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NL: Braves don't ease up on Mets

©Associated Press
September 11, 2002

ATLANTA -- Just because they've clinched the East doesn't mean the Braves have to stop beating up on the Mets.

A day after wrapping up its 11th straight division title, Atlanta overcame a five-run deficit for a 12-6 victory over New York on Tuesday night behind two homers from Andruw Jones and five RBIs from pinch-hitters.

Jones homered in four straight at-bats, going back to Saturday's game against Montreal. He became the 11th player in league history to accomplish the feat.

Trey Hodges earned the win in his big-league debut. Mets starter Pedro Astacio gave up four homers and was ejected in the fifth after he hit Gary Sheffield in the arm with a pitch.

Damian Moss gave up four runs in the second, including a mammoth homer by Mike Piazza. The left-hander was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half, leaving him with the shortest start of his career.

Moss might have escaped the second without any damage if Chipper Jones had not lost a flyball in the lights, giving Joe McEwing a leadoff double.

Moss retired the next two, but Roger Cedeno and Raul Gonzalez followed with run-scoring singles and Piazza hit a 434-foot drive into the leftfield seats for a two-run shot.

Chipper Jones picked up that hit right away, looking skyward to follow the flight of the ball without moving.

DIAMONDBACKS 8, PADRES 2: Curt Schilling allowed three hits and struck out 10 in seven innings for his major league-best 23rd victory for host Arizona.

Luis Gonzalez and Matt Williams hit two-run homers and Steve Finley homered as the World Series champions stayed 51/2 games ahead with 17 to play.

For the 15th time in his 32 starts, Schilling did not walk a batter. He threw 92 pitches, 66 strikes, and reached double-digit in strikeouts for the 13th time this season.

Schilling (23-5) surpassed his career-best 22 wins set last year.

CARDINALS 8, BREWERS 3: Matt Morris, activated from the disabled list before the game, allowed one run in five innings for visiting St. Louis.

Eduardo Perez hit a three-run homer and Scott Rolen also homered for the Cardinals, who have won seven straight for the first time since a nine-game streak from Sept. 8-22 last season. St. Louis maintained a 51/2-game lead over second-place Houston in the Central.

ASTROS 11, ROCKIES 4: Lance Berkman hit his career-high 40th home run and had five RBIs as host Houston won its fourth in a row. Berkman had a two-run double off Denny Neagle in the sixth and a three-run homer off Mark Corey in the eighth.

MARLINS 6-2, PHILLIES 4-1: Andy Fox homered and five pitchers combined on a four-hitter as visiting Florida completed a sweep. Mike Redmond hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh and had three RBIs for the Marlins in the opener.

REDS 3, PIRATES 0: Russell Branyan homered to back former Brandon High standout Danny Graves, making his first career start, and four relievers, who combined on six-hitter for host Cincinnati.

EXPOS 6, CUBS 2: Javier Vazquez matched a season high with 10 strikeouts and helped himself with a run-scoring single to snap a personal seven-game losing streak for visiting Montreal.

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