Derrek Lee helped the Cubs play spoiler -- for one day, at least -- going 3 for 3 and making a spectacular defensive play that preserved a 5-4 victory over the NL wild card-leading Houston Astros yesterday in Chicago.
Nomar Garciaparra drove in a pair of runs for the Cubs, who handed the Astros only their second loss in the last 10 games.
The loss, coupled with Philadelphia's victory, trimmed Houston's lead in the wild card to just 1 game.
Trailing, 5-1, after four innings, the Astros rallied for three runs in the fifth but could get no closer.
Ryan Dempster pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 32 chances. Glendon Rusch (8-8) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in five innings.
Phillies 11, Reds 10 -- David Bell completed Philadelphia's last-swing comeback, hitting a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth for a pulsating victory at Cincinnati.
Chase Utley started the big inning by hitting a three-run shot, his second homer of the game, off David Weathers (7-4), cutting it to 10-9. After Weathers got two strikeouts, Ryan Howard walked and Bell worked the count full before hitting his 10th homer.
A dozen Phillies spilled out of the dugout and mobbed him on the field, reveling in a potential season-saving win.
Braves 4, Marlins 3 -- Atlanta moved a step closer to its 14th straight division title, as its rookies came through in a four-run eighth inning in a stunning win over Florida at Turner Field.
Rookie Jeff Francoeur, Ryan Langerhans, and Brian McCann had RBIs in the decisive inning. McCann brought home the winning run with a two-out single off Todd Jones (1-5).
The rally reduced the Braves' magic number to five for winning the East Division.
Brewers 9, Cardinals 6 -- Bill Hall had four hits and Lyle Overbay hit a tiebreaking double as host Milwaukee overcame a four-run deficit and sent Chris Carpenter to his first loss in more than three months.
Chris Capuano (18-10) won despite a career-high eight walks. He allowed six runs and six hits in six innings. Matt Wise pitched two scoreless innings, and Derrick Turnbow finished for his 34th save in 38 chances.
Padres 5, Diamondbacks 3 -- Khalil Greene homered and drove in three runs and San Diego beat Arizona at Phoenix, maintaining its five-game lead over San Francisco in the West with nine games to go.
Mets 5, Nationals 2 -- Carlos Beltran's three-run homer in the 10th inning lifted New York at Washington.
Giants 7, Rockies 6 -- Barry Bonds had his streak of four straight games with a homer stopped, but he drew a key walk in San Francisco's rally from four runs down in the eighth at Denver.
Dodgers 4, Pirates 3 -- Antonio Perez drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded grounder in the sixth and Los Angeles rallied to beat visiting Pittsburgh, snapping its six-game losing streak.