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NL: Pirates' new dad adds highlight

By Associated Press
Published May 30, 2004

PITTSBURGH - Rob Mackowiak refused to believe the curtain call was for him.

Mackowiak hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and a two-run double for a career-high five RBIs, and the Pirates won their third straight over the struggling Chicago Cubs 10-7 Saturday night.

"That's one of those things that doesn't happen to you, it happens to somebody else," he said of the ovation.

Not over the past two nights.

Friday, Mackowiak became a father for the first time, hit a grand slam to win the first game of a doubleheader and hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of the second game to send it to extra inning.

"He has just been tremendous," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's certainly swinging the bat extremely well, he believes in his ability and doesn't panic at the plate. The game seems to have slowed down for him."

Pittsburgh had 16 hits and improved to 23-22, moving above .500 this late in a season for the first time since Aug. 15, 1999 (59-58).

Mackowiak's fourth-inning homer helped the Pirates overcome a 5-1 deficit. He has three homers in two days and eight in May, seven in his past 13 games.

"We're not pitching him right or he's just hot right now," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "What's he have, 11 RBIs in three swings of the bat or something?"

Jason Kendall was 4-for-5, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. He is hitting .388 (26-for-67) over that span.

Pirates starter Josh Fogg allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings. Chicago's Sergio Mitre lasted 32/3 innings, giving up six runs and 10 hits.

CARDINALS 10, ASTROS 3: Albert Pujols homered twice, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs to lead visiting St. Louis to its fifth straight win over Houston.

Pujols homered in the first and fifth innings off Wade Miller, his second multi-homer game this season and the eighth of his career.

Pujols has five homers in his past seven games, raising his season total to 14, tying for the major-league lead.

Cody McKay went 4-for-5 for the Cardinals, who had 16 hits, and Roger Cedeno hit his first home run since Sept. 16 for the Mets against the Cubs. St. Louis tied the Astros for second in the Central.

MARLINS 3, METS 2 (10): Mike Lowell homered off former teammate Braden Looper in the 10th to lift host Florida.

Lowell's 14th home run of the season, which tied for the major-league lead, easily cleared the leftfield wall and helped the Marlins (29-20) move a season-best nine games over .500.

Justin Wayne, the fourth Florida pitcher, pitched a perfect 10th to cap a one-hit, three-inning showing by the bullpen, which helped the East-leading Marlins take a two-game lead over Philadelphia.

Jae Seo, who walked five in six innings, walked Jeff Conine to lead off the fourth. Conine scored three batters later on a hard single to left by Gonzalez, tying it at 2.

GIANTS 5, ROCKIES 3: Barry Bonds hit a tying double in the sixth and scored on Yorvit Torrealba's two-run double, and host San Francisco won its season-high eighth straight. Jerome Williams pitched 71/3 strong innings for his first win in six starts since beating the Dodgers on April 24.

BRAVES 9, PHILLIES 3: John Thomson pitched seven strong innings and J.D. Drew homered and drove in three for visiting Atlanta. Rafael Furcal had a two-run triple and Dewayne Wise had three hits and two RBIs for the Braves, who have won seven of 10. Philadelphia has lost three of five.

BREWERS 4, PADRES 3: Wes Obermueller, pitching for the first time since May 12, hit a three-run double to lead host Milwaukee. Obermueller was 3-for-12 this season when he doubled off Dennis Tankersley with two outs in the second. It was his first extra-base hit in 35 career at-bats.

REDS 4, EXPOS 1: Adam Dunn homered for his first hit in a week, and visiting Cincinnati rewarded Jose Acevedo's continued strong pitching with his first win in seven starts since April 20. Acevedo has allowed three earned runs in 20 innings over his past three starts.

DODGERS 10, D'BACKS 0: Spot starter Jose Lima allowed two hits in eight innings and Adrian Beltre and Juan Encarnacion hit three-run homers as host Los Angeles snapped a four-game losing streak.

[Last modified May 30, 2004, 01:13:11]

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