Even with Barry Bonds and other key players resting, the visiting San Francisco Giants still had no trouble beating the winless Milwaukee Brewers.
Kirk Rueter pitched six scoreless innings, and Rich Aurilia homered yesterday to help San Francisco win, 5-0, and drop Milwaukee to 0-6 for the first time in franchise history.
Manager Felipe Alou held Bonds, Ray Durham, Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow out of the starting lineup, but the Giants still matched their 6-0 start of a year ago when they went on to win the National League pennant.
Reserves Andres Galarraga and Yorvit Torrealba each scored a run and had an RBI, and Neifi Perez scored a run. Perez played second and also made a great defensive play to end a Brewers threat.
"We've got a great bench, one of the best in the game," said Edgardo Alfonzo, who left the game in the eighth with a mild groin sprain. "Every time you get a day off, you feel comfortable."
Alou was comfortable resting so many regulars because he had Rueter (1-0), his Opening Day pitcher, on the mound. He continued his mastery of Milwaukee, allowing five hits and four walks.
In 10 career starts against the Brewers, Rueter is 7-1 with a 1.78 ERA. He also had two hits and an RBI.
"We've got outstanding guys, veterans that have been everyday players, on the bench," Rueter said. "We don't lose much when they are out there."
* PIRATES 2, PHILLIES 0: Kris Benson pitched seven shutout innings and scored a run in Philadelphia.
Benson (2-0), who pitched 61/3 scoreless innings in a season-opening win against Cincinnati, gave up six hits and a walk. He struck out six.
Mike Williams pitched the ninth for his third save for the Pirates, who are off to a 5-1 start for the second straight year.
Phillies starter Brett Myers (0-1), fighting for his spot in the rotation after a poor spring, struck out a career-high 11 and gave up one run, four hits and four walks in six innings.
* EXPOS 8, METS 5: Jeff Liefer hit a three-run homer off Armando Benitez in the ninth inning to lift visiting Montreal.
Benitez (0-1) entered with a 5-4 lead provided by Tony Clark, who hit a go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning in his Mets debut.
Endy Chavez singled leading off the ninth and advanced on a one-out wild pitch. Benitez walked Vladimir Guerrero after getting ahead 1-2, then gave up Liefer's first NL homer, putting the Expos ahead 7-5.
* ROCKIES 8, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Todd Helton hit a three-run homer off Curt Schilling, and Colorado, at home, won its fourth straight game.
Helton's homer highlighted a four-run first inning against Schilling (0-1). He and teammate Randy Johnson are a combined 0-2 after two starts apiece this season.
The two-time defending NL West champions have lost four straight and are 1-5, equaling the worst start in their six-year history.
* BRAVES 13, MARLINS 4: Chipper Jones had a two-run single, Andruw Jones followed with a two-run double in the first inning, and host Atlanta bounced back from its most lopsided loss in three seasons.
After Braves ace Greg Maddux was pounded for three homers and nine runs in only two innings of a 17-1 loss Saturday night, the Braves responded quickly against Florida starter Brad Penny (0-1).
* DODGERS 4, PADRES 3: Brian Jordan's bases-loaded grounder drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 13th inning, and Los Angeles avoided a four-game sweep at home.
* REDS 5, CUBS 4: Sean Casey hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning, and Cincinnati completed a discouraging opening homestand in its new ballpark.
* CARDINALS-ASTROS, PPD.: The game in St. Louis was rained out. The game has been tentatively rescheduled for May 29.