Mark Prior struck out a season-high 10 in six strong innings and Neifi Perez hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs to lead the Cubs to a 10-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds last night in Chicago.
Prior (3-0) fought through wildness over the first three innings, throwing 63 pitches and walking two, but still struck out six. Prior has won all three of his starts this season and is looking a lot like the pitcher he was in 2003 when he went 18-6. He gave up his first earned run of the year in the fourth, a leadoff homer to Austin Kearns.
Perez broke a 2-all tie in the fifth inning with an RBI single to right field off Paul Wilson. Derrek Lee then followed with a two-run double to left, scoring Jerry Hairston and Perez to put the Cubs up, 5-2. Chad Fox walked three and allowed a home run before leaving with an arm injury in the ninth.
Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 2 -- Javier Vazquez pitched eight strong innings, Troy Glaus and Shawn Green got the key hits in a three-run first, and visiting Arizona beat Derek Lowe and Los Angeles for its fourth straight victory. Vazquez (2-2) allowed five hits, including solo homers by J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent, and struck out nine. Brandon Lyon got the final two outs for his major league-leading ninth save in 10 chances. Lowe (1-2) entered with a 1.27 ERA, but allowed 10 hits and four runs in seven innings.
Padres 5, Giants 3 -- Geoff Blum had a two-run homer and a go-ahead single, and visiting San Diego ended a three-game losing streak. Woody Williams (2-1) pitched seven strong innings as the Padres spoiled another chance for Felipe Alou to earn his 200th win as Giants manager.
Pirates 2, Astros 0 -- Oliver Perez got his first win by allowing four hits over 7 2/3 innings, outpitching Roy Oswalt and leading Pittsburgh to only its second home victory. The Pirates had a major league-worst 1-6 home record, but ended a four-game skid at PNC Park by running the Astros' road record to 1-9 -- also worst in the majors.
Mets 5, Braves 4 -- Mike Piazza broke out of a slump with three hits and Cliff Floyd and David Wright hit two-run homers as host New York came from behind to end Atlanta's four-game winning streak.
Phillies 5, Nationals 4 -- Taking advantage of seven walks by Washington pitchers -- plus two errors -- visiting Philadelphia built a four-run lead, then held on to end a three-game losing streak.
. . .
The Cardinals-Milwaukee Brewers game in St. Louis was postponed by rain. It will be made up Thursday afternoon.