Josh Beckett pitched a six-hitter for his first regular season shutout and Juan Pierre hit a two-run single to lead the Florida Marlins over the New York Mets, 5-0, last night in Shea Stadium for their fifth consecutive victory.
Beckett (6-8) struck out two and walked none to win for only the second time since May 20, when he beat Houston, 4-3. He also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk.
Florida, three games back in the NL wild-card race, won for the eighth time in 10 games to move six games over .500 for the first time since June 24.
The Marlins took advantage of a career-high seven walks by Steve Trachsel (10-12), who lost his fourth straight start.
* EXPOS 8, CUBS 0: Livan Hernandez allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings, and Brad Wilkerson and Maicer Izturis each hit home runs in Montreal.
Hernandez (10-12) also had two hits -- including an RBI single -- for the Expos. He allowed Moises Alou's single in the second, Derrek Lee's single in the fourth, and Michael Barrett's single in the fifth. Hernandez also walked four, combining with T.J. Tucker on Montreal's 10th shutout. Mark Prior (4-4) allowed four runs in the first, including Wilkerson's leadoff homer. He gave up six hits and five runs in five innings.
* DODGERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Steve Finley hit a three-run double in the 13th inning in his return to Arizona.
Finley also homered off Randy Johnson as he faced Arizona for the first time since the Diamondbacks traded him on July 31.
* ASTROS 8, REDS 0: Jeff Kent homered twice and Houston hit three straight shots in the fifth inning to win in Cincinnati.
Carlos Beltran, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman hit consecutive home runs for the Astros, winners of a season-high five straight.
* BRAVES 5, PHILLIES 3: Mike Hampton pitched two-hit ball over eight innings and Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer in Philadelphia.
Eli Marrero went 3 for 4 and Julio Franco had two RBI for the Braves, who went 20-8 for the month, their second 20-win August since moving to Atlanta from Milwaukee after the 1965 season. They were 21-7 in August 1999.
* CARDINALS 9, PADRES 3: Jim Edmonds homered twice, giving him seven in six games, and host St. Louis powered past San Diego.
Albert Pujols and Edgar Renteria homered and had three hits for the NL Central leaders. Reggie Sanders also had three hits, and drove in a run.
Woody Williams (10-7) became the fifth Cardinals pitcher to reach double figures in victories.
* BREWERS 4, PIRATES 2: Milwaukee snapped a 12-game losing streak and avoided the worst month in franchise history with a victory at home.
Geoff Jenkins's two-run double highlighted a four-run first inning off rookie right-hander John Van Benschoten. The Brewers went 6-21 in August, barely avoiding their worst month in franchise history (6-22 by the Seattle Pilots in August 1969).
* GIANTS 9, ROCKIES 5: Yorvit Torrealba and Marquis Grissom homered, and Ray Durham hit a tiebreaking three-run double in San Francisco. Barry Bonds went 1 for 2 with a double and remained at 696 career home runs.