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Astros blank the Cubs in rare shutout

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HOUSTON — The Houston Astros first shutout at hitter-friendly Enron Field couldn't have come at a better time.

Shane Reynolds and two relievers combined on Houston's first shutout in 1 1/2 seasons at its new home as the Astros beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 Sunday.

"Really? Wow. That's good," Reynolds said after being told it was Houston's first home shutout since Oct. 2, 1999 — the second-to-last regular season game at the Astrodome.

"Everybody knows this is a hitter's ball park but there have been some good games pitched against us and we've pitched some good games."

Jeff Bagwell hit his sixth homer in 10 games as the Astros moved within two games of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central. The four-game series ends Monday night, one of 11 games remaining this season between the Cubs and Astros.

"These games are all low scoring. I think it's going to be like this when we go back to Wrigley," Astros manager Larry Dierker said. "I don't see Don Baylor being able to sit back and cross his legs and relax or that I will either."

Baylor, the Cubs manager, wasn't in a relaxed mood after the game either, when he was told about the first Enron shutout for the Astros.

"Say no more, it's like getting shut out in Coors Field," he said.

Reynolds (9-9) allowed three hits and no walks in seven innings to snap his four-game losing streak.

PHILLIES 3, METS 2: At Philadelphia, Bobby Abreu hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth off John Franco (4-2), the first homer by a left-handed batter off Franco since Pittsburgh's Dave Clark connected on Sept. 22, 1993.

Jose Santiago (1-2) retired all four batters he faced, and Jose Mesa worked the ninth for his 26th save as Philadelphia remained two games behind the NL East-leading Braves.

PIRATES 2, CARDINALS 0: At St. Louis, Jimmy Anderson took a shutout into the ninth inning, and Keith Osik, in a 3-for-36 slide, snapped a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the ninth off Mike Timlin (3-5).

Anderson (6-9) won for only the second time in seven starts, departing after Albert Pujols' leadoff double in the ninth. Anderson allowed six hits. Mike Williams finished for his 20th save.

D-BACKS 12, GIANTS 4: At San Francisco, Matt Williams got three hits, scored three runs and exchanged insults with Giants manager Dusty Baker during a bench-clearing scuffle that began after Chad Zerbe threw a pitch behind Williams, earning an ejection.

Arizona, which took a 8-0 lead, has won five of six at San Francisco this season.

Barry Bonds, leading the majors with 42 homers. He has three homers in his past 23 games, dropping one homer behind the record-setting pace set by Mark McGwire in 1998.

PADRES 4, BREWERS 0: At San Diego, Tony Gwynn hit a two-run double, and Bobby Jones (6-12) pitched five-hit ball for seven innings to beat Jimmy Haynes (6-13).

Ryan Klesko had a two-run homer as the Brewers lost their ninth straight, matching Kansas City for the longest slide in the majors this season. The Brewers, losers of 21 of 26, last dropped nine straight in August 1996.

MARLINS 11, REDS 7: At Miami, A.J. Burnett (8-5) won his third straight start, allowing four runs and eight hits in five innings.

Charles Johnson, Dave Berg, Derreck Lee and Eric Owens each had two RBIs for Florida, 8-3 since the All-Star break. Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell each had three of Florida's 15 hits.

Chris Reitsma (4-10) gave up seven runs — five earned — and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. Cincinnati lost for the 15th time in 19 games.