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NL roundup: Braves snap 9-game losing skid, beat Astros

SHARE NL roundup: Braves snap 9-game losing skid, beat Astros
Atlanta Braves second baseman Martin Prado avoids Houston Astros' J.R. Towles.

Atlanta Braves second baseman Martin Prado avoids Houston Astros’ J.R. Towles.

John Bazemore, Associated Press

ATLANTA — Jason Heyward hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Tommy Hanson pitched eight innings to help the Atlanta Braves end their nine-game losing streak by beating the Houston Astros 4-2 Friday night.

Heyward homered for the second consecutive night to break a 2-all tie and Nate McLouth also went deep against Brett Myers (1-2).

Hanson (2-2) gave up two runs in the second inning and then retired 20 of his last 21 batters. He struck out seven without a walk.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his second save. He walked Pedro Feliz with one out before Carlos Lee hit into a double play.

The Braves snapped their longest losing streak since they dropped 10 straight from June 11-22, 2006.

METS 9, PHILLIES 1: At Philadelphia, Rod Barajas homered twice, Jonathon Niese (1-1) pitched seven impressive innings and New York won its eighth straight. David Wright and Jeff Francoeur also homered for the Mets, riding their longest winning streak since a 10-game run in July 2008. Niese (1-1) shut down Philadelphia's powerful lineup, allowing one run and four hits for his third major league win and first since July 25, 2009, at Houston. He matched a career high with seven strikeouts.

CUBS 11, DIAMONDBACKS 5: At Chicago, Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run homer and the Chicago Cubs connected for four in all while rallying to beat Arizona. Kosuke Fukudome, Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd added solo shots as the Cubs shook off a 13-5 beating by the Diamondbacks and stopped a three-game skid. The big blow was Soriano's three-run drive off Rodrigo Lopez (1-1), capping a four-run sixth that put Chicago ahead 6-4 and made a winner of Randy Wells (3-0).

NATIONALS 7, MARLINS 1: At Miami, Ryan Zimmerman homered twice as the Nationals won their third straight game. It was Zimmerman's first start since April 21 due to a hamstring injury, and he quickly made up for lost time, connecting both times on a full count against starter Ricky Nolasco. Scott Olsen (2-1) pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and striking out four.

GIANTS 5, ROCKIES 2: At San Francisco, Barry Zito won his fourth straight decisions to start the season for the first time in his career. Zito (4-0), receiving chants of "Barry! Barry!" for the second straight outing at home, pitched eight innings and settled down after falling behind 1-0 in the first. The left-hander followed an impressive eight-inning, 10-strikeout effort with another solid start, and he has yet to give up a home run in 2010.

PADRES 3, BREWERS 0: At San Diego, Clayton Richard pitched six scoreless innings and Scott Hairston hit a two-run homer to lift the Padres over the Brewers. Richard (1-2) combined with three relievers for San Diego's fifth shutout, tops in the majors, and second straight against Milwaukee. The Padres have thrown 24 consecutive scoreless innings. Richard tied his career high with eight strikeouts. San Diego has won 12 of 14 games and is in first place in the NL West heading into May for the first time since 1998 when the club won the NL pennant.

DODGERS 6, PIRATES 2: At Los Angeles, Andre Ethier jump-started the Dodgers' offense with a two-run homer and James Loney added a three-run shot. Chad Billingsley (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to help the Dodgers snap a five-game losing streak. The right-hander struck out four and walked three. Both homers came off Charlie Morton (0-5).

REDS 3, CARDINALS 2: At St. Louis, Jay Bruce had a pair of RBIs as the Reds beat the division-leading Cardinals and the elements in a game that had a two hour and 30 minute rain delay. Cincinnati used six different pitchers with Francisco Cordero throwing the ninth inning to pick up his ninth save on the season.