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Conine lifts Marlins over Philadelphia

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Florida's Juan Pierre successfully steals second base during the Marlins' big win over the Phillies.

Florida’s Juan Pierre successfully steals second base during the Marlins’ big win over the Phillies.

Miles Kennedy, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Jeff Conine homered, drove in three runs and made two outstanding defensive plays in left field, leading the Florida Marlins to an 11-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

The Marlins increased their NL wild-card lead to 1 1/2 games over the Phillies. The teams play again at Veterans Stadium on Thursday and have a three-game series in Florida next week.

Juan Pierre had four hits and a career-high four RBIs for the Marlins, who have won nine of their last 10 against Philadelphia.

Jim Thome hit his 42nd homer for the Phillies — an opposite-field, two-run shot that tied the game at 3 in the third inning.

PIRATES 8, REDS 5: At Pittsburgh, Matt Stairs hit a two-run homer, and Jeff D'Amico won at home for the first time in more than two months as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati. D'Amico (9-15) came in tied for the NL lead in losses, but was staked to an early lead. He gave up four runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings for his first win at PNC Park since July 6. The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in the eighth, scoring four runs against D'Amico and three relievers. Right-hander Julian Tavares ended the threat and preserved a 7-5 lead by striking out pinch-hitter Dernell Stenson with the bases loaded.

CUBS 2, METS 0: At Chicago, Kerry Wood struck out 11 in his fourth complete game of the year, and Doug Glanville and Aramis Ramirez homered Wednesday as Chicago beat New York to complete a three-game sweep. The sweep was Chicago's fourth of the season, but its first at home. The Cubs hadn't swept the Mets since taking a four-game series at Wrigley Field in August 1992. The Cubs also improved to 13-4 in September.

BRAVES 14, EXPOS 4: Montreal, Mike Hampton allowed three hits in five innings and hit a home run as Atlanta closed in on its record 12th straight division title with a 14-4 victory over Montreal. Javy Lopez and Andruw Jones also homered, and manager Bobby Cox got his 1,900th win as Atlanta reduced its magic number for winning the NL East to one. Lopez's 41st homer was his 40th as a catcher, one behind Todd Hundley's major league record set in 1996 for the New York Mets.

BREWERS 7, CARDINALS 6: At St. Louis, Jason Conti drove in a career-high five runs, including a go-ahead single in the ninth inning that helped Milwaukee rally past St. Louis Wednesday night. Pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick tied it with a two-run homer off Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen, who blew a 6-4 lead in the ninth. The loss dropped St. Louis 5 1/2 games behind first-place Houston in the NL Central. Isringhausen (0-1) failed for the third time in 21 save opportunities.

ROCKIES 7, ASTROS 5: At Denver, Todd Helton hit a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney had a two-run single, leading Darren Oliver and Colorado over Houston. The loss trimmed Houston's lead over the Chicago Cubs to a half-game in the NL Central. Houston had its four-game winning streak snapped but still has won 10 of 13. Colorado ended a three-game losing skid. Charles Johnson homered off Brad Lidge in the eighth for the Rockies, and Chris Stynes added an RBI double. Oliver (12-11) allowed nine hits and two runs — none earned — in 5 2/3 innings. He helped his cause with an RBI single.

GIANTS 8, PADRES 3: At San Francisco, The Giants have been the best in the West since March 31 — and now they're headed for October. Jason Schmidt had 11 strikeouts in his 16th win, and Andres Galarraga and Marquis Grissom each hit a two-run homer as San Francisco beat San Diego to clinch the NL West title and their third playoff berth in four seasons.

DIAMONDBACKS 2, DODGERS 0: At Los Angeles, rookie Brandon Webb and Matt Mantei combined on a two-hitter, and Luis Gonzalez homered twice as Arizona defeated Los Angeles. The Dodgers' second straight loss dropped them 3 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race with 12 games remaining. Webb (10-7) struck out five and walked three in eight innings. He retired 14 of his last 15 batters and didn't allow a hit after Jeromy Burnitz had a one-out single in the fourth inning.