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POSTED May 14, 2012 1:47 a.m.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto hit a grand slam in the ninth inning for his third home run of the game, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a rain-delayed 9-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

Votto hit solo homers in his first two at-bats and finished a big day with his second career slam with two outs in the ninth. The Reds said it was the first time in major league history that a player hit a game-ending grand slam for his third home run, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Washington came into the game with only 15 homers allowed all season, fewest in the majors. Votto broke out of his power drought and helped the Reds avoid a sweep with three perfect swings.

The last one came against struggling closer Henry Rodriguez (1-3), who had trouble with his control on the wet mound. Rodriguez walked two batters to load the bases with two outs, then left a 2-2 pitch up and over the plate to Votto.

The 2010 NL MVP hadn’t homered since April 30 and had only two coming into the game. He finished with a career-high six RBIs and the second three-homer game of his career.

The last player to hit a game-ending home run in a three-homer game was Albert Pujols for St. Louis against Cincinnati on April 16, 2006, STATS LLC said.

Sean Marshall (1-2) got the win at the end of a long day. The start was delayed 3 hours, 36 minutes by rain, which fell throughout the 3-hour, 45-minute game.



MARLINS 8, METS 4


MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-out grand slam to cap a ninth-inning rally by the Miami Marlins, who beat an angry Frank Francisco and the New York Mets.

The walk-off victory was the second in the three-game series for the Marlins, who have won 10 of their past 12 games.

It was the first time in 14 years that there were two walk-off slams on one day, according to STATS LLC. Mo Vaughn connected for Boston and Steve Finley for San Diego on April 10, 1998.

The Marlins trailed 4-2 when Emilio Bonifacio led off the ninth with his second triple of the game against Francisco (1-3). John Buck walked and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs followed with an RBI single.

Francisco was then replaced, and he walked slowly toward plate umpire Todd Tichenor, hollering angrily. Manager Terry Collins stepped between Tichenor and Francisco, who waved his index finger and then his cap at the ump before finally heading to the dugout. Francisco was ejected even though he was already out of the game.

Francisco’s ERA rose to 8.56. He blew a save in the series opener Friday night.

Manny Acosta replaced Francisco, and Jose Reyes’ sacrifice fly made the score 4-all. Miami then loaded the bases for Stanton.

Struggling reliever Heath Bell (2-3) earned the win even though he gave up pinch-hitter Justin Turner’s two-run double in the top of the ninth.



PHILLIES 3, PADRES 2


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cole Hamels was stellar on the mound in his return from a five-game suspension, allowing one run in seven innings to help Philadelphia beat San Diego.

Hamels (5-1) was suspended by Major League Baseball after the left-hander intentionally hit Washington rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch.

It was Hamel’s fifth victory in his last six starts — all Philadelphia wins. The San Diego native allowed five hits while striking out five.

Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

Jimmy Rollins opened the game with his first homer this season off Jeff Suppan (2-1), who gave up three runs — two earned — and six hits over six innings. It was the 38th leadoff home run for Rollins.



BRAVES 7, CARDINALS 4


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jason Heyward ended a 10-pitch at-bat with a three-run double in the third inning and Atlanta beat St. Louis to complete a three-game sweep and hand rookie Lance Lynn his first loss.

Tommy Hanson (4-3) allowed one run in five innings with nine strikeouts and Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla each had an RBI in a three-run seventh. The Braves had lost seven in a row in St. Louis before Friday and swept the Cardinals for the first time since Sept. 11-13, 2009, also in St. Louis.

Lynn (6-1) missed a chance to become the franchise’s first pitcher to win his first seven starts of a season dating to 1920, according to STATS LLC.

Carlos Beltran homered for the sixth time in six games with his league-leading 13th of the season and Allen Craig hit a three-run shot off Cristhian Martinez in the ninth.



DODGERS 11, ROCKIES 5


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bobby Abreu hit a three-run double and A.J. Ellis added a three-run homer during a sixth-inning rally that carried Ted Lilly and Los Angeles past Colorado.

All-Star center fielder Matt Kemp, who leads the Dodgers with 12 homers and a .359 batting average, left the game because of an irritated left hamstring after grounding out in the third inning. He has played in 399 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the majors, but that streak is in serious jeopardy. He has an MRI scheduled for Monday.

Lilly (5-0) overcame a shaky start, allowing five runs — four earned — over 6 1-3 innings after giving up singles to each of his first four batters. The left-hander, who began the season on the disabled list because of a strained neck, left with a 2.11 ERA. He has won his first five decisions for the first time in his career.

Ellis tied a career high with four RBIs as the Dodgers improved baseball’s best record to 23-11.

Alex White (0-2) was charged with six runs over 4 1-3 innings in his second start of the season for the Rockies.



GIANTS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 3


PHOENIX (AP) — Melky Cabrera singled four times to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, Gregor Blanco drove in three runs with a pair of hits and San Francisco beat Arizona to take two of three from the Diamondbacks.

Brett Pill hit a two-run homer and Barry Zito (2-1) earned his first win since his opening start.

Jason Kubel went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks, who finished their homestand 1-5.

San Francisco had a season-high 14 hits, 10 of them against starter Joe Saunders (2-3).

Zito allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three.



CUBS 8, BREWERS 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ian Stewart hit a solo homer and scored the go-ahead run on an error, helping Chicago beat Milwaukee to avoid a three-game sweep by their division rivals.

It was the fourth homer of the season for Stewart, hitless in his previous four games. Reed Johnson added a pinch-hit home run in the sixth for the Cubs.

Shawn Camp (1-1) earned the win. Kameron Loe (2-1) took the loss.



PIRATES 3, ASTROS 2, 12 INNINGS


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Harrison’s 12th-inning single drove in Clint Barmes and Pittsburgh came back to beat Houston on a rainy afternoon.

Harrison was 0 for 3 before lining the first pitch he saw from Fernando Rodriguez (1-4) into left. Barmes had just hit a two-out double and scored from second.

The Pirates prevented the Astros from winning a road series for the first time in 11 months.

Pittsburgh tied it in the ninth against closer Brett Myers, keeping Wandy Rodriguez from earning a victory despite eight dominant innings. It was Myers’ first blown save in 10 opportunities.

A.J. Burnett allowed two runs in eight innings for the Pirates. Tony Watson (3-0) pitched a perfect 12th to earn the win.

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