Jim Edmonds hit his 300th career home run, Jason Marquis won his 11th straight decision and the Cardinals won their eighth in a row overall, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, last night in St. Louis.
The National League Central leaders needed only two hits, tying their season low, to beat the NL West-leading Dodgers for the second straight night. Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 45,692, they tied their longest winning streak of the season and won for the 13th time in 15 games.
Adrian Beltre had three hits and drove in his 100th run with an eighth-inning double for the Dodgers to cut the gap to 5-1. He's only the third third baseman in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero.
Edmonds became the 103rd member of the 300-homer club with a two-run shot in the second off Kazuhisa Ishii (13-7). It also was his 40th homer of the season -- along with Albert Pujols giving the Cardinals their first pair of 40-homer men in franchise history -- and his ninth in 10 games.
Pujols was 0 for 2 with two walks; he and Beltre are tied for the NL lead with 43 homers.
Marquis (14-4) became the fourth Cardinals starter to reach 14 wins and the first to win 11 straight since John Tudor did it in 1985. Marquis pitched seven scoreless innings, had a season-best nine strikeouts and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in his final inning by fanning pinch hitters Robin Ventura and Milton Bradley.
* ASTROS 6, PIRATES 5: Mike Lamb hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh, and Houston, at home, extended its season-high winning streak to eight.
Houston has won 10 of its last 12 and 16 of 19 to move two games behind idle Chicago in the NL wild-card race.
Chad Qualls (3-0) threw one inning of relief and allowed a run and one hit, but picked up the win. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 23 opportunities.
Jason Bay and Jack Wilson each homered for Pittsburgh, which has lost 13 of its last 18 and was mathematically eliminated from the division race.
With the game tied at 5 in the seventh, Jeff Bagwell led off with a triple off Nelson Figueroa (0-2). Frank Brooks came on in relief and intentionally walked Jeff Kent before Lamb lined a double into right-center field, giving the Astros the lead.
* GIANTS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 7: Dustan Mohr doubled in the tying run in the eighth and Deivi Cruz hit a two-run single two batters later in San Francisco.
Marquis Grissom hit a grand slam and also started the eighth-inning rally with a single.
* BRAVES 9, EXPOS 0: Russ Ortiz pitched a three-hitter and Andruw Jones hit a grand slam as visiting Atlanta won its fifth straight.
Ortiz (14-7) retired the first 15 batters before Einar Diaz lined a clean single to right-center to lead off the sixth.
It was his third career shutout, and first since Sept. 19, 2003.
* PHILLIES 7, METS 0: Cory Lidle threw a three-hitter for his second straight shutout and knocked in three runs with a double to extend visiting New York's losing streak to eight.
Jimmy Rollins hit a three-run homer and Jason Michaels scored twice for the Phillies, who are 8-13 since Aug. 12 -- with all of their wins against last-place Milwaukee and the Mets.
* BREWERS 7, REDS 3: Russell Branyan and Keith Ginter each hit three-run homers, rookie Ben Hendrickson earned his first major league victory, and Milwaukee sent visiting Cincinnati to its fifth straight loss.
* ROCKIES 8, PADRES 2: In San Diego, Shawn Estes (14-6) pitched seven innings and had two hits, and J.D. Closser hit his first major league homer.
* CUBS-MARLINS, PPD.: The weekend series in Miami was postponed because of Hurricane Frances.