PITTSBURGH (AP) — Garrett Jones hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs as Francisco Liriano and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat St. Louis 5-0 Friday night to tie the Cardinals atop the NL Central.
The slumping Jones had three hits and Russell Martin added his 12th homer of the season. Jose Tabata and Neil Walker got two hits as the Pirates moved within four victories of their first winning season in 21 years.
Liriano (15-6) allowed two hits over eight innings, walking two and striking out six to reach 15 wins for the first time.
Jones came in hitting .119 in August but broke out against Shelby Miller (12-9).
Jones hit a two-run double in the first inning, added a long shot to right field off Miller in the fourth and followed it up with an RBI single in the fifth.
That was plenty for Liriano. The left-hander is in the midst of a mid-career revival with the Pirates and he had little trouble improving to 4-0 against the Cardinals.
DODGERS 9, PADRES 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yasiel Puig had four hits and two stolen bases after getting benched in his previous game, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of two-run homers to help Los Angeles beat San Diego.
The Dodgers moved 10½ games ahead of second-place Arizona in the NL West, matching their largest cushion of the season.
A.J. Ellis homered in the seventh inning immediately after Gonzalez’s second of the game. Hanley Ramirez’s two-run double preceded the back-to-back homers off reliever Anthony Bass.
Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier threw out Nick Hundley at the plate in the top of the inning.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5) tied Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the team lead in wins, allowing a run in 6 1-3 innings following his first back-to-back losses in the majors. The South Korean lefty also drove in the Dodgers’ first run with a double.
Eric Stults (8-12) gave up four runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings. He is 0-5 in his last eight outings.
BRAVES 2, MARLINS 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Julio Teheran topped Jose Fernandez in a matchup of young right-handers to lead Atlanta over Miami for its fifth straight win.
The 21-year-old Fernandez (10-6) took his first loss since July 7 but allowed only one hit after Freeman’s homer. He gave up three hits in six innings.
The Marlins have lost five straight.
The 22-year-old Teheran (11-7) yielded one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Each starter had eight strikeouts.
With closer Craig Kimbrel unavailable after pitching in three straight games, Anthony Varvaro got six outs, including a perfect ninth, for his first career save.
Fernandez led off the third with a triple, the first of his career, and scored on Christian Yelich’s single.
PHILLIES 6, CUBS 5
CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Young had four hits, including a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, and Philadelphia rallied past Chicago in Ryne Sandberg’s return to Wrigley Field.
Kevin Frandsen had two hits and scored two runs after entering in the sixth. Chase Utley added a two-run triple.
Philadelphia improved to 9-6 since Sandberg was promoted to interim manager when Charlie Manuel was fired on Aug. 16. The Hall of Fame second baseman spent most of his playing career with the Cubs and was cheered all day long in his first trip to Chicago since he was elevated to the top spot in Philadelphia.
Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz homered for the Cubs, who built a 5-0 lead against Roy Halladay. Starlin Castro had two RBIs and Kevin Gregg (2-4) took the loss.
B.J. Rosenberg (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning and Jonathan Papelbon got three outs for his 23rd save.
METS 3, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ike Davis hit a two-run homer, Daniel Murphy scored from second on a grounder and Dillon Gee allowed two runs over 7 2-3 innings to help New York beat Washington.
Gee (10-9) gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one, outpitching Jordan Zimmermann as the Mets won for the third time in nine games.
The Nationals, trying to work their way into the NL pennant race, lost for just the second time in 10. Washington is 6½ games behind Cincinnati for the second wild card.
Wilson Ramos and pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi homered for the Nationals. Zimmermann (15-8) went 7 2-3 innings but remained tied with Adam Wainwright for the NL lead in wins.
LaTroy Hawkins earned his sixth save.
ROCKIES 9, REDS 6
DENVER (AP) — Todd Helton homered twice and matched a career high with six RBIs to power Colorado past Cincinnati.
Jorge De La Rosa (15-6) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings to win his fifth consecutive start. He improved to 9-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 home starts this season.
Helton’s 28th career multihomer game and first since 2011 left him one hit shy of 2,500.
The first of his two three-run homers came in the fourth off Bronson Arroyo (13-10), roughed up for six runs and nine hits over 3 1-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. He issued a one-out walk in the first, ending a 30-inning string without one, and had his four-game winning streak snapped.
Helton homered again in the seventh off reliever Logan Ondrusek, his 11th of the season. Both times, Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario hit successive singles to set the table for Helton, who also had six RBIs against the Dodgers on May 29, 2003.
GIANTS 1, DIAMONDBACKS 0
PHOENIX (AP) — Tim Lincecum pitched six spotless innings and third baseman Pablo Sandoval made a diving play to save San Francisco against Arizona.
Angel Pagan doubled and scored in the first during his first game back from a long stint on the disabled list. Three relievers closed it out for the Giants, who handed Randall Delgado (4-5) a hard-luck loss and won for the 10th time in their last 12 games at Chase Field.
Arizona loaded the bases against Lincecum in the sixth, and A.J. Pollock hit a sharp grounder past third. Sandoval had it played just right, though. He backhanded the ball as he hit the ground, got to his feet and threw to first for the third out.
Lincecum (8-13) allowed six hits and two walks.
Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla set up Sergio Romo for his 33rd save.
ANGELS 5, BREWERS 0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jered Weaver tossed six sharp innings and Grant Green hit a three-run double that led the Los Angeles Angels over Milwaukee.
The Angels made their first trip to Miller Park since April 2007, when they played the Indians in a game moved due to heavy snow in Cleveland. This was the Angels’ first appearance against the Brewers at Miller Park since sweeping a three-game series in June 2002.
Weaver (9-7) allowed just three singles, striking out three and walking three. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth, and the Brewers stranded 13 runners overall.
Wily Peralta (8-14) allowed three runs on four hits in six innings. He has lost five of his last six decisions.
Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run, his fifth.