Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: It's all over in Detroit

National League roundup

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[April 22, 2009]  HOUSTON (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers looked like they were on their way to another easy victory in the first inning in Houston. Then the pitching crumbled, the bats went silent and the Dodgers' eight-game winning streak was over.

Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer and Russ Ortiz pitched well after a rough first inning in the Astros' 8-5 victory on Tuesday night.

Miguel Tejada drove in three runs and Jose Valverde shrugged off a bruised right heel to shut out the Dodgers in the ninth for his first save.

Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning for Los Angeles and drove in three runs to pass Honus Wagner for 18th on the career list. The dreadlocked slugger has 1,735 RBIs.

The Dodgers scored three runs in the first off Ortiz (1-0), who admittedly struggled with his control all night. He walked the first two hitters and Ramirez blooped an RBI single into left to pass Wagner. James Loney and Russell Martin knocked in runs later in the inning.

But Ortiz held the Dodgers to only one hit over the next four innings and the Astros rallied to take the lead. Los Angeles stranded 10 runners in all after scoring 23 runs in their last two games.

"We had a lot of confidence," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We got three in the first inning, which was a good sign, especially after an off day. I thought we were very patient early on. We just couldn't hold it. They had patience on their side."

The Dodgers put two men aboard in the ninth -- Orlando Hudson hit a hard grounder into Valverde's heel and the closer limped around and took some warmup pitches before finishing the game.

Houston manager Cecil Cooper and catcher Ivan Rodriguez tried to convince Valverde to come out of the game, but Valverde refused. He struck out Loney and Martin to end it.

"I wanted to pitch," Valverde said. "I wanted to support my team, and that's what I did today."

Valverde said he'd be re-evaluated on Wednesday. He could barely walk about 45 minutes after the game ended, hobbling into the clubhouse after getting treatment. The ball hit him near his ankle and Valverde said he strained his right calf when he went down to field Hudson's grounder.

The Dodgers came in with the highest batting average in the majors (.302) and an NL-leading 82 runs and they still thought they had a chance to rally in the ninth.

"I thought we were going to come away with the win, but Valverde came in," said Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who tripled to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. "I thought we had a chance, but he fell back and got the save."


Cardinals 6, Mets 4

At St. Louis, Rick Ankiel hit a go-ahead RBI double and the Cardinals rallied from four runs down.

Jason Motte (1-0) got two outs in the eighth to earn his first major league win. Ryan Franklin pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

Carlos Beltran had an RBI double, and Jose Reyes, David Wright and Murphy had RBI singles for the Mets.

Pirates 3, Marlins 2

At Pittsburgh, Jeff Karstens allowed one run and three hits in six sharp innings, Freddy Sanchez homered off Anibal Sanchez (1-1) and the Pirates won their fourth in five games

Cameron Maybin hit his first homer for Florida, which has lost two straight against the Pirates after opening the season with an 11-1 stretch.

Nationals 4, Braves 3

At Washington, Adam Dunn homered, Washington's beleaguered relievers tossed three scoreless innings for the second day in a row and the Nationals won their second straight.

Shairon Martis (2-0) went six innings and gave up three runs -- two earned.

Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami (1-2) left after failing to record an out in the sixth.

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Nursing Homes

Cubs 7, Reds 2

At Chicago, rookie Micah Hoffpauir homered and hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Rich Harden pitched six strong innings for the Cubs.

Harden (1-1), gave up three hits and two runs, and walked two while striking out eight.

Micah Owings (0-2) gave up five runs -- two earned -- and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Phillies 11, Brewers 4

At Philadelphia, Pedro Feliz homered and drove in three runs, Jamie Moyer pitched six-plus effective innings and the Phillies overcame two homers from Ryan Braun, who had a career-high five hits for the Brewers. Braun finished 5-for-5 with three infield singles and four RBIs.

Moyer (2-1) allowed four runs and seven hits.

Brewers starter Manny Parra (0-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings.

Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 6

At Phoenix, Todd Helton broke out of a slump with three hits, including his first homer, and drove in three runs for Colorado. Garrett Atkins also had three hits for the Rockies, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Matt Belisle (1-0) retired all five batters he faced, and Manny Corpas pitched the ninth for his first save in two chances.

Chris Young, Eric Byrnes and Mark Reynolds each homered for the Diamondbacks.

Giants 8, Padres 3

At San Francisco, Edgar Renteria hit a grand slam off Jake Peavy and matched his career high with five RBIs for the Giants.

Peavy (2-2) allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings.

Matt Cain beat San Diego for the first time since 2006 and improved to 2-0 for the first time in his career.

[Associated Press; By CHRIS DUNCAN]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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