MIAMI – At first, Clayton Kershaw’s pitching had teammates sprinting and diving for balls. Then he found a groove and flirted with a no-hitter.

The bid ended with Cody Ross’ double leading off the eighth inning, ending Kershaw’s day, and Los Angeles settled for a four-hitter to beat Florida.

The double came on the 112th pitch by Kershaw, a career high. Guillermo Mota gave up a grand slam to Ross with two out in the ninth.

Kershaw (2-3) benefited from three fine defensive plays in the first two innings, then settled down. Given a 6-0 lead by the third, the 21-year-old left-hander struck out nine and pitched around four walks.

John Koronka (0-2), making his second start after being out of the majors the past two years, lasted only 2 2-3 innings and allowed six runs, four earned.

Astros 6, Cubs 5

CHICAGO – Ivan Rodriguez hit his 300th home run, Lance Berkman had two hits and an RBI and Houston snapped the Cubs’ five-game winning streak.

Houston starter Brian Moehler (1-0) pitched five innings to get his first victory since Sept. 10, 2008, against Pittsburgh.

Moehler was backed by a strong performance from the Houston bullpen. Tim Byrdak pitched a perfect sixth, Alberto Arias pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings.

Chris Sampson pitched 1 2-3 innings for his first career save despite giving up a solo shot to Alfonso Soriano and an RBI single to Milton Bradley.

Derrek Lee was 4 for 5 with a home run for the Cubs.

Rich Harden (4-2), who had won his four previous decisions, gave up four runs and six hits. He had seven strikeouts and walked three.

Brewers 8, Cardinals 2

ST. LOUIS – Prince Fielder hit his fourth homer in the last five games to help Milwaukee win its fifth in a row.

Manny Parra (3-4) won his third straight start and the Brewers got two-run singles from J.J. Hardy and Jason Kendall to win their 11th in 13 games.

Fielder has four homers and 10 RBIs the last five games.

Todd Wellemeyer (3-4) walked seven, two more than his previous career worst. Despite those woes, Wellemeyer didn’t allow a hit his last 4 2-3 innings after the Brewers batted around in a the first while extending him for 41 pitches.

Phillies 8, Nationals 6

WASHINGTON – A two-base error on an eighth-inning bunt provided the go-ahead run as the Phillies completed a sweep.

Sergio Escalona (1-0), called up overnight from Double-A Reading, got the win in his major league debut by throwing one scoreless inning of middle relief, practically a standout performance among the only two National League clubs with team ERAs over 5.00.

Trailing 6-5 in the top of the eighth, the Phillies got the first two men on base against reliever Julian Tavarez (0-3), and Pedro Feliz tried to bunt them over. Pitcher Jesus Colome fielded the ball and threw accurately to first, but second baseman Anderson Hernandez – who was covering the bag – inexplicably moved out of the way at the last second and let the ball go into right field. Two runs scored, and Colome was given a two-base error.

Pirates 11, Rockies 4

PITTSBURGH – Nate McLouth had three of his four RBIs during a 10-run seventh inning, and the Pirates came from behind to take their second straight from Colorado.

The first 11 batters reached in the seventh for Pittsburgh, which trailed 4-1 entering the inning but scored at least 10 runs in an inning for the first time since Aug. 20, 2003.

McLouth also homered for the second consecutive game, and Andy LaRoche had two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates, who have won four of their past six since snapping an eight-game skid.

The comeback made a winner out of Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke (5-3), who gave up four runs in the fourth when Hawpe and Matt Murton had RBI hits and Yorvit Torreabla hit a sacrifice fly.

With the exception of the fourth, Duke allowed only three baserunners in seven innings.

Alan Embree (1-2) took the loss.

Padres 3, Reds 1

SAN DIEGO – Jake Peavy threw a four-hitter, Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in two runs and the Padres beat Cincinnati after needing eight pitchers in a 16-inning victory the previous night.

Peavy (3-5) gave the Padres’ bullpen a rest, winning for the first time in six starts and running his career mark against Cincinnati to 6-0 with a 2.28 ERA. It was his first complete game of the season and seventh of his career.

Bronson Arroyo (5-3) went seven innings for the Reds and allowed all three runs.

The game Sunday zipped by in 2 hours, 14 minutes, after their 16-inning marathon lasted 5 hours, 14 minutes. They only needed three total pitchers, too, after combining for 15 in their game that ended early Sunday morning.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.