Lance Berkman hit a tiebreaking home run in the fifth and Jeff Kent capped a five-run seventh with a grand slam as the Houston Astros extended their season-best winning streak to six with a 9-3 victory over the Reds yesterday in Cincinnati.

In sweeping the three-game series against the Reds, the Astros hit 10 home runs and scored 28 runs. Houston has won 14 of its last 17 games.

Roy Oswalt (16-9) improved to 10-0 in 14 career games against Cincinnati. He left after six innings with sore ribs, allowing three runs and six hits, walking three and striking out four.

"I can't explain it," he said of his success against the Reds. "Through the years, they've changed players, and they have good players. We just seem to match up well, and it always seems like we score a lot of runs here."

Paul Wilson (9-5), who came off the disabled list earlier in the day, failed in his eighth attempt to earn his 10th win. He allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.

* BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 2: Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones each hit a solo homer, and Jaret Wright pitched six strong innings to lead Atlanta to the road victory.

The Braves swept the two-game series and hold a 131/2-game lead over the third-place Phillies in the NL East. The teams were once tied for first in the division after splitting a two-game series July 19-20.

* CUBS 2, EXPOS 1: Nomar Garciaparra scored the go-ahead run on Claudio Vargas's wild pitch in the 11th and Mark Grudzielanek added an RBI single to lead visiting Chicago.

Kerry Wood struck out 11 in eight shutout innings for the Cubs. Expos starter Tony Armas Jr. allowed four hits in six scoreless innings, his longest outing in his last six starts.

"When you face this kind of pitcher, you've got to bring your 'A' game, and I'm proud I did," Armas said.

* CARDINALS 4, PADRES 2: Chris Carpenter pitched seven innings of six-hit ball and host St. Louis got first-inning homers by Larry Walker and Scott Rolen in winning its fifth straight.

"We just couldn't get that big hit," Padres Manager Bruce Bochy said. "They are a very explosive team over there. There aren't any weaknesses."

* ROCKIES 4, GIANTS 1: Jamey Wright pitched seven innings of four-hit ball to win for the first time in seven starts, and visiting Colorado ended an eight-game losing streak.

Clint Barmes had two hits, drove in a run and scored twice on a night the Rockies lived by the bloop single. Colorado had lost nine straight road games, one shy of the franchise record. This was the club's first victory in eight games during its season-long 12-game trip.

The eight consecutive losses overall matched its longest winless stretch this season.

* MARLINS 5, METS 4: Paul Lo Duca hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth, Mike Lowell homered and visiting Florida won its sixth straight.

* DIAMONDBACKS 3, DODGERS 1: Shea Hillenbrand hit a two-run double, and Brandon Webb pitched six strong innings to lead host Arizona.

* PIRATES 5, BREWERS 2: Ty Wigginton's two-out infield single drove home the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th and visiting Pittsburgh rallied past Milwaukee.

Cubs relief pitcher Latroy Hawkins gives outfielder Sammy Sosa a pat on the head after Chicago defeated the Expos, 2-1 in 11 innings, in Montreal.