Astros 7, Cardinals 4

HOUSTON (AP) – Luke Scott hit two home runs, including a three-run shot in the ninth inning to give Houston a victory over St. Louis.

The Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the NL Central title remained at five. St. Louis lost its fourth straight game and has dropped eight of its last nine on the road.

Tyler Johnson (0-4) walked Morgan Ensberg leading off the ninth. Lance Berkman then singled before Scott homered to right. He has 10 homers and 35 RBI in 46 starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on July 13.

Dan Wheeler (3-5) blew his third save of the season when he gave up an RBI double to David Eckstein that tied the score at 4 in the top of the ninth.

The Astros, who have won four straight, took a 4-3 lead in the seventh on Aubrey Huff’s homer.

Houston ace Roy Oswalt, who left his last start with neck spasms, allowed three runs in seven innings.

St. Louis’ Jason Marquis gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Brewers 10, Giants 8

MILWAUKEE – Barry Bonds hit his 734th career home run to break Hank Aaron’s NL record, but Milwaukee rallied past San Francisco for its third consecutive win over the struggling Giants.

Bonds hit a solo shot off Chris Capuano over the right-center fence in the third inning, just out of the reach of outfielders Brady Clark and Corey Hart.

Bonds, who hit No. 733 and drove in a season-high six runs Friday night, is 21 homers shy of Aaron’s career mark of 755. It was Bonds’ 26th home run this season – and again it came in the same city where Aaron started and ended his major league career.

The Brewers scored twice in the eighth to break an 8-all tie and win their fourth straight game overall.

The loss was the seventh in eight games for the fading Giants. Jack Taschner (0-1) took the loss.

Jose Capellan (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth and Francisco Cordero worked a scoreless ninth to convert his 15th save 15 chances with Milwaukee.

Cubs 11, Reds 4

CINCINNATI – Carlos Zambrano hit his sixth homer, tying the Cubs’ record for a pitcher, and Aramis Ramirez had a two-run shot that sparked Chicago to a victory over bumbling Cincinnati.

The Cubs took advantage of six errors by the Reds, their worst defensive game in 35 years. Cincinnati led the NL wild-card race for 46 consecutive days before unraveling in the last month.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Kyle Lohse (2-5) that was his 36th of the season, matching his career high. Ramirez has 20 homers since the All-Star break.

Zambrano (16-6) gave up four runs in seven innings while matching his career high for victories. The hard-swinging pitcher also started a five-run rally in the fourth with a notable homer.

His shot off Lohse matched Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins’ team record of six homers in 1971. Zambrano’s last two hits have been homers off the Reds – he hit one against Sun-Woo Kim on Sept. 17 at Wrigley Field.

Rockies 10, Braves 9

DENVER – Kaz Matsui hit a two-run triple in a six-run third inning and Jeff Francis became the winningest lefty in Rockies history during Colorado’s frigid victory over Atlanta.

With temperatures dipping into the mid-40s, Francis (13-11) struggled with his control but still earned his 30th win for Colorado, surpassing Brian Bohanon’s team mark for left-handers.

It also was Francis’ 18th career win at Coors Field, the third-most in club history. Jason Jennings leads the way with 31.

Francis even helped his own cause with a two-run single in the second. Matt Holliday hit his 31st homer for the Rockies, off starter Kyle Davies (3-6).

Atlanta slugger Andruw Jones drove in three runs with homers No. 38 and 39 and a ground-rule double. It’s his 35th multihomer game and fifth this season. He finished 4-for-4 with a walk.

Brian Fuentes earned his 28th save in 33 chances.


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