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NL ROUNDUP

Alfonzo Helps Giants Catch Cubs

September 29, 2004|From Associated Press

Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run double capped a six-run rally in the fourth inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres, 7-5, Tuesday night at San Diego to tie the Chicago Cubs for the National League wild-card lead.

The Giants remained three games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. The Padres are three games out in the wild-card race with five to play.

San Francisco had 17 hits, nine against starter Brian Lawrence. Ray Durham had a career-high five hits and Marquis Grissom had three.

Jason Schmidt (17-7) won for only the second time in eight starts, giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings. Schmidt beat the Padres for only the second time in five starts this season.

Dustin Hermanson, suspended for three games earlier in the day, allowed the first two batters to reach base before getting his 15th save in 18 chances.

He's appealing a suspension for intentionally hitting Houston's Jeff Kent with a pitch last week.

Houston 2, St. Louis 1 -- Jeff Bagwell drove in two runs and Brandon Backe (4-3) pitched five solid innings at Houston to help the Astros move within half a game of Chicago and San Francisco in the wild-card race.

Houston has won five of its last six and tied a franchise record with its 14th consecutive home win, equaling a mark set in 1980.

Cincinnati 8, Chicago 3 -- Adam Dunn reached 100 runs batted in for the first time with his 44th home run to help hand host Chicago a costly loss in the wild-card race.

D'Angelo Jimenez and Darren Bragg also connected against Greg Maddux (15-11), who lost his second consecutive start to the Reds.

Florida 5, Montreal 2 -- Jeff Conine homered and Mike Lowell drove in two runs to lead the Marlins in front of 5,416 at Montreal.

Ismael Valdez (14-8) held the Expos to one hit -- Juan Rivera's double in the second inning -- through five scoreless innings before leaving after giving up Rivera's two-run homer with two out in the sixth.

Armando Benitez set a Marlins' record with his 46th save in 50 opportunities.

New York 2-2, Atlanta 1-5 -- Johnny Estrada's tiebreaking sixth-inning single gave the Braves a split of a doubleheader at Atlanta.

Gerald Williams and Eric Valent hit home runs for the Mets in the first game.

The second game was tied, 2-2, when Nick Green opened the sixth with a single against Tom Glavine (10-14). Green moved to second on Eli Marrero's sacrifice and Chipper Jones was walked intentionally before Estrada ended the tie with a single to center.

Arizona 9, Milwaukee 8 -- Alan Zinter hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th at Phoenix.

Zinter, who is six for 32, followed Alex Cintron's single with a 391-foot drive to right field. Zinter had taken over at first base in the top of the inning.

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, postponed -- The game was postponed because of rain and will be made up today as part of a doubleheader.

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