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Phillies rout Marlins and close the gap

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Florida's Michael Tejera walks off the mound after Philadelphia's Jim Thome slammed a home run.

Florida’s Michael Tejera walks off the mound after Philadelphia’s Jim Thome slammed a home run.

Rusty Kennedy, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Mike Lieberthal hit a grand slam and drove in six runs, and Vicente Padilla pitched eight shutout innings as the Philadelphia Phillies routed the Florida Marlins 14-0 on Tuesday night.

The Phillies closed within a half-game of the NL wild card-leading Marlins, who had won eight straight against Philadelphia. The teams play twice more at Veterans Stadium and have three games in Florida next week.

Padilla (14-10) allowed five hits and retired 15 of the last 17 he faced. He struck out six and had no walks.

Lieberthal's third career grand slam highlighted a seven-run eighth.

Carl Pavano (11-12) gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings in his first loss since July 9.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, DODGERS 2: At Los Angeles, Curt Schilling won for the first time in a month, Junior Spivey drove in two runs and the Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 3-2.

The loss dropped the Dodgers 2 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race, and clinched a playoff berth for Atlanta.

CUBS 3, METS 2: At Chicago, Sammy Sosa homered for the first time in more than a week, and Mark Prior struck out 13 in 8 2/3 innings for Chicago. Sosa drove in all of Chicago's runs, including a two-run homer in the third that put the Cubs ahead. Prior reached double-digits in strikeouts for the sixth time this season as he improved to 8-1 since returning from the disabled list Aug. 4.

EXPOS 5, BRAVES 4 (10): At Montreal, Greg Maddux was denied his 15th win when Atlanta's bullpen failed to hold a three-run lead, and Montreal won on Orlando Cabrera's run-scoring double in the 10th. Maddux, trying to become the first pitcher to win 15 or more games in 16 consecutive seasons, allowed one run and four hits in seven innings.

CARDINALS 6, BREWERS 5: At St. Louis, Albert Pujols had three hits to increase his major league-leading total to 202 for St. Louis. Sterling Hitchcock (3-1) improved to 9-2 against the Brewers, allowing four runs, three hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings. Four relievers finished the five-hitter, with Jason Isringhausen pitching the ninth for his 18th save.

REDS 12, PIRATES 4: At Pittsburgh, Ryan Freel had a career-high four hits, including a homer, to lead a 17-hit attack for Cincinnati.

Freel, 4-for-5 with three RBIs, returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with a strained right hamstring. D'Angelo Jimenez added three hits and drove in three runs, and Wily Mo Pena homered for Cincinnati.

Aaron Harang (4-2), who hadn't pitched since straining his lower back Sept. 5, scattered four hits over five innings. Brian Reith earned his first career save with 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Oliver Perez (4-9) took the loss.

ASTROS 14, ROCKIES 4: At Denver, Richard Hidalgo hit three homers and drove in five runs as Houston routed Colorado.

The Astros, who have won 10 of their last 12, remained 1 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. Chicago beat the New York Mets 3-2.

Adam Everett added a three-run homer, and Jeriome Robertson (15-7) set a Houston rookie record with his 15th win. Jeff Kent and Morgan Ensberg also hit solo homers for the Astros.

GIANTS 4, PADRES 2: At San Francisco, Barry Bonds hit his 656th career homer as the Giants moved to the brink of the NL West title, beating the Padres.

Bonds' 43rd homer of the season — his third in four days — landed in the right-field stands in the fifth as the Giants won for the 12th time in 16 games to close in on a rare wire-to-wire division title.