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National League capsules

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POSTED July 22, 2012 10:32 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman homered twice and drove in three runs, and Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina each had three hits and two RBIs as the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 9-2 to split a four-game series between the top two teams in the NL East.

After Washington blew a 9-0 lead Friday night in an 11-10 loss, the teams split a Saturday doubleheader. The Nationals lead the division by 3 1/2 games — as they did when the series began.

Zimmerman’s two-run homer and Danny Espinosa’s double keyed a four-run first off Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens (3-4). Michael Morse had three hits and scored three runs for the Nationals, who had 18 hits.

Ross Detwiler (5-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to win his first game since May 3.



CARDINALS 7, CUBS 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lance Lynn won his 12th game with six mostly spotless innings, and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran homered on consecutive pitches to put the finishing touches on the St. Louis Cardinals’ victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs.

Jon Jay and Tony Cruz hit consecutive two-run doubles off Travis Wood (4-5) in the first for St. Louis, which outscored the Cubs 23-1 and outhit them 38-16 for their sweep over Chicago since June 3-5, 2011 in St. Louis.

Lynn (12-4) has allowed just one run in 19 innings his last three starts. Fernando Salas and Marc Rzepczynski finished a combined five-hitter as the Cardinals earned consecutive shutouts for the first time since Oct. 1-2, 2010 against the Rockies.



PIRATES 3, MARLINS 0

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jeff Karstens pitched seven crisp innings, Pedro Alvarez homered and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins for their fifth consecutive win.

Pittsburgh completed its fourth sweep of the season — all at home — while matching its longest winning streak since Sept. 17-22, 2010. The Pirates (54-40) remained a half-game behind NL Central-leading Cincinnati.

Anibal Sanchez (5-7) took the loss for Miami, which has dropped five straight, scoring a total of seven runs during the slide.

Alvarez’s fourth homer in his last six games and No. 21 for the season came after Casey McGehee led off the seventh with a double, making it 3-0.

Karstens (3-2) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked two. Joel Hanrahan earned his 28th save.



DODGERS 8, METS 3, 12 INNINGS

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinch-hitter Matt Treanor had a two-run single in a five-run 12th and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the fading New York Mets to finish a three-game sweep.

The Dodgers blew a 3-1 lead after the sixth, but still won their fourth straight after losing seven of eight and dropping out of first place in the NL West.

Josh Wall (1-0) made his major league debut in the 11th, giving up a single to David Wright before he was caught trying to steal second base. Ramon Ramirez (2-2) took the loss for New York, which has dropped nine of 10 to fall under .500 (47-48) for the first time this season.



REDS 2, BREWERS 1

CINCINNATI (AP) — Wilson Valdez drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run to back Johnny Cueto’s seven solid innings as the Cincinnati Reds wrapped up one of the best homestands in franchise history with a win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Cueto (12-5) matched his single-season career high in wins to lead the Reds to their eighth victory on the 10-game homestand. It’s only the fifth time in franchise history that Cincinnati posted at least eight wins on a home stand of 10 or fewer games. The last time was in 1975, when the Reds went 8-1 on a homestand.

The Reds, who lead the Pirates by a half-game, are 5-2 since learning that All-Star first baseman Joey Votto needed arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Cueto (12-5) overcame a 30-pitch first inning, which ended with Milwaukee leaving the bases loaded.

Mike Fiers (3-4) lasted six innings in the loss.



PHILLIES 4, GIANTS 3, 12 INNINGS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jimmy Rollins hit an RBI single to lift the Philadelphia Phillies past the San Francisco Giants in 12 innings.

John Mayberry Jr. hit two solo homers for the last-place Phillies, and Nate Schierholtz hit a pair of solo shots for the NL West-leading Giants.

The Phillies snapped a seven-game home losing streak and avoided their first sweep against the Giants since 2004.

Brad Penny (0-1) walked Carlos Ruiz with one out in the 12th. Laynce Nix followed with a single to right to move Ruiz to third. Rollins then lined the first pitch to right to end it. Kyle Kendrick (4-8) tossed 2 1/3 innings to earn the win and extended his career-best scoreless streak to 18 2-3 innings.



DIAMONDBACKS 8, ASTROS 2

PHOENIX (AP) — Jason Kubel homered for the sixth time in five games, Chris Young added a three-run shot and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat Houston to complete a high-scoring, three-game sweep of the staggering Astros.

Kubel, coming off a three-homer game Saturday night, led off the second inning with his 21st of the season. Young’s homer highlighted a season-high seven-run sixth for the Diamondbacks, who outscored Houston 33-13 in the series.

Justin Maxwell homered for Houston as the Astros lost their sixth straight and 19th in 21 games. Houston was swept for the eighth time this season.

Josh Collmenter (2-2) gave up two runs and seven hits through six innings to get the win. Jordan Lyles (2-7) took the loss.



PADRES 3, ROCKIES 2

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Will Venable drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Everth Cabrera had two hits and scored twice as the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies.

Dale Thayer (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory for the Padres, who have won seven of nine and three straight series for the first time this season. Huston Street retired the side in order in the ninth to convert his 16th save in as many chances.

Cabrera singled to lead off the seventh against Adam Ottavino (2-1) before Colorado manager Jim Tracy brought in left-hander Matt Reynolds to face John Baker, who sacrificed Cabrera to second. Venable, who entered in the top of the inning as part of a double switch, singled to right and Cabrera beat Tyler Colvin’s throw home to put San Diego on top 3-2.

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