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Mets spoil Piazza's return

Wright leads NY to 3-2 victory

David Wright hit a pair of run-scoring singles and host New York beat the San Diego Padres, 3-2, last night to ruin the homecoming of former Mets catcher Mike Piazza.

Piazza went 1 for 4 in his first game at Shea Stadium since he signed with the Padres in the offseason. He received loud cheers from the moment he exited the dugout for pregame stretching to his last at-bat in the eighth inning.

``It was just one of those amazing moments that I can't explain in sports," Piazza said.

Wright, one of the new leaders of the first-place Mets, went 3 for 4 and swiped one of New York's three stolen bases against Piazza, who has long had trouble throwing out runners. Carlos Beltran also doubled three times to tie a franchise record.

Todd Walker singled with two outs in the second for San Diego and scored on Geoff Blum's two-run homer to make it 2-0.

That was it for the NL West-leading Padres against Steve Trachsel (11-5), who allowed five hits in 5 2/3 innings to win his second straight start. He struck out three and walked two.

Wright singled and scored when Lastings Milledge grounded into a double play in the second. He drove in Paul Lo Duca with a base hit in the third to tie it at 2.

Wright came up again in the fifth with runners on first and second and singled in Beltran to give New York the lead.

Reds 10, Cardinals 3 -- Outfielder Ryan Freel had three hits and made a spectacular diving catch that helped host Cincinnati roll past St. Louis.

The second-place Reds matched their season high with 17 hits and emphatically evened their series with the NL Central leaders at one game apiece, moving to 3 1/2 games back.

After Freel's catch preserved the lead in the fifth, Cincinnati pulled away against the bullpen. Adam Dunn had a bases-loaded single in the seventh, completing his three-RBI game. Rich Aurilia homered and drove in three runs.

Braves 3, Phillies 1 -- Tim Hudson pitched his best game in nearly two months, tossing seven scoreless innings and driving in a run with a suicide squeeze to lead host Atlanta.

Hudson (9-10) was mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, going 2-6 with a 7.60 ERA over his past 10 starts. During that span, he allowed 76 hits and eight homers in 55 2/3 innings.

But Philadelphia couldn't get a runner past second base against Hudson, who scattered six hits, walked two, and struck out eight.

Twins 4, Tigers 2 -- Brad Radke won for the seventh time in eighth decisions, helping Minnesota end host Detroit's four-game winning streak.

Joe Mauer, whose third-inning groundout tied the game, doubled off Nate Robertson (10-8) for a 3-2 lead in the fifth, helping the Twins to their fifth win in six games.

Radke (11-8) gave up two runs and nine hits in seven innings, walking one.

Angels 5, Indians 4 -- Pinch hitter Adam Kennedy's two-out single off Rafael Betancourt (0-4) scored Vladimir Guerrero with the go-ahead run in the eighth following a double steal, and Los Angeles won its fourth straight.

Brendan Donnelly (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of Jered Weaver, who recorded his third straight no-decision after winning his first seven starts.

Marlins 4, Nationals 2 -- Rookie Ricky Nolasco pitched effectively into the seventh inning to earn his 10th victory, leading Florida at Washington.

Miguel Cabrera had three hits and an RBI, and Dan Uggla hit his 17th homer to back Nolasco (10-7), who gave up two runs and five hits with no walks in 6 1/3 innings.

Astros 3, Pirates 1 -- Craig Biggio homered and Brandon Backe pitched seven strong innings to lead host Houston over Pittsburgh.

Backe (3-1), making his fourth start since returning from a right elbow sprain, allowed three hits, walked four, and struck out two to improve to 12-3 at Minute Maid Park.

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 1 -- Juan Cruz shut down San Francisco into the eighth inning during the longest outing of his career, lifting host Arizona.

Orlando Hudson scored twice and drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who moved within 1 1/2 games of first-place San Diego in the NL West.

Orioles 8, Blue Jays 4 -- Nick Markakis homered and had a career-high four RBIs, Daniel Cabrera (5-7) got his first major league win since June 10 and Miguel Tejada also homered for the Orioles, who sent host Toronto to its 11th loss in 15 games.

Cubs 6, Brewers 3 -- Jacque Jones and John Mabry each hit two-out, two-run homers in the first inning to lead Chicago over host Milwaukee.

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