Everything was working for Ben Sheets yesterday, even the shadows.
Sheets struck out a franchise-record 18 -- the most in the majors in three years -- leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park.
"This place, with day games, hitters can't see the ball," Milwaukee catcher Chad Moeller said. "I was proof of that, also."
Moeller struck out four times, but it was all the strike 3s that landed in his mitt that made this game so memorable.
It was the most strikeouts by a big leaguer since Arizona's Randy Johnson tied a major league record with 20 May 8, 2001, against Cincinnati. "I'm not a big strikeout guy, so this is all new to me. It's pretty cool, though," said Sheets, whose previous career high was 10 strikeouts.
The previous franchise mark of 14 was set by Moose Haas in 1978 against the Yankees.
Sheets (4-2) threw a three-hitter in his fourth career complete game and struck out six of the last seven batters he faced -- including all three in the ninth.
Mets 3, Astros 2 -- Mike Piazza spoiled Roger Clemens's bid for his eighth straight win with a tying homer in the ninth off Octavio Dotel, and New York beat host Houston on Jason Phillips's 13th-inning home run. After Clemens struck out 10 in seven shutout innings, the Mets rallied in the ninth against Dotel. Eric Valent led off with a double, and two outs later, Piazza hit a 1-2 pitch over the right-center fence to tie it.
Phillips, who has struggled all season, connected against Brandon Backe (1-1) for his first home run of the year.
Marlins 3, Cardinals 2 -- Brad Penny worked six solid innings and Florida got a pair of big two-out hits, avoiding a three-game sweep with the victory in St. Louis. The Marlins scored only six runs in the series. But Juan Pierre's two-run double in the fourth gave the team its only multirun inning, and Mike Mordecai got his first RBI of the year for Florida, which completed a 3-3 road trip.
Reds 6, Dodgers 3 -- At Los Angeles, Adam Dunn had his first three-hit game of the season, including a two-run double, and Cincinnati completed its first three-game sweep of the year. Aaron Harang allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, including a two-out homer by David Ross in the fourth.
Cubs 4, Padres 2 -- Jose Macias hit a tiebreaking home run off David Wells, and Michael Barrett also connected to lead Chicago to a win over host San Diego, completing a three-game sweep.
Rockies 7, Phillies 6 -- Jeromy Burnitz drove in the tiebreaking run with an infield single in the eighth and had four RBIs, helping host Colorado end a three-game losing streak.
Pirates 8, Giants 1 -- Rob Mackowiak homered twice and drove in four runs, helping Pittsburgh complete its first three-game sweep in San Francisco since 1996.
Expos 6, Diamondbacks 1 -- Livan Hernandez pitched a six-hitter for his second complete game in 10 days, helping Montreal beat host Arizona and complete its first series sweep of the season.