Cards’ Carpenter nails down Pirates


PITTSBURGH – Chris Carpenter was good enough last year to be voted the NL Cy Young Award winner. He might be pitching even better this season.

Carpenter limited the Pirates to two hits over eight innings in his third consecutive strong start and Jim Edmonds and David Eckstein homered in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

The right-hander has been near perfect on the road the last two seasons, going 14-1 in 18 starts, and he was again in beating the Pirates for the sixth time in seven career decisions.

Reds 9, Marlins 8

CINCINNATI – Not even four homers and unbeaten-in-April Dontrelle Willis could get the Florida Marlins a breakthrough win.

Cincinnati tied it with three runs in the eighth, and Edwin Encarnacion hit a run-scoring double in the ninth that gave the Reds a 9-8 victory Wednesday over the NL’s least-successful team.

Phillies 7, Nationals 6

PHILADELPHIA – Ryan Howard’s RBI single in the 10th inning completed a Philadelphia rally and led the Phillies to a 7-6 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Bobby Abreu opened the 10th with a walk off Mike Stanton (0-2) and moved to second on Chase Utley’s one-out walk. Howard then ripped a single to right to give the Phillies only their second home win in eight games.

Padres 13, Rockies 4

DENVER – Ben Johnson had a career-high four RBIs and Vinny Castilla had four hits, leading the San Diego Padres to a 13-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

San Diego had a season-high 19 hits and took two of three from the Rockies after being swept at home by Colorado from April 7-9.

Braves 2, Mets 1

NEW YORK – Tim Hudson took a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning before finishing with a three-hit gem, and the Atlanta Braves got another big home run from Andruw Jones in a 2-1 victory Wednesday over the New York Mets.

Hudson outpitched Tom Glavine in a matchup of All-Stars in peak form.

Brewers 7, Astros 2

HOUSTON – Andy Pettitte is becoming this year’s version of Roger Clemens: When he pitches, the Houston Astros don’t get too many runs.

Pettitte lost to the Brewers for the first time since 1996 despite allowing only two runs in Milwaukee’s 7-2 victory over the Astros on Wednesday night.

Coming off a 5-1 loss at Arizona, Pettitte (1-3) struck out eight and walked one in seven innings, allowing seven hits.

Houston has scored 12 runs in his four starts – seven came in his lone victory, against Washington on April 9.