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NL ROUNDUP

Expos get their game in order

Moved up in the batting order, Tomo Ohka beat Cincinnati with his arm, not his bat.

Ohka became the first pitcher in more than five years to bat higher than ninth in the starting lineup and went hitless in two at-bats, but he worked 6 2/3 strong innings in leading the Expos to a 6-2 win over the Reds in Montreal.

With his team having lost eight of nine, Expos manager Frank Robinson batted Ohka eighth in the lineup "to try something different." He moved Jamey Carroll, who was hitting .256 coming in, to the ninth spot. Ohka, the former Red Sox, was hitting .118.

The move immediately backfired when Ohka grounded out with the bases loaded to end a first-inning rally, helping Reds rookie Joe Valentine escape a jam trailing only 2-1. Ohka also grounded out to end the fourth with runners on first and second. Ohka (3-5) allowed eight hits and two runs.

Astros 7, Cardinals 1 -- Mike Lamb, Jeff Bagwell, and Lance Berkman hit two-run homers, leading host Houston past St. Louis. Tim Redding (3-3) allowed four hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings for Houston, which had lost its previous five games against St. Louis. After Albert Pujols's first-inning single, Redding retired 16 of his next 18 batters.

Marlins 8, Mets 6 -- Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in four runs, and Mike Lowell hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning that lifted Florida over New York in Miami. The Marlins finished a three-game sweep and won for the ninth time in 11 games, but lost righthander Josh Beckett, who left after 2 2/3 innings with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Beckett will be put on the 15-day disabled list today. A smiliar injury sent last year's World Series MVP to the disabled list three times in the 2002 season.

Cubs 12, Pirates 1 -- Derrek Lee broke a 1-for-20 slide with three hits and four RBIs, and Chicago routed host Pittsburgh to stop a five-game losing streak.

Phillies 4, Braves 1 -- Eric Milton pitched seven strong innings in his longest outing of the season and Jim Thome hit his 12th home run, pacing host Philadelphia past Atlanta.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0 -- Kazuhisa Ishii pitched six scoreless innings and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run double, helping host Los Angeles blank Arizona.

Giants 3, Rockies 1 -- Jason Schmidt provided the perfect sendoff for San Francisco's longest road trip in 15 years, taking a shutout into the ninth to lead the Giants past Colorado for their ninth straight win.

Padres 5, Brewers 2 -- Brian Giles had a two-run triple and Phil Nevin homered to help Ismael Valdez win for the first time in over a month, leading San Diego in Milwaukee.

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