ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and Albert Pujols broke it open with a three-run double in the seventh as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-0 on Sunday to wrap up a 6-1 homestand.
David Freese homered for the third time in four games on a three-hit day and Ryan Ludwick and Brendan Ryan had an RBI apiece for St. Louis, which took two of three for its seventh series win out of eight this season. The Cardinals are an NL-best 17-8.
Carpenter (4-0) outpitched Aaron Harang (1-4) for the second time this year in a rematch from opening day, striking out eight with three walks. He has won seven straight decisions over the Reds and 13 in a row with a 1.86 ERA against NL Central opponents dating to last season.
CUBS 10, DIAMONDBACKS 5: At Chicago, Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run homers, Marlon Byrd also hit a two-run shot and the Cubs won the last three games of the series after dropping the opener. Chicago scored 33 times against Arizona after managing only three runs in two losses to Washington. Soriano had four homers against the Diamondbacks.
BRAVES 7, ASTROS 1: At Atlanta, Jason Heyward and Melky Cabrera each drove in three runs and the Braves completed a three-game sweep that leaves the Astros with a six-game losing streak. The Braves outscored the Astros 21-4 in their first three-game sweep of Houston since 2003. Derek Lowe (4-2) snapped his two-game losing streak, giving up six hits and one run with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings.
MARLINS 9, NATIONALS 3: At Miami, Hanley Ramirez drove in four runs with two homers, and the Marlins took the rubber game to win a series for the first time in two weeks. Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the third inning to put Florida ahead, then added a solo homer in the sixth. The 2009 NL batting champion has five home runs this season, including three in his past seven at-bats, and in the last two games he's doubled his season RBI total to 14.
PADRES 8, BREWERS 0: At San Diego, The San Diego Padres shut out the Milwaukee Brewers for the third time in four games on Sunday on a combined three-hitter by Jon Garland and two relievers. It was the first time the Padres had three shutouts in a series in their 42-year history. Scott Hairston and Kyle Blanks hit consecutive homers in the fifth for the NL West leaders, who outscored the Brewers 21-2 in taking three of four.
ROCKIES 4, GIANTS 1: At San Francisco, Jhoulys Chacin allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings for his first major league win, Melvin Mora hit a two-run single and the Rockies avoided a three-game sweep. Chacin (1-0) struck out seven and didn't allow a hit until Matt Downs' two-out double in the fifth, one of only a couple of well-struck balls he gave up.
DODGERS 9, PIRATES 3: At Los Angeles, Andre Ethier homered twice with four RBIS, Blake DeWitt had his first four-hit game in the majors and James Loney added a pair of run-scoring hits for the Dodgers. Hiroki Kuroda (3-1) allowed a run over eight innings, struck out three and walked one. The two-time defending NL West champs have won three straight for the first time this season, following a five-game skid that included a 2-0 loss to the Pirates on Thursday.
PHILLIES 11, METS 5: At Philadelphia, Shane Victorino hit a grand slam off Johan Santana and Chase Utley had a two-run shot during Philadelphia's nine-run fourth inning. Santana (3-2) allowed a career-worst 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner allowed four homers — and one crucial bases-loaded walk. Santana issued a two-out walk to Phillies starter Jamie Moyer. Victorino followed with the grand slam. Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard also homered for Philadelphia.