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MARLINS ARE CURE FOR SLUMPING BENES

One in a row for Andy Benes, five straight for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Benes pitched a five-hitter to snap his seven-game losing streak Saturday night as the Cardinals extended the NL's longest winning streak by beating the Florida Marlins 5-0."Baseball's awfully humbling," Benes said. "Sometimes it doesn't seem fair. But I'm so excited to be on the team I'm on that I'm not going to hang my head because I lost seven in a row."

Benes (2-7) struck out seven and walked none for his ninth career shutout.

Benes lowered his ERA from 5.92 to 5.14 with his first victory since April 11.

"He had to get a win," manager Tony La Russa said. "He has thrown consistently the last four times out, but we haven't picked him."

Padres 7, Mets 2

At New York, Andy Ashby hit a two-run double and scattered nine hits in 52/3 innings, leading the San Diego Padres over the New York Mets.

Steve Finley hit a bases-loaded triple, and four Mets errors led to four unearned runs as the Padres won their fourth straight. New York has lost nine of 13.

Giants 3, Phillies 2

At San Francisco, Mark Gardner won his fourth consecutive start and Kirt Manwaring doubled off Mike Williams (0-4) to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth.

Gardner (6-1) gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. Rod Beck pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.

Pirates 6, Braves 2

At Pittsburgh, Denny Neagle struck out 10 in seven innings as Pittsburgh stopped a five-game losing streak.

The Pirates led 3-2 when Neagle (6-2) slipped a called third strike past Chipper Jones with the bases loaded to end the seventh. Pittsburgh then scored three runs in the bottom half, taking advantage of four walks by Steve Avery (5-4).

Dodgers 5, Expos 3

At Montreal, Ramon Martinez won his ninth straight decision and Mike Piazza went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Montreal Expos.

Billy Ashley hit a bases-loaded triple as the Dodgers won for the eighth time in 11 games.

Astros 5, Cubs 2

At Houston, Doug Drabek ended his three-year drought against the Chicago Cubs, and Jeff Bagwell hit his 16th homer, leading the Houston Astros to victory.

The Astros won before 34,326 fans, their biggest home crowd since opening day.

Rockies 7, Reds 5

At Denver, John Vander Wal drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as the Colorado Rockies outlasted the Cincinnati Reds in a game delayed more than two hours by rain.

With the game tied at 3 in the seventh, the Rockies took advantage of a walk, a poor fielding decision by Marcus Moore, a hit batter and Vander Wal's fly ball to produce the go-ahead run.