ST. LOUIS – All-Star starter Chris Carpenter outpitched Roger Clemens to become the NL’s first 14-game winner.

The St. Louis right-hander tossed a three-hitter and inadvertently played a major role in his team’s big inning, leading the Cardinals to a 3-0 victory Sunday that completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

In his last eight starts, beginning with a victory at Houston on June 3, Carpenter (14-4) has allowed only five runs in 64 2-3 innings for a microscopic 0.70 ERA. This was his third shutout in that span, and his fourth of the season. It was also his fourth complete game of the season and 17th for his career.

Carpenter went to only three three-ball counts and allowed only singles to Craig Biggio in the first, Brad Ausmus in the third and Mike Lamb in the fifth and the first two were easily erased. Lance Berkman followed Biggio’s hit with a double-play ball and Ausmus was an easy out trying to go for two bases.

Mets 8, Braves 1

NEW YORK – Pedro Martinez held Atlanta to two hits over six innings and the New York Mets defeated the Braves 8-1 on Sunday to earn a split of the four-game series.

The Mets broke the game open with a four-run second inning against Mike Hampton (4-2), and Martinez (11-3) coasted to victory, throwing just 61 pitches for his ninth win in 11 decisions. He struck out five and lifted his National League-leading total to 143.

On a muggy afternoon, Martinez left the game after six innings, turning a big lead over to the Mets bullpen. The only hits he allowed were a second-inning single by Adam LaRoche and a two-out double in the fourth by Andruw Jones. By then, New York had a 5-0 advantage.

D-backs 6, Padres 1

SAN DIEGO – Chad Tracy had the first two homer game of his career and Brad Halsey pitched six strong innings to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Tracy hit a solo homer in the third inning off Tim Stauffer (3-5) and connected again against Chris Hammond with a two-run shot that gave Arizona a 4-1 lead in the seventh. Tracy, who has 13 home runs, also connected Saturday night in Arizona’s 4-1 loss.

Giants 4, Dodgers 1

LOS ANGELES – Michael Tucker hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, Ray Durham also homered, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Sunday to take three of four from the defending NL West champs.

Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who has been rehabilitating his right knee in Los Angeles, visited with his teammates for the first time during their four-day visit to Dodger Stadium

“It’s coming along good,” Bonds told a group of reporters. “I’m really happy, but I don’t have any timeframe for coming back. That will come from the doctors.

Phillies 8, Marlins 4

PHILADELPHIA – Vicente Padilla allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings and tripled in two runs off struggling Dontrelle Willis, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Florida Marlins 8-4 Sunday.

Mike Lieberthal homered and Tomas Perez doubled in two runs off Willis (13-5), who had his second straight poor outing and failed to join St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter as the NL’s only 14-game winners.

Brewers 5, Nationals 3

MILWAUKEE – Tomo Ohka pitched seven strong innings against his former team, leading the Milwaukee Brewers over the Washington Nationals 5-3 Sunday.

Ohka (6-4), acquired by Milwaukee for infielder Junior Spivey on June 10, picked up his first win since he defeated Tampa Bay in his Brewers’ debut on June 14 – a span of five starts.

Cubs 8, Pirates 2

CHICAGO – Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hit solo home runs, Carlos Zambrano pitched eight solid innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-2 Sunday.

Ramirez had three hits for the Cubs, who took three of four from the Pirates during the four-game series and have won six of their last seven games.

Reds 9, Rockies 4

CINCINNATI – Javier Valentin hit his first career grand slam and a three-run homer, connecting from both sides of the plate, and the Cincinnati Reds completed a three-game sweep by beating the Colorado Rockies 9-4 on Sunday.

Valentin drove in a career-high seven runs and became the first Reds switch-hitter to homer from both sides of the plate since Pete Rose did it against Atlanta on Aug. 2, 1967.


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