The New York Mets' weekend series with Arizona was billed as a showdown between first-place teams.
It turned out to be a showcase for the Mets, who completed a four-game sweep with a 15-2 rout yesterday in Phoenix, knocking the Diamondbacks out of the NL West lead.
``It's a big-time sweep," said Mets manager Willie Randolph, whose team won its fifth straight game and 39th overall, most in the NL. ``We've done a great job this year of winning series. Every once in a while it's nice to sweep it and go four in a row. That's even sweeter."
Carlos Beltran drove in four runs and Carlos Delgado had three RBIs as the Mets posted a season high in runs. The Mets batted around in the fourth and fifth innings to chase Arizona starter Russ Ortiz (0-5), and went 11 for 25 with runners in scoring position.
No Met has been hotter than Beltran, who went 9 for 17 in the series with 3 doubles, 3 homers, 10 RBIs, and 10 runs. In the finale, Beltran singled, doubled, and stole a base.
Pedro Martínez (6-2) allowed one run in five innings to earn his first victory since April 28, a span of seven starts.
The Diamondbacks have lost seven in a row to fall a game behind the Dodgers. They trailed after three batters when Ortiz walked leadoff man Jose Reyes, and Reyes stole second, took third on Endy Chavez's bunt single, and scored on second baseman Orlando Hudson's error.
Two outs later, Chris Woodward doubled, putting the Mets up, 3-0. Ortiz was replaced in the fourth after Beltran's two-run double, and run-scoring doubles by Delgado and David Wright. Ortiz allowed five earned runs and seven hits over 3 1/3 innings.
New York added six runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Beltran and Ramon Castro, a two-run double by Delgado, and a two-run triple by Lastings Milledge.
Cubs 9, Reds 3 -- Carlos Marmol (1-0) worked six strong innings in his first major league start and Neifi Perez hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs to pace Chicago in Cincinnati.
Astros 14, Braves 4 -- Eric Munson hit two homers and Jason Lane drove in five runs as Houston posted a season high in runs to pound visiting Atlanta.
Cardinals 7, Brewers 5 -- Jim Edmonds got St. Louis rolling with a two-run double in the top of the first, and David Eckstein and Scott Rolen each scored twice for the Cardinals.
Nationals 6, Phillies 0 -- Washington's Shawn Hill (1-1) allowed host Philadelphia just two hits over seven innings, picking up his first win in nearly two years.
Dodgers 6, Rockies 5 -- At Denver, Russell Martin hit a tying RBI double in the ninth and pinch hitter Sandy Alomar followed with a run-scoring single for Los Angeles.
Marlins 7, Padres 3 -- Cody Ross hit a three-run homer off San Diego's Jake Peavy (4-7) and Dan Uggla tacked on a leadoff blast in the top of the ninth for Florida.
Pirates 7, Giants 5 -- Jose Bautista's first career grand slam, in the eighth off San Francisco reliever Tim Worrell (2-2), gave Pittsburgh its first three-game road winning streak of the season.
Twins 4, Orioles 0 -- Rookie Francisco Liriano allowed just one hit over seven innings and Justin Morneau slugged a two-run homer for host Minnesota.
Liriano (5-1) carried a no-hitter into the fifth before Javy Lopez managed the Orioles' lone hit against the 22-year-old lefthander.
Mariners 6, Angels 2 -- Felix Hernandez tossed a four-hitter for his first complete game in the majors, and visiting Seattle parlayed consecutive errors by Los Angeles's Jeff Weaver (3-9) into a three-run fifth.
Hernandez (6-6) won his third straight start with just 94 pitches, striking out nine and walking none.
Indians 10, White Sox 8 -- Victor Martinez and Ronnie Belliard hit two-run homers, Travis Hafner and Jason Michaels added solo shots, and Cleveland held on in Chicago after building an eight-run lead.
Tigers 10, Blue Jays 5 -- Ivan Rodriguez homered and tied a season-high with five RBIs and host Detroit won consecutive games for the first time in two weeks.
Devil Rays 8, Royals 2 -- Tampa Bay matched a franchise record with six homers, with Jonny Gomes and Carl Crawford each hitting two in Kansas City, Mo.