CINCINNATI - Erik Kratz hit a three-run home run, Chase Utley added a two-run shot, and Roy Halladay stayed perfect when given a big lead as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 on Wednesday.
Halladay, 4-1 in his last six starts, is 110-0 when he is staked to a lead of at least four runs. Halladay (9-7) scattered eight hits over 7 1-3 innings, allowing one run with five strikeouts and one walk. Philadelphia won two of three in the series against the NL Central leaders.
All-star first baseman Joey Votto, from Toronto, returned to the Reds lineup for the first time since July 15 and lined the third pitch he saw in 52 days to left field for a single with two outs in the first inning. The Reds went 32-16 while Votto was out due with a knee injury.
Jay Bruce homered for the fourth consecutive game, but it wasn't enough to rally the Reds. Cincinnati lost a series for just the third time in 16 matchups since the all-star break (11-3-2).
Reds starter Mike Leake was roughed up again by the Phillies. Leake (7-9) gave up six runs in just 2 1-3 innings.
METS 6, CARDINALS 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) — R.A. Dickey became the first pitcher in the majors to win 18 games this season, and Ike Davis hit a three-run homer to lift the New York Mets over St. Louis.
The knuckleballer allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings en route to his 18th win, the first Mets pitcher to reach the mark since Frank Viola (20-12) and Dwight Gooden (19-7) both did it in 1990. Dickey (18-4) gave up eight hits and struck out five to help New York salvage a win to close out the three-game series.
Davis gave the Mets a 5-1 lead with his 26th homer, and Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 to lift his average in day games to an NL-best .351 (65 for 185). Josh Thole and Andres Torres had RBI singles, and Lucas Duda drove in the Mets' other run with a bases-loaded walk.
The Mets did most of their damage off of Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (13-12), who allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings. Wainwright delivered the Cardinals' first run when he led off the third inning with a home run against Dickey. It was Wainwright's first homer of the season, and the sixth in his major league career.
NATIONALS 9, CUBS 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper hit two homers and the Nationals went deep six times for the second consecutive game, sending Gio Gonzalez to his 18th victory in a rout of the Cubs.
Adam LaRoche kept up his tear at the plate with three hits for the Nationals, who have won four straight and own the best record in the majors at 84-52.
For the second night in a row, Washington tied a team record for home runs in a game. LaRoche has hit three of those 12 long balls.
The 19-year-old Harper had his second multihomer game.
Gonzalez (18-7), who shut out St. Louis on five hits in his last start, allowed only three singles in seven scoreless innings to tie Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for most wins in the majors.
Gonzalez struck out nine and walked none.
Washington equalled a club mark by hitting three home runs in the third off Chris Volstad (2-10).
BRAVES 1, ROCKIES 0
ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Minor held Colorado hitless for six innings, Craig Kimbrel earned a four-out save and the Braves beat the Rockies.
Minor (8-10) lost a no-hit bid in the seventh when Jordan Pacheco led off with a single. Pacheco stole second, but was stranded when Minor struck out Ramon Hernandez swinging, Chris Nelson on a foul tip and Andrew Brown looking.
Minor allowed one hit, four walks and struck out seven in seven innings.
The Braves made it 1-0 in the fourth off Alex White (2-8) when Chipper Jones led off with a single, moved to second when Freddie Freeman walked and scored when shortstop Josh Rutledge threw errantly to first after recording one out on Brian McCann's fielder's choice grounder.
PIRATES 6, ASTROS 3
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Correia pitched six solid innings as a fill-in starter and Alex Presley, a late addition to the lineup, had two hits and scored three runs as the Pirates beat Houston.
Correia (10-8) stepped into the Pirates' rotation for right-hander Jeff Karstens, who injured his right hip Friday in a start at Milwaukee, and allowed just one run and four hits. Correia also walked one and struck out one.
Houston fell to 53 games under .500 at 42-95.
Presley replaced left-fielder Jose Tabata, who bruised his left foot on Tuesday night.
Astros left-hander Fernando Abad (0-3) had another rough start in his conversion to the rotation from the bullpen. He was rocked for six runs — five earned — in four innings.
BREWERS 8, MARLINS 5
MIAMI (AP) — Rickie Weeks homered twice and drove in four runs to help Wily Peralta win his first major league start and lead the surging Brewers over the Marlins.
Corey Hart also homered and drove in four runs for Milwaukee, which has won 13 of 16 to climb within 6 1/2 games of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.
Peralta (1-0) pitched six innings, allowing three runs and five hits.
Weeks hit a pair of two-run homers for his sixth career multihomer game.
Nathan Eovaldi (4-11) allowed the first home run to Weeks. Eovaldi allowed two runs and struck out four in five innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, GIANTS 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Trevor Cahill took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, helping Arizona win a game in which the benches cleared after a tag play at third base.
Cahill didn't give up a hit until Marco Scutaro led off the seventh with a single. He allowed another single and walked the bases loaded before being lifted for a reliever after 6 1-3 innings
Cahill (10-11) retired the first 16 batters he faced in earning his 50th career win. He allowed two runs, walked two and struck out five in the Diamondbacks second straight win over the NL West-leading Giants.
Chris Johnson doubled, tripled and drove in two runs for Arizona.
Pablo Sandoval took exception with John McDonald, who came into third base without sliding in the eighth on a force play. Diamondbacks' coach and former Giant Matt Williams stepped in immediately as both benches cleared.
Madison Bumgarner (14-10) lost his third straight start, giving up four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.
PADRES 4, DODGERS 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carlos Quentin's sacrifice fly put San Diego ahead in the seventh and Padres centre-fielder Cameron Maybin robbed Matt Kemp of a go-ahead homer in the bottom of the inning.
The loss kept the Dodgers 4 1/2 games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West. Los Angeles remained 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card.
Nick Vincent (2-0) retired all four batters he faced after relieving starter Clayton Richard with two outs in the fifth. Fellow rookie Brad Boxberger struck out Shane Victorino and walked Adrian Gonzalez to open the seventh, and Kemp followed with a long drive to centre. Maybin timed his leap perfectly before pulling it down.
Rookie left-hander Tommy Layne, the seventh Padres pitcher, got the save by retiring Gonzalez on a one-hopper to second base with two outs in the ninth.
Dodgers reliever Shawn Tolleson (1-1) allowed one run and one hit in two innings.