Mets mow down spiraling Nationals

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WASHINGTON – The heart of the New York Mets’ lineup made it perfectly clear Thursday it’s possible to hit the ball over the wall at RFK Stadium. Over and over again, to all parts of the park.

Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Cliff Floyd homered in the first inning, and Carlos Delgado later tacked on a two-run shot, all off All-Star Livan Hernandez, starting the Mets on their way to a 13-4 win over the Nationals.

Victor Zambrano (1-0) allowed three runs in five innings in his first start of the season for the Mets, who’ve won six straight games.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3

ST. LOUIS – Carlos Lee hit a tiebreaking home run in the 11th inning, minutes after making a pair of game-saving catches at the left-field wall, helping the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The Cardinals couldn’t overcome the first two-error game of center fielder Jim Edmonds’ career, which led to a pair of unearned runs off St. Louis starter Jeff Suppan and a 3-1 deficit in the fifth. St. Louis lost for the first time in three games at new Busch Stadium.

Lee leaped high above the wall to snare Juan Encarnacion’s bid for a two-run homer for the first out in the bottom of the 10th. Then he caught Edmonds’ drive to the wall off Jorge De La Rosa (1-0) with runners on first and third for the third out, banging into the padding after the grab.

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Dodgers 13, Pirates 5

PITTSBURGH – Cody Ross gave the Los Angeles Dodgers seven good reasons why they shouldn’t get rid of him.

Ross hit a grand slam and a three-run homer in successive at-bats and the Dodgers rode a big game from a player whose roster status is in doubt to a 13-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

Bill Mueller added a two-run double in the Dodgers’ five-run sixth inning, and Olmedo Saenz had a two-run homer among his three hits and drove in four runs. Saenz went 8-for-14 with two homers and seven RBIs as the teams split the four-game series.

Marlins 9, Padres 2

MIAMI – When it comes to pitching on the road, Dewon Brazelton can’t even beat the Florida Marlins.

Brazelton gave up eight runs in four-plus innings Thursday and fell to 0-16 lifetime on the road when the Marlins defeated the San Diego Padres 9-2.

Florida’s Mike Jacobs hit a three-run homer, his third, and Dan Uggla added a two-run homer, the first of his career. The Marlins, who came into the game with baseball’s worst record, broke a five-game losing streak and improved to 2-6.

Reds 8, Cubs 3

CHICAGO – Adam Dunn hit a solo homer, and Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns added three-run shots to lead the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

Dunn homered in the first, Lopez went deep in the third, and Kearns hit one out in the eighth.

Eric Milton (2-0) allowed three runs – two earned – in 6 2-3 innings in his second solid outing of the season. He left after retiring pinch hitter Todd Walker and Juan Pierre to start the seventh. Todd Coffey relieved him and struck out Jerry Hairston Jr.

Phillies 7, Braves 6

ATLANTA – Chase Utley hit his first two homers of the season and drove in four runs, helping the Philadelphia Phillies take another series at Turner Field by beating the Atlanta Braves 7-6 Thursday night.

Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu and Utley hit homers in the Phillies’ five-run first inning.

Utley added another home run in the fifth inning to knock Braves starter Kyle Davies (0-1) out of the game. The Phillies’ second baseman added a sacrifice fly in the seventh off reliever Lance Cormier.

Utley, who hit 28 homers and drove in 105 runs in his first full season in 2005, had no homers and three RBIs through his first 30 at-bats this season.

Jeff Francoeur also hit his first two homers for the Braves, the second a two-run shot in the eighth off Ryan Franklin that cut the lead to 7-6. Francoeur brought an .081 batting average into the game.

Tom Gordon put two men on in the ninth, but with the tying run on second he struck out Edgar Renteria and got Ryan Langerhans to flyout for his second save.

The Phillies took two of three in the series – their third straight series win at Turner Field. The Phillies have won five of the last nine series against the Braves in Atlanta.

The Phillies came to Atlanta with a 1-5 record.

Gavin Floyd (1-1) held the Braves to three runs in six innings, giving up five hits with two walks.

Davies threw 31 pitches before recording his first out, a groundout by Ryan Howard that drew a sarcastic cheer from Braves fans.

Before the first out, the Phillies pounded Davies for five hits and five runs. Rollins led off with a homer. After a double by Aaron Rowand, Abreu followed with a two-run homer to left. Utley’s two-run homer to center drove in Pat Burrell for a 5-0 lead.

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