Chris Stynes hit a three-run homer in the 12th inning last night as the Reds beat Pittsburgh, 7-4, in Cincinnati to remain in first place in the NL Central.

Stynes, pinch-hitting for Danny Graves (8-6), connected off Mike Williams (2-3) for his second homer of the season, sending the ball off the facing of the second deck in left field. Both of his homers have come as a pinch hitter.

Mark Lewis had doubled with one out. One out later, Dmitri Young was walked intentionally.

Cincinnati remained three percentage points ahead of second-place Houston.

The Reds went ahead in the first when Mike Cameron was hit by a pitch, and Sean Casey and Greg Vaughn hit consecutive RBI doubles.

Pittsburgh tied the score in the second. Ed Sprague was hit by a pitch, Warren Morris doubled and Mike Benjamin hit a two-run double.

Barry Larkin's RBI triple gave the Reds a 3-2 lead in the third, but Pittsburgh went ahead in the sixth on run-scoring singles by Sprague and Joe Oliver. Pokey Reese's RBI single tied it in the bottom half.

EXPOS 2, GIANTS 1: Brad Fullmer hit a leadoff home run in the 12th to give Montreal the win in San Francisco.

Dan Smith (4-6) pitched three hitless innings for the victory and Ugueth Urbina got three outs for his 28th save. Pitchers from both teams were dominant, combining for 29 strikeouts, including a rare four-strikeout effort in the seventh by Montreal reliever Steve Kline.

Fullmer, who entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement at first base, drove John Johnstone's (4-6) first pitch in the 12th over the right field fence.

Kline, the first Expos pitcher to strike out four in an inning, relieved to start the seventh. He struck out Brent Mayne and Estes, but the pitcher reached on a wild pitch. Kline then struck out Marvin Benard and Ramon Martinez. It was the 36th time in major league history that a pitcher had a four-strikeout inning and the sixth this season.

ASTROS 8, BREWERS 6: Ken Caminiti hit a go-ahead, two-run single in his second game since coming off the disabled list as host Houston won its second straight over Milwaukee.

Craig Biggio homered to back Scott Elarton (7-3), who allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

Caminiti, 0 for 3 Monday in his first game since May 21, gave Houston a 4-3 lead in the third when he singled to center off Cal Eldred (1-6) with the bases loaded. Lance Berkman added a sacrifice fly for a 5-3 lead.

CARDINALS 6, PHILLIES 5: Craig Paquette hit a two-run double in the ninth inning for his third straight go-ahead hit as host St. Louis rallied to beat Philadelphia.

Mark McGwire was 1 for 2 with a double, a sacrifice fly and two walks. He remains at 47 homers, the same number he had after 121 games en route to his record 70 homers last year.

The Cardinals yesterday optioned rookie Jose Jiminez to Class AAA Memphis. Jiminez's June 25 no-hitter was one of the few bright spots in their otherwise inconsistent season. He was 5-12 with a 5.81 ERA and lasted just two innings in his last start.

ROCKIES 3, BRAVES 2: In Denver, Edgard Clemente went 3 for 3 with two doubles, and five Colorado pitchers held off Atlanta despite allowing 10 hits.

Atlanta lost for just the second time in eight games and remained tied with the Mets atop the NL East. Terry Mulholland (7-7) allowed all three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Down 2-1 in the sixth, Colorado tied the score on Neifi Perez's homer and took the lead for good on Dante Bichette's sacrifice fly.

DIAMONDBACKS 4, CUBS 0: Brian Anderson, in probably his last start of the season, threw a three-hitter as the Arizona blanked Chicago in Phoenix.

Greg Colbrunn's bases-loaded triple in the first inning gave Anderson all the offense he needed, as Arizona beat the Cubs for the sixth time in a row and opened up its biggest lead yet (8 1/2 games) over second-place San Francisco in the NL West.

Anderson (5-2), in his fourth career complete game but first this season, struck out five and walked none. The left-hander will lose his spot in the rotation Friday when Todd Stottlemyre comes off the disabled list.

PADRES 3, METS 2: Woody Williams pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and got back at Al Leiter by driving in two runs as San Diego beat visiting New York.

Williams (6-11) lost to Leiter and the Mets, 9-3, at Shea Stadium Aug. 12, with Leiter hitting a three-run double in the fifth for the Mets' final runs. Williams drove in San Diego's first two runs last night with a bases-loaded walk in the second inning and a double in the fourth. Tony Gwynn added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

MARLINS 6, DODGERS 1: A.J. Burnett won in his major league debut and also singled as the visiting Marlins defeated the Dodgers. Burnett gave up one run on five hits and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings.