Ron Villone gave up one hit and struck out five in eight-plus innings and Pokey Reese hit the first homer by a right-hander off Jose Jimenez, leading the host Cincinnati Reds to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals last night.
The Reds improved to 19-8 over their last 27 games with their ninth shutout, the most in the majors. Villone (5-3) gave up a leadoff double to J.D. Drew in the first, then allowed only four more runners -- on a hit batsman, two walks and an error.
Reese led off the fourth inning with his sixth homer, the first that Jimenez (5-10) has given up to a right-handed batter during his major league career. The rookie had not allowed a homer by a right-hander in 141 innings, a span of 299 right-handed at-bats.
The Cardinals were without Manager Tony La Russa, who was bothered once again by an upset stomach. He was taken to a hospital for tests that found nothing serious.
Cincinnati's Sean Casey went 0 for 2, ending his 12-game hitting streak.
CUBS 2, PIRATES 1: Jeff Blauser led off the ninth inning with a homer and Henry Rodriguez later singled home the game-winning run as Chicago rallied to win at Wrigley Field.
Trailing 1-0, Blauser worked Jason Christiansen (2-3) to a 3-2 count and then put a fastball over the left field fence. It was his second pinch homer this season, and third of his career.
Tyler Houston then walked and Mark Grace singled. Sammy Sosa was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Rodriguez singled through the hole at second to win the game.
MARLINS 2, BRAVES 0: Journeyman knuckleballer Dennis Springer outpitched Greg Maddux with a seven-hitter to help Florida win in Miami, sending the Braves to their fifth consecutive defeat.
The losing streak is the Braves' longest since they dropped six in a row Sept. 8-14, 1996.
Preston Wilson did most of Florida's damage. He scored one run, drove in the other and went 2 for 4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Springer (5-10) walked two, struck out three and lowered his earned run average to 4.00.
METS 7, EXPOS 3: Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura hit back-to-back homers in the first inning to lead New York in Montreal. Rick Reed (8-3) won his fifth straight decision for the Mets, who pulled within two games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Rickey Henderson scored New York's sixth run on Edgardo Alfonzo's RBI double in the seventh for his 2,063rd career run, passing Willie Mays for fifth place all-time.
Reed (8-3) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on 10 hits in six innings.
PHILLIES 7, BREWERS 0: Robert Person dominated the Brewers for the second time in two weeks, pitching 7 2/3 shutout innings as Philadelphia won in Milwaukee. Person (4-2) yielded seven hits while striking out five. The former Toronto closer also beat Milwaukee, 1-0, on July 6 and has won four of his last five starts. Kevin Jordan had four hits, including an RBI double in the seventh, and Doug Glanville had three hits and an RBI for the Phillies.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, ASTROS 4: Tony Womack's inside-the-park grand slam off Billy Wagner in the eighth inning lifted visiting Arizona.
ROCKIES 5, DODGERS 4: Kurt Abbott homered to break an eighth-inning tie as Colorado beat host Los Angeles. Former Dodger Pedro Astacio (10-8) surrendered four runs on eight hits and improved to 3-1 against his former team.
GIANTS 10, PADRES 2: Ellis Burks hit his 10th career grand slam and added an RBI single as the Giants broke a three-game losing streak with the win in San Francisco. Burks has eight homers in 16 games since coming off the disabled list June 26. Russ Ortiz (12-6) won for the fourth time in his last five starts.