DENVER — No late-night magic this time for the Colorado Rockies. Left-hander Randy Wolf and the Los Angeles Dodgers' big bats made sure of that.
Andre Ethier hit two of L.A.'s three home runs, powering the descending Dodgers past the resurgent Rockies 6-1 Wednesday night to restore their teetering lead in the National League West to three games over Colorado.
The Rockies, who had won eight of 10, were trying to move within a game of the Dodgers, a team they trailed by 151/2 games on June 3. The teams wrap up their crucial three-game series tonight.
Colorado had posted four straight come-from-behind wins, including a 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the Dodgers in the series opener. The Rockies, though, couldn't muster another comeback against Wolf (9-6), the L.A. starter who scattered five hits over 71?3 spectacular innings. Ethier hit his 26th and 27th homers off spot starter Josh Fogg (0-2), who allowed six runs, all on the long ball, and four hits in three-plus innings. Ethier gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first and he made it 3-1 with a solo shot leading off the fourth. James Loney's three-run home in the inning made it 6-1.
Colorado got its only run on Ryan Spilborghs' eighth homer in the second before Wolf retired 14 of the next 16 batters he faced
PHILLIES 4, PIRATES 1 (10 INNINGS): At Pittsburgh, Ryan Howard hit a three-run home run in the 10th inning after Philadelphia's bullpen blew yet another lead. The Phillies, winning their 12th of 15 games, led 1-0 going into the ninth but the Pirates tied it on their first pinch-hit homer of the season, by Brandon Moss against Ryan Madson. Philadelphia didn't use closer Brad Lidge, who blew his ninth save of the season on Tuesday, surrendering rookie Andrew McCutchen's game-ending, two-run homer. Madson's fifth blown save in nine opportunities cost Cole Hamels his first victory since July 28. Despite allowing the homer, Madson (5-4) pitched the final two innings for the victory. Pittsburgh reliever Steven Jackson (2-3) walked Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino singled before left-hander Phil Dumatrait, pitching for only the third time since sitting out more than a year following shoulder surgery, was brought in to face Howard, who hit his 35th homer and the Phillies' league-leading 180th.
Chase Utley gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead with his 27th homer in the first off Paul Maholm.
CARDINALS 3, ASTROS 2: At St. Louis, Joel Pineiro worked eight strong innings to win his seventh straight decision and St. Louis jumped on Roy Oswalt early. Pineiro (13-9) allowed two runs and seven hits and Mark DeRosa's two-run double capped a three-run first for the NL Central leaders, who are 15-3 in their last 18 games. Matt Holliday added an RBI single and Albert Pujols had two hits after entering the game 5 for 33 against Houston this season. The Cardinals have won Pineiro's last 10 starts and 11 of the last 12. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 2.65 ERA in 10 outings since July 3. Carlos Lee had three hits and an RBI and Lance Berkman was 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Astros, who have lost 14 of 18 on the road. They have dropped 11 of their last 14 in St. Louis.Ryan Franklin got the last two outs for his NL-leading 34th save. St. Louis stranded eight runners in the fourth through sixth innings against Oswalt (7-5), who allowed 10 hits in six innings but no runs after the first
MARLINS 5, METS 3: At Miami, Josh Johnson gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings, but that was enough to keep him undefeated against New York. Johnson (13-3) trailed early but improved to 7-0 with an ERA of 2.30 in nine career starts against the Mets, who lost their fifth straight. and their disabled list grew to 13 players when pitcher Oliver Perez was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. Three relievers combined for three scoreless innings, with Leo Nunez pitching the ninth for his 16th save. Ronny Paulino hit a two-run homer for Florida, and Cody Ross hit a two-run triple. Mike Pelfrey (9-9) fell to 1-6 in 10 starts against Florida, with six losses in a row. He gave up 11 hits, five walks and five runs in 52?3 innings. New York's Fernando Tatis had three hits and improved his lifetime average against Johnson to .667 (8 for 12).
PADRES 12, BRAVES 5: At Atlanta, San Diego had a six-run sixth inning, and Kevin Kouzmanoff finished off Atlanta with a two-run homer. The last-place Padres won their second straight over the Braves. Today, San Diego will go for its first series sweep since taking three games from the Chicago Cubs on May 22-24. Atlanta's Brian McCann hit a three-run homer off Tim Stauffer (2-6) in the first inning. San Diego sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth, scoring more runs that inning than their last three games combined. Adrian Gonzalez started it with a double, Chase Headley followed with a single and Will Venable doubled in a run. Kouzmanoff's groundout produced another run, and Nick Hundley finished off Kenshin Kawakami (6-10) with another RBI double, tying the game at 3. Eric O'Flaherty took over and Tony Gwynn Jr. singled and pinch-hitter Luis Rodriguez drove in another run with a hit. Gwynn scored to make it 5-3 when the throw home got away from McCann. Gonzalez finished off the inning with an RBI single before Peter Moylan, the third Atlanta pitcher, finally got the third out. Kouzmanoff went deep off Manny Acosta in the seventh for his 16th homer, and a three-run ninth blew it open.
CUBS 9, NATIONALS 4: At Chicago, Milton Bradley homered and had three RBIs, and Chicago scored six runs in the eighth inning. Bradley hit a two-run homer in the third and broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh with a run-scoring groundout. off reliever Jason Bergmann (2-3). Koyie Hill and Derrek Lee had two-run doubles and Mike Fontenot added an RBI double off Jorge Sosa in the eighth when the Cubs batted around. Angel Guzman (3-3) got the win with an inning of relief after replacing starter Rich Harden, who allowed five hits and two runs in six innings. Livan Hernandez pitched a solid six innings in his return to the Nationals, giving up two runs and five hits, including Bradley's 11th homer.
GIANTS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: At San Francisco, pinch-hitter Bengie Molina hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Giants rallied over Arizona. Juan Uribe also homered for the Giants, who won their second straight. Ryan Roberts homered for the Diamondbacks, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games. Gerardo Parra had two hits and drive in a run.
REDS 4, BREWERS 3 (10 INNINGS): At Milwaukee, pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald hit a double to drive in the winning run in the 10th inning for Cincinnati. McDonald, who threw out Ryan Braun trying to score the winning run in the ninth inning Tuesday, hit a liner that Braun misjudged. Prince Fielder hit his 34th homer and now has 112 RBIs for Milwaukee.