Corey Patterson hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning yesterday to give the host Chicago Cubs a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, capping a rally that began on a controversial leadoff double by Mark Grudzielanek.

Patterson connected on a 2-2 pitch off Luis Vizcaino (4-4) as the Cubs won for the eighth time in 11 games and maintained their lead in the NL wild-card race.

Grudzielanek opened the ninth with a fly ball down the right field line near the wall and took third when Brady Clark's relay went past second for an error. Umpire Mark Wegner ruled it a fair ball, and replays were inconclusive.

"He said it was right on the line. I don't know what line he was looking at. Everybody was emphatic about it," said Brewers Manager Ned Yost, who was ejected.

"I'd say it was at least one baseball foul. I saw what I saw. I saw it foul," Clark said.

Wegner disagreed, during the game and after.

"I just watched the replay and it showed it fair, too. It hit the line," Wegner said. "[Yost] thought his player thought it was foul, but that's why I'm on the line, and I got a good look at it, so fair ball."

* ASTROS 7, PHILLIES 4: Jeff Kent hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, and Houston beat visiting Philadelphia to sweep the season series from the Phillies for the first time.

"Hopefully, we can play everybody the way we've played the Phillies," Houston's Craig Biggio said. "If you're going to win a lot of games, this is the way you've got to do it."

Kent also connected in the second inning, and Carlos Beltran and Morgan Ensberg each homered. Houston went 6-0 against the Phillies and won for the eighth time in 10 games overall. The Astros' only other season sweep was against Montreal in 2001.

Philadelphia has lost 11 of 15 and is three games behind the Astros for sixth place in the NL wild-card race.

* CARDINALS 6, REDS 5: Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit two-run homers, and pinch runner Reggie Sanders scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning on Joe Valentine's wild pitch to lead St. Louis.

The Cardinals, who overcame a 5-2 deficit, improved the best road record in the majors to 41-20, beating Cincinnati for the 14th time in 18 games this season.

* BRAVES 8, ROCKIES 1: In Atlanta, Chipper Jones homered twice and matched his career high with five RBI, leading the Braves to their 19th win in 27 games.

Eli Marrero also homered off Jeff Francis, who gave up six hits in his major league debut, three of them homers.

* GIANTS 6, MARLINS 5: Rudy Seanez intentionally walked Barry Bonds to load the bases in the 10th inning, then unintentionally walked pinch hitter A.J. Pierzynski on four pitches to force in the tiebreaking run as San Francisco won in Miami.

* PADRES 4, METS 0: Brian Lawrence escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and allowed just four hits the rest of the way, pitching San Diego to a win on the road.

* PIRATES 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Jack Wilson and Jason Bay hit consecutive home runs off Randy Johnson in the seventh inning as Pittsburgh beat visiting Arizona.

* EXPOS 6, DODGERS 3: Brian Schneider hit a three-run homer and host Montreal connected four times off Jose Lima in beating Los Angeles.