Jon Lieber became only the second pitcher in Chicago Cubs history to allow four homers in an inning, and Joey Votto connected three times in all as the Cincinnati Reds powered their way to a 9-0 victory on Wednesday.
Votto started a four-homer second inning off Lieber (2-2), who was making his first start of the season. Adam Dunn and Paul Bako also had solo shots, and Jerry Hairston Jr.’s two-run homer completed the history-matching rally. Brandon Phillips and Votto hit consecutive solo homers off Sean Marshall in the fifth. An inning later, Votto completed the biggest game of his two-year career with a two-run drive off Sean Gallagher.
Mets 12, Dodgers 1
In Los Angeles, John Maine became the first New York starter this season to pitch more than seven innings, taking a shutout into the ninth.
Maine (4-2) hit a two-run single and was two outs from his third shutout and complete game in Major League Baseball when Matt Kemp hit an RBI single, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
A day before his 27th birthday, Maine allowed four hits in 8 1-3 innings and won his third straight start.
Braves 5, Padres 2
At Atlanta, pinch-hitter Greg Norton broke a seventh-inning tie with a bases-loaded single and Atlanta beat San Diego for its fifth straight win.
With the game tied 2-2, Padres starter Randy Wolf (2-2) was lifted after loading the bases in the seventh on Brian McCann’s double, Matt Diaz’s single and Mark Kotsay’s walk.
Kelly Johnson’s fly ball to center drove in Diaz, and Yunel Escobar added a run-scoring single to left for a 5-2 lead. Wolf gave up eight hits and five runs with four walks and one strikeout.
Pirates 3, Giants 1
At Pittsburgh, Xavier Nady hit a two-run homer to spoil Barry Zito’s mostly effective return to the San Francisco rotation and Pittsburgh’s Phil Dumatrait pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings for his first career win.
Zito (0-7), roughed up in each of his first six starts, was far better after spending 10 days working out his problems in the bullpen. The left-hander worked five innings, allowing three hits, two runs, two walks and five strikeouts was easily his best of the season.
Marlins 6, Brewers 2
At Miami, rookie Burke Badenhop pitched 5 2-3 innings for his first major league victory and Florida dealt Milwaukee its fifth loss in a row.
The Brewers’ longest losing streak this season sent their record below .500 for the first time.
Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla hit back-to-back homers for Florida.
Hanley Ramirez singled twice, walked twice and scored twice.
Badenhop (1-2) gave up five hits and two runs. He had a season-high seven strikeouts and walked only one.
Astros 4, Nationals 3
At Houston, Carlos Lee drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning with a single to lift Houston past Washington for its fifth straight win.
Lee’s liner flew just over the head of Lastings Milledge and scored Kaz Matsui.
Matsui walked and stole second in the ninth before Joel Hanrahan (0-2) intentionally walked Lance Berkman. Jesus Colome came on in relief and Matsui advanced to third on a wild pitch before Lee’s hit. Lee second consecutive game-winning RBI against Washington.
Ryan Zimmerman had two homers, the second in the sixth inning to tie it at 3 for Washington.
Rockies 4, Cardinals 3
At Denver, Chris Iannetta tripled home two runs off Jason Isringhausen to cap a four-run eighth-inning rally for Colorado.