Valentin snapped a 1-1 tie with his seventh homer of the season, an opposite-field shot to left leading off the fourth inning. The Cincinnati catcher followed in the sixth with a two-run line drive into the visitors' bullpen down the right-field line.
Braves 8, Cubs 4
At Atlanta, Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs, providing a glimmer of hope to Atlanta's fading playoff chances.
After the Cubs jumped ahead with three unearned runs in the second, McCann led off the bottom half with his 18th homer over the center-field wall. Two innings later, he tied it up with a two-run double.
Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles also homered for the Braves, who began the night seven games back in the NL wild-card race and trailing six teams.
Giants 4, Padres 0
At San Francisco, Matt Cain carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning on the way to his fourth straight victory, and San Francisco gained ground on the NL wild-card leading San Diego.
The Giants, in third place behind the Padres and Philadelphia Phillies, won for the fifth time in six games and ninth in 13 -- getting yet another gem from Cain (12-9).
Jake Peavy (8-14), pitching with an injured fourth toe on his left foot, allowed seven hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Rockies 11, Nationals 8
At Denver, Chris Iannetta snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a two-out RBI single in the eighth and Brad Hawpe and Jeff Salazar each added three RBIs for Colorado.
Trailing by one in the eighth, the Rockies scored four runs off Jon Rauch (3-4). Todd Helton walked and Matt Holliday singled. Kaz Matsui, pinch running for Helton, went to third on the play and scored the tying run on Hawpe's sacrifice fly.
Troy Tulowitzki was intentionally walked and then Iannetta hit a two-out single to right. Salazar followed with an RBI single and then pinch hitter Vinny Castilla brought home another run when his shot to third was bobbled by Ryan Zimmerman.
Nick Swisher hit a grand slam and Frank Thomas also homered to help the American League West-leading Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-6 on Friday.
Swisher made it 6-1 with his third-inning shot off James Shields (6-7). It was Swisher's 30th homer of the season, making him the 23rd switch hitter in major league history to reach that plateau.
Thomas added his 33rd homer and drove in three runs for Oakland. Dan Haren (13-11) gave up six runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings. He had lost his previous two starts.
Orioles 9, Yankees 4
At Baltimore, Erik Bedard allowed four hits in six innings to earn his first victory since July 23, and Baltimore beat New York to snap a four-game losing streak.
Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons and David Newhan homered for the Orioles, who chased New York starter Cory Lidle while building a 7-0 lead in the second inning. Lidle (3-3) retired only five batters in his shortest outing of the season.
Royals 10, Red Sox 9
At Boston, Joey Gathright hit a go-ahead, two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning as Kansas City put another dent in Boston's playoff hopes.
Mike Sweeney homered and had three RBIs for the Royals. After allowing six runs in the eighth inning and falling behind 9-8, they scored twice against Mike Timlin (6-5) in the ninth to extend their winning streak over Boston to four games.
Twins 9, Tigers 5
At Minneapolis, Justin Morneau had two hits and three RBIs and Joe Mauer added three hits, pulling Minnesota within four games of Detroit in the AL Central.