St. Louis Pinch-hitter Ivan Cruz hit a game-winning RBI single off Antonio Alfonseca with two outs in the 13th inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.
The Cardinals moved a season-best 19 games above .500 and retained a 5 1/2-game lead over Houston in the NL Central. Scott Rolen had a three-run homer in the first inning and Tino Martinez and Eli Marrero also homered for St. Louis.
Jeff Fassero (6-6), the Cardinals' eighth pitcher, struck out two in two perfect innings. The Cardinals' bullpen combined for 11 scoreless innings, allowing five hits in that span, after the Cubs took a 5-3 lead with five runs in the second off Chuck Finley.
Alfonseca (2-4) walked Edgar Renteria with one out in the 13th and Renteria stole second standing up before Cruz' two-out hit into the gap in left-center.
Rolen, who struck out twice in the Cardinals' 11-run third inning Friday night, hit a three-run homer in the first.
Rockies 5, Padres 3
Denver Jay Payton's two-run double keyed a four-run rally against four relievers in the eighth inning . The Rockies received seven strong innings from Denny Stark, who gave up two runs and four hits. Kent Mercker (2-0) worked a perfect eighth inning for the win.
Mets 5, Phillies 4
Philadelphia Tyler Walker earned his first major league victory. Roger Cedeno and Edgardo Alfonzo homered. Joe Roa (3-3) gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in six innings.
Astros 6, Dodgers 1
Los Angeles Mark Loretta went 4-for-5 and Jeff Bagwell homered. Gregg Zaun had a pair of RBI singles. Rookie Carlos Hernandez (7-5) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings. Omar Daal (11-7) lost for the first time in five decisions, allowing four runs and nine hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Giants 4, D-backs 3
San Francisco Benito Santiago hit a game-winning single and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the ninth inning for the second straight game.
Jeff Kent led off the ninth with a single against Byung-Hyun Kim (8-3) and advanced to second on Barry Bonds' groundout.
Pirates 4, Marlins 1
Pittsburgh Josh Fogg pitched six scoreless innings, Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez homered and Mike Williams earned his 40th save.
Ramirez, waiting until the final month of the season to begin hitting the way he did last season, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs against rookie Nate Robertson (0-1).
Braves 4, Expos 0
Atlanta Andruw Jones hit a pair of two-run homers before being beaned, and Greg Maddux helped the Braves pitch their third straight shutout. Maddux (13-5) labored through five innings, but didn't allow any runs on seven hits and four walks.
Brewers 9, Reds 6
Milwaukee Richie Sexson doubled three times and drove in four runs.