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NL ROUNDUP

Arizona goes to 1st in worst

The Arizona Diamondbacks slugged their way into first place in the West.

Rookie catcher Chris Snyder hit two of Arizona's season-high five homers, including his first career grand slam, and drove in five runs as the Diamondbacks beat the Cubs, 13-6, yesterday in Chicago.

Arizona took three of four games in Chicago, moving .0002 ahead of the slumping San Diego Padres in baseball's worst division.

Snyder, 24, a late-season call-up last year, came in hitting .216 with 19 RBIs in 79 games this season.

''It's good that he gets the fruits of his labor," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. ''Nobody works harder than he does."

Luis Gonzalez added a pair of solo homers and an RBI double for the Diamondbacks, who knocked out Greg Maddux by scoring nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings and matched their highest-scoring game of the season.

The Diamondbacks (52-55, .4859) have gone 8-6 since July 17, gaining 6 1/2 games on the Padres (51-54, .4857), who have lost 12 of 13.

''This was a good series for us," Gonzalez said. ''We could have very easily taken all four. We have two months to go. We know where San Diego is, we know where the Dodgers are. We haven't had a good run yet, this was a good start for us."

Brandon Webb (9-8) limited the Cubs to two runs and three hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out four. He had lost his last six decisions since beating San Francisco June 23.

Reds 7, Padres 1 -- Adam Dunn and visiting Cincinnati knocked San Diego deeper into despair and out of first place in the sad-sack West.

Dunn's grand slam in the fifth inning was Cincinnati's third homer of the game, and Wily Mo Pena and Rich Aurilia also homered to complete the three-game sweep for the Reds, who have won a season-high five straight.

The Padres had led the West since May 26, when they were 28-19 and one-half game ahead of Arizona.

The Padres have lost 35 of 53 since June 1. Clutch hits and home runs have practically disappeared, and their bullpen is running on fumes.

Eric Milton (5-11) threw seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out six and walking none. He retired 16 of his final 17 batters and lowered his ERA from 7.03 to 6.65.

Woody Williams (5-8) did nothing to stop San Diego's collapse. He lasted only five innings, allowing seven runs and seven hits, including all three homers.

Cardinals 7, Dodgers 5 -- Jim Edmonds, who was scheduled for a day off, drove in three runs with a pinch double in the seventh inning and a two-run homer in the 11th, as St. Louis won in Los Angeles.

Mark Grudzielanek hit a three-run homer against his former team, and Cal Eldred (1-0) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the victory.

Mets 9, Astros 4 -- Ramon Castro's bloop single in the eighth gave visiting New York its first lead in three games, and the Mets added four runs in the ninth for a victory that ended Houston's seven-game winning streak.

Mike Cameron, Carlos Beltran, and Doug Mientkiewicz each had three hits for the Mets. The Astros, who went 22-7 in July, lost for the second time in 15 games.

Nationals 4, Marlins 2 -- Livan Hernandez allowed two runs in eight innings and added a run-scoring single, helping visiting Washington beat Florida and end a season-high six-game losing streak.

Braves 5, Pirates 4 -- Rafael Furcal homered from both sides of the plate, John Smoltz won his eighth straight decision, and Marcus Giles had four hits, as Atlanta improved to 6-0 on a homestand that ends today against Pittsburgh.

Rockies 9, Phillies 2 -- Dustan Mohr had a double and a homer in host Colorado's nine-run fifth inning as the Rockies defeated Philadelphia and avoided a four-game sweep.

Brewers 5, Giants 1 -- Chris Capuano took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and won his seventh straight decision as host Milwaukee beat San Francisco.

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