St. Louis Scott Rolen enjoys pressure.
Rolen tied the score with a home run in the seventh inning, then hit a winning single in the ninth that led St. Louis over the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, Thursday and boosted the Cardinals' NL Central lead back to 21â2 games.
"The at-bats that are tough are ones in 8-1, 9-1, 10-1 games," Rolen said. "Those are filling up stat sheets. I enjoy the competitiveness of an at-bat. Today, every at-bat was worthwhile. Every at-bat was meaningful."
Ken Griffey Jr. put Cincinnati ahead in the seventh against Jeff Weaver with his 25th homer of the season. It also was the 561st of his career, which moved him within two of Reggie Jackson for 10th place on the career list.
The drive, which came after Griffey fouled off six straight pitches, was his 1,042nd extra-base hit, breaking a tie with Pete Rose for 20th place.
"He wasn't going to give in," Griffey said. "That's just a guy out there competing who's not going to take anything for granted. I didn't give in."
Rolen hit his 17th homer of the season, his first since Aug. 7 at Cincinnati, in the bottom half off Kyle Lohse.
Astros 7, Brewers 3
Milwaukee - Lance Berkman and Aubrey Huff homered off Ben Sheets, and Houston beat Milwaukee to stop a five-game losing streak.
Giants 8, Padres 4
San Diego - Rookie Kevin Frandsen hit his first homer, a two-run shot, and Pedro Feliz also connected to lead San Francisco over San Diego and complete a four-game sweep.
Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 4
Denver - Colorado figured out Brandon Webb's sinker, and Ryan Spilborghs homered and threw out a runner at the plate.
Braves 5, Nationals 0
Washington - Oscar Villarreal threw five innings of one-hit ball in his first start in more than three years.
Mets 7, Phillies 2
Philadelphia - Carlos Delgado ended a 21â2-week homer drought by connecting twice, John Maine pitched six solid innings, and New York avoided a four-game sweep.
Late Wednesday game
Giants 7, Padres 5, 13 innings
San Diego - Eliezer Alfonzo singled in Ray Durham with the go-ahead run with two outs in the 13th inning. Barry Bonds hit his 724th career homer.