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NL ROUNDUP

Giants Win Again and Are Tied With Cubs

September 06, 2004|From Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants tied the Chicago Cubs in the race for a wild-card playoff spot with a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday at San Francisco.

Brett Tomko (9-6) pitched seven impressive innings on a sprained right ankle, yielding six hits and striking out eight as the Giants completed a three-game sweep to move into a tie with the Cubs, whose weekend series in Florida was postponed by Hurricane Frances.

San Francisco (76-63) has played six more games than Chicago (73-60), which will play several doubleheaders in the final four weeks of the season. The Giants also pulled to within 3 1/2 games of the West Division-leading Dodgers.

San Francisco came from behind in all three wins over the Diamondbacks -- and in the finale, the Giants did it without much help from Barry Bonds, who was one for two with two more walks, including his 101st intentional pass of the season. Bonds has 194 total walks, four shy of his major league record set in 2002.

Not even Randy Johnson (12-13) could prevent Arizona from falling 53 games below .500 for the first time in franchise history. He struck out seven to raise his major league-leading total to 249 but lost his third start in a row against the Giants.

Houston 10, Pittsburgh 5 -- Mike Lamb was four for five with a homer and four runs batted in at Houston to lead the Astros to their ninth consecutive victory.

It moved them to within 1 1/2 games of the Giants and Cubs in the wild-card race. The Astros, who have won 12 of 13, are on their longest winning streak since they won a club-record 12 in a row from Sept. 3 to Sept. 14, 1999.

Colorado 5, San Diego 2 -- At San Diego, Vinny Castilla hit his 30th home run, and Jeromy Burnitz and Matt Holliday also hit homers for the Rockies, who handed the Padres their fifth loss in six games.

The Padres fell 2 1/2 games behind the Giants and Cubs in the wild-card race. Rookie left-hander Jeff Francis came in with a 13.50 earned-run average but got his first major league win.

Montreal 4, Atlanta 3 -- Tony Batista hit a one-out run-scoring double in the bottom of the 12th inning, and the Expos ended their three-game losing streak and the Braves' five-game winning streak. Endy Chavez drew a one-out walk from Juan Cruz (4-2). Batista followed with a drive high off the wall in left-center, driving in Chavez.

Philadelphia 4, New York 2 -- Brett Myers (8-9) gave up three hits over seven innings to help the Phillies complete a three-game sweep at Philadelphia and send the Mets to their ninth loss in a row. The Phillies (68-68) moved back to .500 for the first time since Aug. 29.

Cincinnati 9, Milwaukee 2 -- At Milwaukee, Adam Dunn hit a three-run home run, his 41st homer of the season, and Luke Hudson pitched six innings for the Reds, who ended a five-game losing streak. Hudson (2-1) yielded no runs and one hit.

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NL Wild-Card Race

*--* W L GB San Francisco 76 63 -- Chicago 73 60 -- Houston 73 63 1 1/2 Florida 70 62 2 1/2 San Diego 72 64 2 1/2

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