ST. LOUIS – Derrek Lee hit his major league-leading 32nd homer, and Jeromy Burnitz and Aramis Ramirez also connected for the Chicago Cubs in a 6-5 victory Saturday over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ramirez had three hits to help the Cubs end a three-game losing streak in 93-degree heat by beating an injury-ravaged lineup minus four opening-day starters. Albert Pujols was scratched with a mild left shoulder strain, although he drew an intentional walk as a pinch-hitter in the seventh ahead of Mark Grudzielanek’s RBI single that cut the deficit to 6-5, and then stayed in the game.

With runners at first and second in the ninth, Pujols’ liner to shortstop turned into a game-ending double play when Abraham Nunez was caught off second base.

Besides Pujols, Scott Rolen (shoulder), Reggie Sanders (broken leg) and Yadier Molina (broken hand) are on the 15-day disabled list. Plus, rookie John Rodriguez, who has two homers in six games since replacing Sanders in left field, departed with a sprained right ankle in the third after doubling for the second time.

Brewers 11, Reds 7

CINCINNATI – Lyle Overbay hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in a career-high six runs as the Milwaukee Brewers pounded Brandon Claussen and beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-7.

Carlos Lee also homered and drove in three runs to take over the National League lead with 82 RBIs, one more than Chicago’s Derrek Lee.

Overbay had his second career multihomer game – both this season against the Reds. He is 7-for-11 (.636) with four home runs in his career against Claussen.

Athletics 5, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas – Eric Chavez hit one of Oakland’s four solo homers, and the Athletics stretched their winning streak to five with a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Nick Swisher, Dan Johnson and Jay Payton also connected off starter Ricardo Rodriguez as Oakland matched its season high for homers. The surging A’s have built a 31/2-game lead over the Rangers for second place in the AL West.

Mark Teixeira hit his 27th homer and Alfonso Soriano his 24th for Texas, which lost its fourth in a row and is 2-8 since the All-Star break.

Nationals 4, Astros 2

WASHINGTON – Tony Armas allowed one hit in seven innings, and the slumping Washington Nationals capitalized on Willy Taveras’ misplay of Carlos Baerga’s bases-loaded flyball to center in the first inning to beat the Houston Astros 4-2 Saturday night.

Taveras came in on the ball, then retreated as it sailed over his head. The three-run double gave the Nationals all the runs they needed to break a three-game skid and win for just the fifth time in 17 games.

Armas (5-4) allowed just a two-run homer by Lance Berkman in the sixth to help end the Astros’ six-game winning streak.

Indians 4, Mariners 3

CLEVELAND – Jhonny Peralta had two RBIs in his first game as Cleveland’s latest No. 3 hitter, and Cliff Lee pitched into the eighth inning to give the Indians a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Peralta, who began the season batting ninth, hit a solo homer in the fourth off Gil Meche (10-7) and added an RBI single in a two-run fifth as the Indians bounced back from a demoralizing 4-3 loss Friday night.

Devil Rays 3, Orioles 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Scott Kazmir pitched seven strong innings and Alex Gonzalez hit a solo homer off Sidney Ponson, leading the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.

Damon Hollins snapped a seventh-inning tie with an RBI single off Ponson (7-9), subject of trade talks between the Orioles and San Diego Padres despite being 0-5 in six starts since last winning on June 18.

Kazmir (5-7) allowed one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked three.

Mets 7, Dodgers 5

NEW YORK – Jose Reyes had four hits, including his major league-leading 10th triple, to lead the New York Mets to a come-from-behind 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as Pedro Martinez earned his 12th victory of the season.

Reyes scored three runs and stole two bases, and his triple in the seventh inning tied the score before Carlos Beltran singled him home with the go-ahead run. Reyes added an RBI single in the eighth.

Phillies 2, Padres 0

PHILADELPHIA – Chase Utley homered for the second straight game, rookie Robinson Tejeda struck out five in six innings and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres 2-0 Saturday.

Tejeda (2-2) was wild, but effective. He held the Padres to a pair of singles but walked five. He struck out five for the third consecutive start.

Blue Jays 9, Royals 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske each hit two-run doubles in a six-run fifth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 9-4 on Saturday night.

The Blue Jays sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth and took advantage of three walks, Donnie Murphy’s error and a wild pitch to break open the game. The Blue Jays have scored an American League-high 126 runs in July.

Dave Bush (1-5), just recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, earned his first victory since Oct. 1. The right-hander was 0-5 in 10 starts to begin the season with Toronto before being sent to the minors on May 29.

Athletics 5, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas – Eric Chavez hit one of Oakland’s four solo homers, and the Athletics stretched their winning streak to five with a 5-4 victory Saturday night over the Texas Rangers.

Nick Swisher, Dan Johnson and Jay Payton also connected off starter Ricardo Rodriguez as Oakland matched its season high for homers.

The surging A’s have built a 3-game lead over the Rangers for second place in the AL West.

Pirates 5, Rockies 3

PITTSBURGH – Dave Williams limited Colorado to one hit over six innings and rookies Ryan Doumit and Brad Eldred drove in all but one of Pittsburgh’s runs as the Pirates held on to beat the Rockies 5-3 Saturday night.

The left-handed Williams (8-7) lost two of his previous three starts and was only 2-5 with a 6.91 ERA in PNC Park before sending the Rockies to their seventh loss in 10 games.

Tigers, Twins split

DETROIT – Scott Baker allowed five hits in seven innings and Justin Morneau homered and drove in two runs as the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 Saturday night in the second game of a day-night doubleheader.

Mike Redmond also had two RBIs for Minnesota.

Baker (1-1) walked one and struck out five. Jesse Crain pitched a scoreless eighth and Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 27th save in 30 chances, completing the six-hitter.

Verlander (0-2) gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out three. He was Detroit’s first-round pick in the 2004 draft.

Minnesota broke a 1-all tie with three runs in the fourth. Morneau doubled in a run and Redmond drove in two with a single.

Morneau added his 12th home run leading off the sixth inning. He was only 4-for-31 coming into the game.

Omar Infante singled in a run for the Tigers in the seventh.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the first on Joe Mauer’s RBI double into the left-field corner. It scored Nick Punto, who walked with one out.

Detroit tied it at 1 in its half of the inning on Magglio Ordonez’s two-out double. It scored Curtis Granderson, who had singled with one out.

In the first game, Sean Douglass (3-0) started two key rundowns while pitching seven strong innings for the Tigers.

“Sean has certainly pitched very well for us,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “Today, though, he made two very nice plays in the field that we certainly needed in a one-run game.”

In the first inning, Douglass caught Punto leaning the wrong way, stepped off the rubber and ran at him to set up a 1-3 putout. In the fifth, he fielded Juan Castro’s grounder and turned to catch Bret Boone between second and third. Again, he ran at the runner in textbook fashion, allowing third baseman Brandon Inge to tag Boone and then throw to second to retire Castro for a double play.

“He handled both of those plays perfectly,” Trammell said. “He did just what he was supposed to do.”

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t happy with either play, nor with Mauer for being thrown out trying to go from first to second on a flyball in the second inning.

“We lost the game on the basepaths,” Gardenhire said. “We gave them four outs and shot ourselves in the foot. That’s how you lose a 2-1 ballgame.”

Douglass, who doesn’t remember ever having two such plays in one start, also starred on the mound. He allowed one run on five hits, walking four and striking out one.

“I feel like I’m throwing the ball well and giving the team a chance to win,” said Douglass, who is unbeaten in five starts since coming up from Triple-A Toledo on June 22.

Fernando Rodney pitched the eighth and Kyle Farnsworth finished for his fourth save in six tries.

Granderson hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the second when Ordonez led off with a single, took second on Craig Monroe’s single and scored on Infante’s base hit.

Minnesota tied the game in the top of the seventh when Mauer doubled, moved up on a groundout and scored on Jacque Jones’s single past a diving Chris Shelton at first.

Carlos Silva (7-4) took the loss. He allowed both runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three.

Notes: Ordonez got hits in both contests to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. … Both teams made roster moves between games to move their second-game starters onto the roster. The Tigers sent utility infielder Kevin Hooper to Triple-A Toledo, while the Twins sent outfielder Michael Ryan to Triple-A Rochester.

AP-ES-07-23-05 2123EDT


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