Cubbies simmer in loss to Padres
By: By The Associated Press
San Diego’s Khalil Greene hit a three-run homer to help Shawn Estes earn his first victory since 2005 — a 4-3 decision over the Chicago Cubs.
Estes (1-0) — a former Cub himself — pitched 51/3 innings and the Padres’ bullpen secured the win with 32/3 innings of hitless relief.
Trevor Hoffman pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save, and 531st of his career against Chicago, which had swept Arizona over the weekend and won the first game of the series against San Diego.
Alfonso Soriano led off the first inning with a home run and Reed Johnson had a two-run double for the Cubs, but Jason Marquis (1-3) couldn’t hold the early lead at home.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s Eric Gagne was a former closer for only two days.
Manager Ned Yost suddenly scrapped his closer-by-committee approach and turned to Gagne with the game on the line for the Brewers on Tuesday night.
Gagne earned his 10th save in 15 opportunities, to help the Brewers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3.
“It feels good,” Gagne said. “A little relief, you know?”
Gagne was yanked from the closer’s role Sunday after blowing five saves, but said Monday that he was ready to close again.
He got another chance Tuesday in a pressure situation against the Dodgers.
It wasn’t without a little drama, though. Gagne allowed a single and a walk before getting Juan Pierre to hit a pop fly to seal the victory, but the closer didn’t breathe easy until the ball ended up in shortstop J.J. Hardy’s glove.
“The way it’s been going, you never know,” Gagne said. “Maybe a bird was going to fly out or something.”
In other NL games, it was: Arizona 8, Colorado 4; San Francisco 4, Houston 2; Cincinnati 5, Florida 3; Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 4; New York 6, Washington 3; and Pittsburgh 8, St. Louis 4 in 10 innings.
At Milwaukee, Ryan Braun hit a two-out, two-run double that put the Brewers ahead for good in the fifth inning. Prince Fielder followed up with a single to score Braun.
Pirates 8, Cardinals 4
Ronny Paulino drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run 10th to lead visiting Pittsburgh to its seventh win in eight games.
Troy Glaus hit a three-run homer and Albert Pujols tied it with a homer in the eighth for the Cardinals. Pujols also
Phillies 5, Braves 4
Jayson Werth drove in four runs and Kyle Kendrick (3-2) pitched six effective innings to lead Philadelphia to the victory at home.
Brad Lidge finished for his 10th save, though he allowed his first earned run of the season.
Chipper Jones went 3-for-4 for the Braves, raising his major league-leading average to .415.
Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 4
At Phoenix, Randy Johnson went five shaky innings for his 287th career victory. The Big Unit (3-1) gave up four runs and nine hits, striking out four and walking none.
Stephen Drew hit a three-run homer and Chris Young had three hits as the Diamondbacks hammered Colorado starter Jeff Francis (0-4), a 17-game winner for the NL champions a year ago.
Francis went 42/3 innings, his shortest start, and gave up eight runs on 13 hits, both season highs.
Garrett Atkins hit his seventh homer for the Rockies, who fell nine games behind the NL West leaders.
Giants 4, Astros 2
At San Francisco, Matt Cain hit a solo home run and earned his first victory in three starts, and the Giants snapped Houston’s four-game winning streak.
It was the fourth career homer and second this season for Cain (2-3), whose drive to left leading off the fifth put the Giants up 4-1 against Houston.
Carlos Lee homered in the eighth inning for Houston, but Brandon Backe (2-5) took the loss.
Reds 5, Marlins 3
At Cincinnati, Edinson Volquez (6-1) pitched six effective innings and Joey Votto homered in the Reds’ win, but shortstop Jeff Keppinger fouled a pitch off his leg in the second and X-rays revealed a broken left kneecap.
Keppinger, the Reds’ leading hitter, is scheduled for an MRI exam Wednesday.
Marlins starter Mark Hendrickson (5-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.
Mets 6, Nationals 3
Ryan Church homered, doubled and drove in four runs against his former team and John Maine (5-2) pitched six sharp innings to lead New York.
Maine allowed just two runs — one earned — and two hits, retiring 11 of the last 12 he faced after giving up Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run homer in the third.