CINCINNATI (AP) — Brandon Phillips drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double on Friday night, and Mike Leake got the better of left-hander Francisco Liriano for the third time this season, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that tightened the NL Central.
The third-place Reds moved to within three games of second-place Pittsburgh. The Pirates lead their season series 6-5.
The Reds sent nine batters to the plate for four runs in the fifth off Liriano (9-4), who had his shortest outing of the season. Chris Heisey’s infield single drove in the first run, and Phillips’ double off Justin Wilson made it 5-0.
Heisey also had a solo homer off Liriano.
Leake (9-4) gave up solo homers to Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin in the sixth inning. Manny Parra fanned Pedro Alvarez with runners on second and third to end the seventh.
Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the ninth while getting his 22nd save in 25 chances.
DODGERS 3, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Andre Ethier homered off Rafael Soriano to lead off the ninth inning, and the Dodgers resumed play after the All-Star break with a 3-2 win over the Nationals.
Ethier pulled a 1-2 slider just over the wall in right-center, his sixth homer of the year and the second ninth-inning homer allowed by Soriano (1-2) in three appearances.
Hanley Ramirez also homered for the Dodgers, who picked up where they left off before the break, winning for the seventh time in nine games and moving back above .500. They were 12 games below the break-even mark on June 21.
Ronald Belisario (4-5) faced only one batter to get the win, his 14th consecutive appearance without a run allowed. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
PHILLIES 13, METS 8
NEW YORK (AP) — Chase Utley, Domonic Brown and the Phillies came flying out of the All-Star break, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings on way to a rout of the Mets.
Michael Young hit a three-run homer, Utley had a two-run drive and Brown a solo shot as the Phillies (49-48) won for the ninth time in 12 games to move over .500 for only the second time this season. Philadelphia roughed up familiar foil Jeremy Hefner in its seventh consecutive victory at Citi Field dating to last season, including a three-game sweep in April.
While the Phillies have made themselves right at home in Queens, the Mets keep struggling in their own ballpark. Back on the field after hosting the All-Star game Tuesday for the first time since 1964, they fell to an NL-worst 17-28 at home.
CUBS 3, ROCKIES 1
DENVER (AP) — Jeff Samardzija pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Anthony Rizzo doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, leading the Cubs past the Rockies.
Alfonso Soriano added a home run, his 17th, and Junior Lake, recalled by Chicago from Triple-A Iowa before the game, had three hits in his major league debut, including a double in his first career at-bat. Darwin Barney drove in an insurance run with a ninth-inning double.
Samardzija (6-9) kept the Rockies in check by limiting them to one run on four hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out six.
D.J. LeMahieu doubled off Kevin Gregg to start the ninth and advanced to third on a ground out by Carlos Gonzalez. Troy Tulowitzki walked before Gregg induced Michael Cuddyer to ground into a game-ending double play for his 18th save in 20 chances.
BREWERS 2, MARLINS 0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Juan Francisco and Carlos Gomez each hit home runs and Kyle Lohse blanked Miami for six innings as the Brewers started the second half of the season with a victory over the Marlin.
Lohse (6-7) has owned the Marlins over his career. He came in 5-2 in nine starts, including a 3-0 record with the St. Louis Cardinals last season. He was in command all the way this time, too.
He struck out five, allowed five hits but no walks. It was his fourth win in his last five decisions.
Francisco hit an opposite-field home run in the fourth, driving a 3-2 pitch from Jacob Turner (3-2) into the left-field seats.
Gomez, fresh off his first All-Star appearance, curled a two-out, 0-2 pitch around the left-field foul pole in the fifth inning.
CARDINALS 9, PADRES 6
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jake Westbrook pitched 6 1-3 innings of two-run ball and contributed three hits, All-Star Matt Carpenter continued his strong season with three hits and three RBIs, and the Cardinals beat the Padres.
A career .116 hitter, Westbrook had never had more than one hit in a game. The right-hander, who scored twice and had an RBI, surpassed his hit output for the year with two singles and a double in his three at-bats. That raised his batting from .100 to .217.
On the mound, Westbrook (6-4) scattered eight hits while striking out one and walking four.
After rookie Carlos Martinez allowed three runs in the ninth to make it a three-run game, All-Star Edward Mujica got the last two outs to record his 27th save in 29 chances.
GIANTS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chad Gaudin struck out eight in seven scoreless innings to build on his impressive monthlong stretch, All-Star Buster Posey hit an RBI double, and the Giants beat the first-place Diamondbacks.
Hunter Pence added a run-scoring single as defending World Series champion San Francisco started a key series to open the second half by pulling within 5 1/2 games of the D-backs in the NL West race.
Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (3-7) was denied career win No. 50 yet again in his eighth try.
In his past four starts, Gaudin (4-1) has a 0.77 ERA, two earned runs in 23 1-3 innings. He has an 11-inning scoreless streak.