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Braves regain winning form

Atlanta's Rafael Furcal arrives safely at home as Phillies' Mike Lieberthal catches late throw.
Atlanta's Rafael Furcal arrives safely at home as Phillies' Mike Lieberthal catches late throw.
John Bazemore, Associated Press

ATLANTA — Javy Lopez homered to give the Braves a franchise-record 216 homers this season, and Atlanta rebounded from a big loss to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Wednesday night.

A day earlier, Philadelphia won 18-5, the fifth time this season the Braves have lost by 10 or more runs. Each time, they've bounced back to win the next game.

Philadelphia dropped one game behind Florida in the NL wild-card race.

Horacio Ramirez (10-4) won his second straight decision, allowing six hits in seven innings. He gave up solo homers to Pat Burrell in the second and Tomas Perez in the seventh, and struck out seven without walking a batter.

MARLINS 7, METS 3: At New York, Juan Encarnacion and Derrek Lee hit back-to-back doubles that broke a fifth-inning tie and helped Florida to a 7-3 victory over the Mets. It was the 11th victory in 13 games for the Marlins, who began the game tied for the NL wild-card lead with Philadelphia. The loss was the seventh straight for the Mets. Errors by third baseman Ty Wigginton and shortstop Jorge Velandia, and a nonchalant play by left fielder Raul Gonzalez led to the first five Florida runs. Then, Danny Garcia missed a foul pop, giving Ivan Rodriguez a second chance in the ninth inning and he hit a two-run wrapup homer.

PIRATES 3, REDS 2: At Cincinnati, pinch-hitter Rob Mackowiak hit a two-run homer off Chris Reitsma in the ninth inning, giving Pittsburgh a 3-2 win over Cincinnati. The Reds struck out 12 times to set the club record for strikeouts in a season with 1,189. They struck out 1,188 times last year. Cincinnati has struck out 10 or more times in 40 of their 145 games. Craig Wilson opened the ninth with a single off Reitsma (9-5). Mackowiak, batting for Jason Bay, then hit a 2-0 pitch deep into the right-field bleachers. The blown save was Reitsma's sixth in 13 opportunities.

EXPOS 8, CUBS 4: At San Juan, Puerto Rico, pinch-hitter Jose Macias hit a go-ahead double in a five-run eighth inning, and Montreal overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Cubs. Chicago, which began the night tied with Houston for the NL Central lead, was ahead 4-0 behind Matt Clement, who took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. Clement walked his first three batters in the inning and was replaced by Mark Guthrie, who walked the next two batters, forcing in a pair of runs. Orlando Cabrera followed with an RBI single off Dave Veres.

ASTROS 3, BREWERS 1: At Milwaukee, Jeriome Robertson won his 14th game, the most among rookies the season, and Houston regained sole possession of first place in the NL Central by beating Milwaukee. Houston, which scored three runs in the first inning, had been tied for the lead since Monday with the Chicago Cubs, who lost 8-4 to the Montreal Expos. Robertson (14-7) matched the Astros' rookie record for wins, set when Roy Oswalt went 14-3 two years ago, and sent Milwaukee to its sixth straight loss.

CARDINALS 10, ROCKIES 2: At St. Louis, Albert Pujols hit two home runs and Brett Tomko pitched a six-hitter and had two hits as the Cardinals beat Colorado 10-2 Wednesday, giving Tony La Russa his 2, 000th win as a manager. J.D. Drew and Scott Rolen also homered for St. Louis, which remained 2 1/2 games back of first-place Houston and moved within 1 1/2 of Chicago in the NL Central. La Russa became the eighth manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins. In his 25th season — eighth with St. Louis, La Russa is 2,000-1,782. Pujols raised his NL-leading average to .368. He now has a league-leading 41 homers, one better than San Francisco's Barry Bonds, who played later Wednesday. And his three RBI's gave him 121, eight behind Preston Wilson.

DIAMONDBACKS 5, DODGERS 4: At Phoenix, pinch-hitter Steve Finley's three-run homer capped a five-run rally in the eighth inning as Arizona beat Los Angeles. Finley entered as a pinch-hitter to face Paul Quantrill (1-5) after Shea Hillenbrand cut Arizona's deficit to 4-2 with a two-run shot into the bullpen off reliever Tom Martin. Martin also allowed a single to Lyle Overbay and hit Danny Bautista before he was removed to make way for Quantrill.

GIANTS 7, PADRES 1: At San Diego, Edgar Alfonzo hit a two-run homer and Ray Durham and Jose Cruz Jr. each added a solo homer to lead San Francisco over San Diego. Kirk Rueter (8-5) won for the first time in 10 starts as he allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings. San Francisco scored four of its runs in the first inning off Brian Lawrence (8-15), who allowed Durham's homer on the third pitch of the game.