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Soriano Powers Washington, 7-3

April 22, 2006|From the Associated Press

Alfonso Soriano hit three home runs, including a three-run shot in the eighth inning after a wild pitch in the rain allowed the go-ahead run to score for Washington, and the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-3, Friday night at Washington.

It was Soriano's first three-homer game, and his five runs batted in matched his career high. He hit leadoff shots in the first and third innings off John Smoltz, and he now has six homers this season.

The Expo-National franchise hadn't had a player hit three homers in a game since Montreal's Tim Wallach against Atlanta on May 4, 1987.

Rain delayed the first pitch by 2 hours 18 minutes.

Soriano drove Smoltz's fourth pitch of the game over the wall in left-center for the 24th leadoff homer of his career. Soriano then led off the third by becoming only the fifth player to homer twice off Smoltz in the same game -- and first to do so since 1999.

Florida 4, Philadelphia 3 -- Scott Olsen (1-1) yielded one earned run over 6 2/3 innings, and the Marlins handed the Phillies their eighth loss in 10 home games this season. He didn't allow a runner past second base or an extra-base hit until the seventh when Ryan Howard doubled.

Cincinnati 3, Milwaukee 1 -- Bronson Arroyo outpitched Ben Sheets, leading the Reds at Milwaukee. Arroyo (3-0) yielded a home run to Gabe Gross on his first pitch, then limited the Brewers to five hits over the rest of his eight-inning outing. Sheets (0-2) struck out 10 in seven innings.

St. Louis 9, Chicago 3 -- Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first inning -- his 11th of the season -- for his 1,000th hit and finished with four RBIs to lead the Cardinals at St. Louis.

Houston 3, Pittsburgh 2 -- Morgan Ensberg homered in his franchise-record sixth straight game, hitting a two-run shot to lead the Astros at Houston. Ensberg has seven home runs in the last six games and leads all major league third basemen with eight.

Colorado 9, San Francisco 8 -- Garrett Atkins' run-scoring single capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Rockies. The Giants had an 8-5 lead going into the inning, but Tim Worrell (2-1) failed to record an out.

San Diego 2, New York Mets 1 -- Brian Giles doubled in Geoff Blum with the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning. Blum led off with a single to center off Chad Bradford (0-1). Giles hit the first pitch down the left-field line.

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