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NL briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 24, 2000

Ex-Marlin 5, Marlins 0

SAN FRANCISCO -- Livan Hernandez liked his first shutout so much, he did it again.

Hernandez, who had no shutouts in 104 major-league starts before last week, pitched his second straight four-hitter, leading the Giants past the Florida Marlins 5-0 Wednesday.

"This is the best time in my career," said Hernandez, the 1997 World Series MVP for Florida. "I'd never thrown a shutout before, but after the first one, it made me more comfortable today. Sometimes, I can throw good."

Hernandez (13-9) is 13-5 with a 3.25 ERA since an 0-4 start and has allowed three runs in his last 34 innings. He struck out five and walked three in his fourth complete game of the season, stretching his shutout string to 18 innings.

"He makes my job so much easier, and it makes it fun to set up hitters," said Giants catcher Bobby Estalella, who has caught all of Hernandez's starts this year. "We didn't stay in any set pattern with anybody."

Before beating Atlanta 2-0 last Friday, Hernandez had taken shutouts into the eighth inning five times this season and had taken three into the ninth.

"He wasn't messing around with us," Florida's Mark Redmond said. "He's not trying to trick hitters any more, he's pitching."

The previous Giants pitcher to throw consecutive shutouts was Bud Black on May 5 and 10, 1991, both against Dwight Gooden and the Mets.

Ellis Burks went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. He has hit six of his 20 homers in the past five games, going 9-for-19 with 13 RBI.

BRAVES 5, ROCKIES 2: Greg Maddux was impressive over seven innings and Brian Jordan hit a three-run homer for visiting Atlanta.

Todd Helton went 0-for-4, ending his career-best hitting streak at 14 games, and his major league-leading average dropped four points to .393.

Maddux (14-7), who won for the second time in seven starts, was as efficient as he was effective, throwing 68 pitches -- no more than 13 in one inning. He gave up two runs and seven hits with no walks and a strikeout.

CARDINALS 5, PIRATES 2: Rick Ankiel won for the second time in 11 starts and Jim Edmonds homered for the second time in three games, leading host he St. Louis.

Ankiel (8-7) had been 1-4 since June 20, mostly because of control problems that forced him out early. However, the Cardinals have won his past four starts.

Ankiel, at 20 the youngest pitcher in the major leagues, allowed six hits with six strikeouts and four walks in seven innings, which matched his season high. He gave up home runs to Keith Osik and Enrique Wilson in his final inning.

Dave Veres got four outs for his 22nd save in 27 chances.

PHILLIES 4, REDS 3: Mike Lieberthal's eighth-inning homer started a three-run rally that powered visiting Philadelphia.

The Phillies won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 8-9 by overcoming a 3-1 deficit against Scott Sullivan and All-Star closer Danny Graves (10-4).

Lieberthal's 15th homer started the comeback.

After Travis Lee singled and Rob Ducey walked, Marlon Anderson singled up the middle, tying the score at 3. Tomas Perez's forceout allowed Ducey to score.

CUBS 15, ASTROS 5: Ruben Quevedo took a no-hit bid into the seventh for visiting Chicago.

Quevedo (2-5), making his eighth major-league start, allowed five runs -- three earned -- and four hits in eight innings. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out five and walked four.

Wade Miller (2-5) was pounded for 12 runs, tying the Astros record set by Jose Lima against the Cubs on April 26.

Joe Girardi had four hits, Gary Matthews Jr. had three and Mark Grace hit a three-run double as Chicago stopped a season-high, seven-game losing streak.

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