Game of the day: Cincinnati at St. Louis, 4:10 p.m. The Reds and Cardinals entered Friday tied atop the National League Central, and they continue their three-game series Saturday with an intriguing pitching matchup. Former Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter (0-2) will take the mound for St. Louis, still looking for his first win of the season in his fifth start. Carpenter is 12-3 with a 2.02 ERA in 18 career starts against Cincinnati. Young left-hander Travis Wood (1-2), the scheduled starter for the Reds, is due for a strong outing in his fifth start of the year. In his first four starts this season, Wood has alternated allowing one earned run and six earned runs. He allowed six earned runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings pitched against Pittsburgh in his last start.
Other games to watch
Atlanta at San Francisco, 4:10 p.m. The Braves and Giants haven’t lived up to expectations so far this season, but they send top pitchers to the mound Saturday. Atlanta right-hander Tim Hudson (2-2) has lost two straight starts after dominating in his first two. Hudson is 5-4 with a 3.56 ERA in his career against San Francisco, and he didn’t allow an earned run in seven innings in Game 3 of last season’s NLDS against the Giants. San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum (2-1) will make his fifth start of the year for the Giants, sporting a 1.67 ERA. In last season’s division series, Lincecum pitched a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts in Game 1 against the Braves.
Houston at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m. Both Houston and Milwaukee remain within striking distance in the packed National League Central standings, and each club sends its most effective pitcher so far this season to the mound Saturday. Astros right-hander Brett Myers (1-0) hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his first four starts this season, and has a team-leading 2.39 ERA. Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum (2-1) hasn’t allowed an earned run in 17 straight innings, and has lowered his ERA to 1.90. Marcum, pitching in the National League for the first time after five seasons with Toronto, will make his first career start against Houston.
Games you should have seen
Florida 4, Colorado 1 Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler led off with a broken-bat single to break it up. Sanchez finished with a complete-game one-hitter to give Florida its fourth straight win and its seventh in eight games. Chris Coghlan and Gaby Sanchez each homered for Florida.
Toronto 6, Tampa Bay 4, 11 innings Blue Jays shortstop John McDonald hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lead Toronto past the Rays. Toronto had tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Edwin Encarnacion. Tampa Bay outfielder Sam Fuld went 3 for 5 with three runs scored for the Rays, while Jose Batista hit his fifth home run of the year for the Blue Jays.
Philadelphia 2, San Diego 0 Phillies starter Cole Hamels allowed four hits over eight scoreless innings as Philadelphia shut out San Diego for the second consecutive night. Ryan Howard’s two-run triple in the top of the third inning provided the only scoring. The Phillies have won nine straight games in San Diego and 13 out of 14 since 2008, while the Padres have scored one run or fewer in three of their last four games.
Stat you should know: 5. The number of no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning last season, the most in any year since 1990. Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid Friday night was the first to reach the ninth inning this year.
Chatter: “We’re concentrating on what we have to do. What it takes for each game to get ready. That’s the only thing we can control.” – Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley, who earned the win Friday in the Dodgers’ 12-2 victory over the Cubs. Los Angeles has won three straight games since Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday that Major League Baseball would take over the club.