ATLANTA (AP) — Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Michael Morse led off innings with home runs, and the streaking San Francisco Giants beat the slumping Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday night in a matchup of first-place teams.
The NL West-leading Giants have won four straight and eight of nine. The Braves, who lead the NL East, have lost five straight for the first time since May 21-28, 2012.
San Francisco had only four hits but has homered in 10 straight games, a feat it previously accomplished from Sept. 23-Oct. 3, 2010.
Ryan Vogelsong (1-1) allowed one run, five hits and four walks in six innings, and Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save. Julio Teheran (2-2) gave up just four hits with no walks in seven innings, but allowed a season-high three runs.
PIRATES 8, BLUE JAYS 6
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Neil Walker hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth against Todd Redmond (0-3), capping a comeback from a 5-0 deficit.
A night after wasting a 5-3, ninth-inning lead in a 6-5 loss, Toronto led 6-2 in the seventh but the the Pirates tied the score against Aaron Loup on Josh Harrison’s RBI double, Pedro Alvarez’s run-scoring groundout and pinch-hitter Jordy Mercer’s two-run double.
Bryan Morris (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth, and Mark Melancon earned his first save of the season in place of injured closer Jason Grilli, retiring Colby Ramus on a game-ending groundout with two on. Pittsburgh, which overcame four errors, won consecutive games for the first time since beating St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs on April 6 and 8.
PHILLIES 7, NATIONALS 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ryan Howard and Cody Asche homered, and A.J. Burnett (2-1) allowed one run and three hits in six innings.
Jimmy Rollins had four hits and Marlon Byrd doubled and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia, which won for just the third time in 11 games against the Nationals.
Adam LaRoche and Zach Walters homered for Washington.
Tanner Roark (2-1) had the poorest start of his two-year big league career, allowing seven runs and seven hits in four-plus innings.
REDS 6, BREWERS 2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Johnny Cueto (3-2) gave up three hits over eight innings, including solo homers by by Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds, and singled in a run. Cueto, who walked one and struck out 10, is the first Reds pitcher to throw at least seven innings in each of his first seven starts in a season since Bucky Walters in 1944
Yovani Gallardo (2-1) gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings.
Ryan Ludwick singled home a run, and Brayan Pena drove in two more with a single in a three-run fourth.
CUBS 3, CARDINALS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta struck out seven and allowed four hits over 5 1-3 innings in his season debut, helping the Cubs to their first three-game winning streak this season.
Arrieta, slowed by shoulder stiffness this spring, walked two and threw 82 pitches.
Chicago’s bullpen finished a seven-hitter. Brian Schlitter (1-0) got two outs for the win, and Hector Rondon worked around a pair of leadoff singles in the ninth for his third save.
Junior Lake hit a two-run homer and Anthony Rizzo had a solo shot for the Cubs, who hadn’t won three straight a series sweep at San Francisco last July 26-28.
Michael Wacha (2-3) allowed two runs, five hits and three walks in six innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, PADRES 3
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Brandon McCarthy threw seven superb innings and Alfredo Marte drove in two runs as the Diamondbacks survived a ninth-inning rally for a win over the Padres.
The Diamondbacks handed San Diego its fourth straight loss as the major-leagues’ worst offensive team avoided its third shutout in four game with three runs in the ninth.
McCarthy (1-5), who tied his career high with his fifth straight loss in his last start, gave up three hits, including two doubles to Seth Smith, and allowed just one runner to reach third base. He struck out six and walked one.
The Diamondbacks, who came into the game with the majors’ highest ERA at 5.03, had their scoreless innings string snapped at 24 innings when J.J. Putz allowed a one-out single to Smith and an RBI double to Yasmani Grandal.
Addison Reed then surrendered Jedd Gyroko’s two-run homer.
DODGERS 9, MARLINS 7
MIAMI (AP) — Pinch-hitter Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, and the Dodgers escaped several late-inning jams to beat the Marlins.
The Marlins lost even though they tied a franchise record at Marlins Park with three home runs. They erased a 7-2 sixth-inning deficit but left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth, and left two on in the 10th.
Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer and Dee Gordon had a career-high five hits for the Dodgers.
Gordon drove in two runs, scored twice and stole three bases to increase his total to 19, most in the majors. He’s 8 for 11 in the series to hike his average to .357.
Juan Uribe walked to start the 11th against Carlos Marmol (0-2), and with one out Crawford hit his first homer. Manager Don Mattingly held Crawford out of the starting lineup because he was hitting .185.
ROCKIES 11, METS 10
DENVER (AP) — Pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Kyle Farnsworth, and the Rockies, down by six runs early, rallied again to beat the Mets in a wild affair.
The Mets had weathered an eight-run fifth inning by Colorado, that included Nolan Arenado’s grand slam, and took a 10-9 lead on Juan Lagares’ RBI single in the ninth inning off LaTroy Hawkins (1-0).
But Troy Tulowitzki, who recorded his 1,000th career hit earlier, singled off Farnsworth (0-2) to start the bottom of the ninth. He advanced to second on a deep flyout by Arenado, and Culberson followed with a drive that cleared the center field wall.
The crowd erupted as he rounded the bases. As he neared the plate, he tossed his helmet and jumped onto home plate as he was mobbed by his teammates.