Mark Grudzielanek hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats and Chris Carpenter equaled his career best with 12 strikeouts, helping the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-3, yesterday in St. Louis for their 11th victory in 12 games.
Jim Edmonds had two RBIs for the Cardinals, who at 14-5 are off to their best start since the 1968 team opened with that record. The first four in the batting order went 7 for 9 in the first four innings against Victor Santos (1-1) while building a 5-0 lead.
Grudzielanek hit the second leadoff homer of his career to kick-start a three-run first. He singled and scored in the second, had an RBI double in the fourth, and tripled in the sixth.
Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3 -- Luis Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking two-run single in a three-run seventh to help visiting Arizona notch its sixth straight victory.
The Diamondbacks took over the West Division lead from Los Angeles with their second straight three-game sweep.
They swept only one three-game set last year, and never won more than two in a row on any road trip while finishing a major league-worst 51-111.
Giants 10, Padres 3 -- Kirk Rueter got his first win of the year and Pedro Feliz hit a three-run homer on his 30th birthday in host San Francisco's win over San Diego.
Jason Ellison had a triple among his three hits and scored three runs for the Giants, who took two of three from the Padres to capture a series for the first time in their last four sets.
Yorvit Torrealba doubled and singled, drove in a run and scored twice.
Pirates 2, Astros 0 -- Kip Wells allowed four hits over seven innings and Jose Mesa earned his 300th career save as host Pittsburgh won its first series of the season.
Jason Bay went 3 for 3 with an RBI single against Andy Pettitte (1-2) and Jack Wilson had a run-scoring triple to help the Pirates beat the lefthander for the first time.
Pettitte was 2-0 against them in his first season with Houston a year ago, allowing only one run and three hits in 11 innings.
Braves 8, Mets 4 -- Andruw Jones broke out of a big slump with a homer and three hits and Mike Hampton remained unbeaten with another solid outing to lead Atlanta.
Wilson Betemit hit his first major league home run and Eddie Perez also connected for the Braves, who roughed up former teammate Tom Glavine and took two of three from their East Division rivals at Shea Stadium.
Phillies 3, Nationals 0 -- Jimmy Rollins broke a scoreless tie in the ninth with a leadoff homer, and Brett Myers pitched seven scoreless innings as Philadelphia triumphed in Washington.
Cubs 8, Reds 7 -- Derrek Lee had two home runs and six RBIs, and Corey Patterson hit a one-out homer in the ninth to give host Chicago the victory.
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The game between the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins at Denver's Coors Field was postponed because of rain and snow and will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.