The Atlanta Braves are back in a familiar place -- first place in the NL East all by themselves.
Mike Hampton pitched seven strong innings after another rough start, John Smoltz did the rest and the Braves held off the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, 4-2, last night.
Adam LaRoche, Andruw Jones, Charles Thomas and Chipper Jones drove in runs for the Braves, who have won 16 of their last 20.
Atlanta's overall record is still just 49-43, but it's enough to give the Braves sole possession of the division lead for the first time this season. It's a familiar position for a team that has won 13 straight division titles.
"The goal is to be in first when the whole season is completed," Manager Bobby Cox said. "We'll try to stay there."
Hampton (5-8) got through another rocky start to win for the fourth time in his last five starts.
* DODGERS 7, ASTROS 6: Milton Bradley and Shawn Green hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning for visiting Los Angeles's seventh straight win.
Adrian Beltre hit his career-high 24th homer for the Dodgers, who have won 13 of their last 14 games.
* PADRES 13, ROCKIES 6: Ismael Valdez pitched five-plus innings and hit a two-run double, Mark Loretta had four hits and three RBI, and visiting San Diego set a season high for runs.
Terrence Long homered and had two RBI, and the Padres matched their season high with 18 hits -- every starter had a hit -- to win for the fourth time in five games.
* EXPOS 6, PIRATES 2: Terrmel Sledge drove in two runs with a ground ball just past first base during a four-run seventh inning and Montreal halted Pittsburgh's 10-game home winning streak.
The Expos ended the Pirates' longest home streak since they won 24 in a row late in the 1978 season.
* MARLINS 6, METS 5: In New York, pinch hitter Lenny Harris had a go-ahead single in the ninth inning, spoiling Scott Erickson's bid for his first major league win in nearly two years.
Miguel Cabrera tied it with an RBI single off Braden Looper (2-2), who gave up four straight hits in the ninth.
Shane Spencer hit a three-run homer for the Mets, who built a 5-2 lead for Erickson in his first big league appearance since Aug. 31, 2002, with Baltimore.
* CARDINALS 5, CUBS 4: Scott Rolen hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth off Carlos Zambrano to lead visiting St. Louis to its 12th win in 14 games.
Zambrano (9-5) was ejected in the eighth inning after hitting Jim Edmonds with a pitch right after Rolen's two-run shot -- the second time Zambrano hit Edmonds. Because the benches had been warned, Cubs Manager Dusty Baker also was ejected.
* GIANTS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Brett Tomko pitched into the eighth inning, and the Giants made up for the absence of Barry Bonds in Phoenix. The slugger sat out the game after having a root canal in the morning, but the Giants won for the sixth time in eight games.
* REDS 8, BREWERS 4: Wily Mo Pena hit his sixth homer in his last eight games, and also had a run-scoring single and a double for host Cincinnati.