Chipper Jones homered twice, and pinch hitter Julio Franco had a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning to lead the Atlanta Braves over St. Louis, 9-7, yesterday.

It was just the third loss in 11 games for the visiting Cardinals.

In a matchup of division leaders, Andruw Jones and Rafael Furcal also homered for the Braves, who opened a season-high eight-game lead over second-place Philadelphia in the NL East. Furcal had four hits for Atlanta, 21-7 since the all-star break.

Albert Pujols homered twice for St. Louis, raising his total to 35 and tying Cincinnati's Adam Dunn and Philadelphia's Jim Thome for the league lead.

"Those were two teams standing toe to toe," Chipper Jones said. "You had a little bit of everything, a lot of power, a lot of home runs, good defense, bad defense. . . . It was just a roller coaster ride from a momentum standpoint."

* CUBS 2, DODGERS 0: Kerry Wood homered and allowed four hits in eight innings to lead Chicago at home.

Wood (7-5) struck out seven and walked three as Chicago won for the third time in eight games. He hit his seventh homer in 305 career at-bats in the third inning off Kazuhisa Ishii (11-6), a drive into the left field bleachers against a 15 mph wind.

Chicago also scored in the fifth when Michael Barrett tripled and scored on Corey Patterson's two-out single.

* GIANTS 7, PHILLIES 6: Yorvit Torrealba hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, leading San Francisco on the road.

Cody Ransom, Dustan Mohr and Marquis Grissom also homered for the Giants.

Placido Polanco hit a two-run homer for the Phillies, who lost for the fifth time in six home games despite overcoming a 5-0 deficit.

Torrealba put San Francisco ahead when his one-out fly ball off former Giants reliever Felix Rodriguez (4-6) carried into the left field seats.

* PIRATES 6, ROCKIES 1: Rookie Jose Castillo was 3 for 4 and drove in a career-high three runs in Pittsburgh to back Oliver Perez (8-6), who matched his career high with seven walks.

* METS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Cliff Floyd homered and drove in three runs to extend Arizona's losing streak to nine games as host New York won its third in a row.

* MARLINS 11, BREWERS 1: Jeff Conine's third grand slam of the season highlighted Florida's seven-run ninth in Milwaukee.

* REDS 11, PADRES 5: Wily Mo Pena homered twice and drove in four runs, helping Cincinnati win at home.

* EXPOS 8, ASTROS 3: Nick Johnson hit his first NL grand slam, Tony Armas Jr. pitched five hitless innings before leaving because of a high pitch count and host Montreal stretched its season-best winning streak to seven.