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Pujols Sets April HR Mark; Mets Top Braves

April 30, 2006

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Albert Pujols set a major league record with his 14th homer in April, a tiebreaking shot in the eighth inning that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

After NL Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter and All-Star Livan Hernandez locked up in a pitchers’ duel, Pujols broke a 1-all tie when he connected off Jon Rauch (0-1) leading off the eighth.

Jason Isringhausen walked the bases loaded in the ninth before retiring Nick Johnson on a comebacker for his seventh save in nine opportunities. Johnson finished 0-for-5, dropping his batting average to .352.

Jose Guillen homered for the Nationals.

Pujols had been tied with Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) and Luis Gonzalez (2001) for the most home runs in April at 13. The St. Louis slugger also leads the majors with 32 RBIs, matching the team record for April set by Mark McGwire in 1998.

Braden Looper (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. The Cardinals set a club record for victories in April with 16.

Mets 1, Braves 0

ATLANTA (AP) _ Tom Glavine outpitched John Thomson, and Paul Lo Duca hit his first home run with New York.

The first-place Mets have won the first two games of the series at Turner Field, where they’ve struggled mightily for years. They stretched their early season lead over the Braves to seven games in the NL East.

Glavine (3-2) improved to 3-9 in 14 starts against Atlanta, his major league home from 1987-2002. The 40-year-old lefty gave up only four hits with two walks and one strikeout in seven innings.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine chances.

Thomson (0-1) gave up three hits and one run in 6 2-3 innings.

Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Randy Winn made two spectacular plays in left field in the top of the ninth inning, and Moises Alou homered leading off the bottom half to give San Francisco a victory over Arizona.

Winn, starting in left because Barry Bonds was given a day off, made a sliding catch in left-center to rob Shawn Green of a hit and then topped that effort on the next batter. Winn leaped high above the wall to rob Eric Byrnes of a potential go-ahead home run, getting a standing ovation from the crowd and hearty congratulations from his teammates as he ran off the field.

The 41-year-old Bonds most likely would not have been able to make those plays on his surgically repaired right knee. Bonds, expected back in the lineup Sunday, has 711 homers, three shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the career list.

Alou drove a 2-0 pitch from Luis Vizcaino (0-2) into the left-field seats for his seventh homer.

Armando Benitez (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win.

Reds 6, Astros 3

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Aaron Harang earned his fourth consecutive victory and streaking Cincinnati set a club record for wins in April by beating Houston.

Rich Aurilia hit his fourth homer and Brandon Phillips had two RBIs as Cincinnati sent Andy Pettitte (1-4) to his third straight loss. The Reds (17-7) extended their winning streak to six, their longest since a seven-game spurt in May 2004.

Harang (4-1) gave up five hits and three runs in 7 2-3 innings, striking out seven. David Weathers got his eighth save in nine opportunities.

Jason Lane hit a two-run homer for the Astros.

Brewers 16, Cubs 2

CHICAGO (AP) _ Prince Fielder hit two of Milwaukee’s six homers, Rickie Weeks connected for his first leadoff shot and the Brewers had their biggest offensive outburst in six years.

Bill Hall, Carlos Lee and J.J. Hardy also connected for the Brewers, who batted around twice and fell one homer short of the franchise record set on April 29, 1980, at Cleveland.

Hardy had four RBIs, and Fielder and Weeks each finished with three. It was the first multihomer game of Fielder’s career.

The Brewers scored their most runs since a 16-8 victory on Aug. 21, 2000, at Arizona. It was their largest margin of victory since May 9, 1996, when they defeated the Red Sox 17-2.

Milwaukee starter Doug Davis (1-2) took advantage of the run support in an easy victory. He pitched 6 1-3 innings, allowing one run and five hits.

Glendon Rusch (1-4) lasted only 2 2-3 innings. He gave up seven runs, four homers and three walks.

Rockies 8, Marlins 7

MIAMI (AP) _ Garrett Atkins homered and drove in three runs to lead the Rockies to their third straight win.

Matt Holliday had two doubles, a triple and two RBIs for Colorado.

Josh Willingham hit his fifth homer for Florida. The Marlins committed a season-high four errors, one short of a franchise record.

With the score tied at 5, the Rockies scored two unearned runs in the sixth off Randy Messenger (0-1).

Willingham’s 429-foot, two-run homer off Miguel Asencio (1-0) pulled Florida within one in the seventh. The Marlins loaded the bases against Brian Fuentes in the ninth but the closer struck out Reggie Abercrombie to get his fifth save in six chances.

Pirates 3, Phillies 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Paul Maholm tossed seven strong innings and Jeromy Burnitz hit a two-run homer for the Pirates.

Maholm (1-3) allowed one run and six hits with two walks in his longest outing of the season.

Pittsburgh clinched its first series victory of the season. The Pirates entered the three-game set on a seven-game losing streak but beat the Phillies 3-1 Friday night.

The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but Roberto Hernandez got pinch-hitter Alex Gonzalez to ground into a double play for his second save.

Cory Lidle (2-3) gave up four hits and three runs in six innings for Philadelphia, which has lost three in a row.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Brett Tomko pitched seven strong innings to hand the run-starved San Diego Padres their fifth straight loss.

J.D. Drew had a run-scoring single and prevented a run from scoring with a stellar catch, and Nomar Garciaparra hit a solo homer and added a sacrifice fly for the Dodgers.

Tomko (3-1) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings against the Padres, who have scored only five runs during their losing streak. A member of the San Diego staff in 2002, Tomko allowed 12 earned runs in 10 2-3 innings over three starts against the Padres last season, going 0-1.

Clay Hensley (1-2) allowed three runs and three hits over seven innings to get the loss.

Danys Baez worked the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances. The Dodgers set down the last 15 San Diego batters in a row.

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