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NL: Dodgers learn Cardinals have plenty in reserve

By Associated Press
Published July 31, 2005

LOS ANGELES - The St. Louis Cardinals apparently have enough offensive punch - even with half of their regular position players on the disabled list.

Jim Edmonds and John Mabry hit two-run homers early and David Eckstein added a three-run shot late, powering the Central leaders to a 9-4 victory Saturday over the Dodgers.

It's going to be a while before rightfielder Larry Walker, third baseman Scott Rolen, leftfielder Reggie Sanders and catcher Yadier Molina are all sound enough to return. But Mabry, Abraham Nunez, John Rodriguez and Mike Mahoney are filling in just fine.

"It's a good thing we've been able to come in and help out while a lot of these guys have been hurt," Mabry said. "That's part of the job when you sign on as a bench player. You just come to the park every day with that mind-set so that you're ready to step in and the team doesn't skip a beat. Hopefully, those guys can get back soon and give us a shot in the arm and are fresh for the stretch drive."

Jeff Suppan won his fourth straight road start. Derek Lowe lost for the seventh time in nine decisions.

"We miss the guys who play every day, but the guys who are out there are giving us an opportunity and helping us win," said Cards first baseman Albert Pujols, who raised his RBIs total to 84 with a first-inning double.

MARLINS 3, NATIONALS 0: Making his final appearance before today's trade deadline, A.J. Burnett pitched seven dominant innings to win his third straight start and host Florida won its fourth straight.

Washington has lost a season-high six consecutive games and 18 of 23.

Burnett allowed four hits, including two infield singles, and struck out eight.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, CUBS 2: Rookie Conor Jackson got his first two major-league hits, including a go-ahead double in the eighth inning, for visiting Arizona. Making his first start in the majors, at first base, Jackson hit a run-scoring double in the eighth off Roberto Novoa to score Troy Glaus and break a 2-all tie. He singled in the second inning for his first hit in his second at-bat.

ASTROS 2, METS 0: Andy Pettitte pitched eight shutout innings for his sixth straight win, and Jason Lane hit a towering home run in the seventh. Host Houston has won a season-best seven straight and is 42-17 since bottoming out at 15 games under .500 in late May.

BRAVES 9, PIRATES 6: Rookie Jeff Francoeur homered and drove in four runs, and host Atlanta used a seven-run sixth inning to rally past Pittsburgh for its fifth straight victory. Francoeur's two-run double started the scoring in the sixth and gave the Braves their first lead at 4-3. Johnny Estrada and Kelly Johnson followed with run-scoring doubles to chase Mark Redman with none out.

BREWERS 7, GIANTS 1: Ben Sheets pitched a six-hitter and Geoff Jenkins hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the sixth inning as Milwaukee won for the first time in 12 home games vs. San Francisco. Pinch-hitter Wes Helms hit a three-run homer in the eighth for the Brewers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

PHILLIES 8, ROCKIES 7: Pat Burrell had four hits as visiting Philadelphia spoiled Colorado pitcher Aaron Cook's return after a near-fatal illness. Cook made his first appearance with the Rockies since last Aug. 7, when he became dizzy during a game and had to be taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered blood clots in his lungs.

REDS 9, PADRES 1: Aaron Harang threw eight strong innings against his hometown team, and Sean Casey and Javier Valentin homered for visiting Cincinnati. The Padres (51-53) had their lead in the West cut to one game over Arizona. Harang, a San Diego native who still lives there in the offseason, struck out four and walked one.

[Last modified July 31, 2005, 01:35:03]


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