padres have dropped five straight games and have lost 19 of their last 25 meetings with the Giants.

Jose Mijares (1-0) retired the only two batters he faced. Clay Hensley got one out for his third save.

Brad Brach (1-3) allowed two runs and four hits with a walk, retiring just one batter.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Jonathon Niese pitched into the eighth inning and Ike Davis hit a two-run homer in the seventh to lead New York over Washington.

Nationals starter Edwin Jackson (7-8) yielded two hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out 11.

Niese (10-6) retired his last seven batters and Frank Francisco worked a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances. Niese, who is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six games against Washington, allowed five hits and struck out seven without a walk.

Seventeen of Davis' 22 homers have come on the road, most in the NL.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Cole Hamels tied a season high with 10 strikeouts, and John Mayberry Jr. and Erik Kratz hit back-to-back home runs to help Philadelphia end Milwaukee's eight-game home winning streak.

Coming off consecutive shutouts, Hamels (14-6) gave up eight hits and three runs in 7 2-3 innings. He walked just one, but gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Braun with two outs in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon came on and struck out Aramis Ramirez, then pitched a scoreless ninth for his 27th save.

Ramirez homered in the second. Mike Fiers (6-6) allowed four runs and four walks in five innings.


DENVER (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton homered for the sixth straight game at Coors Field and Miami held on to beat Colorado.

Nathan Eovaldi (4-8) pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Bryan Petersen had three hits for the Marlins. Jose Reyes made it 6-0 in the second with a two-run triple.

Tyler Colvin had three hits and three RBIs for the Rockies.

The Marlins said Stanton became the first player in major league history to homer in his first six games in a visiting park, according to information provided to the team by the Elias Sports Bureau. He capped a four-run first inning with a three-run shot off Tyler Chatwood (3-3) for his 24th of the season.

Colorado cut it to one on Colvin's two-run single in the ninth before Steve Cishek closed it out for his ninth save.