Pittsburgh Chris Duncan, pinch hitting for a teammate who had been perfect at the plate, homered off Salomon Torres in the ninth inning Wednesday to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates and a three-game sweep.
The Cardinals are 36-15 against the Pirates since 2004 and have won 31 of their last 40 against their NL Central rivals, but had not swept a three-game series in PNC Park since Aug. 27-29, 2004.
They didn't need many runs to do so, scoring only nine runs in the series - three in each game. But they didn't require many runs with the pitching they got, limiting the Pirates to four runs in 30 innings in Pittsburgh's first home series of the season.
Duncan's homer was his fourth as a pinch-hitter in 28 at-bats the last two seasons and made for another rough day for Torres (0-1), who squandered a 2-0 lead during the ninth Tuesday night in a game the Cardinals went on to win 3-2 in the 12th. Duncan was hitting for So Taguchi, who had gone 3-for-3 with two doubles while reaching base four times.
Phillies 5, Mets 2
New York - Adam Eaton pitched seven steady innings, and Philadelphia walked its way to its second victory of the season. The Phillies took advantage of seven early walks by Oliver Perez and avoided starting 1-7 for the first time since 1987. Still looking for their big bats to bust out, they drew 11 free passes but stranded 14 runners.
Dodgers 3, Rockies 0
Los Angeles - Brad Penny allowed two hits over 61â3 innings, and Nomar Garciaparra hit a tiebreaking two-run single.
Padres 4, Giants 0
San Diego - Greg Maddux earned his first victory with San Diego. He combined on a six-hitter with Cla Meredith, Scott Linebrink and Doug Brocail, and the quartet retired San Francisco's final 13 batters.
Reds 3, Diamondbacks 2
Phoenix - Josh Hamilton homered for the second straight game, and Javier Valentin hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning.
Braves 8, Nationals 3
Atlanta - Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones homered in the same game for the 56th time, and Atlanta won its fourth straight game. At 7-1, the Braves are off to their best start since 1995.
Brewers 3-5, Marlins 2-2
Miami - Rickie Weeks started the go-ahead rally in the opener, then provided most of the offense in the second game. Weeks scored on Prince Fielder's 13th-inning single as Milwaukee beat Florida in the completion of a suspended game. He then homered, tripled and scored three runs in the scheduled game.