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NL ROUNDUP

Cubs slam Cardinals in 10th

Neifi Perez hit a grand slam in the 10th inning after Chicago blew a one-run lead with two outs in the ninth, and the Cubs beat the Cardinals, 8-4, last night in St. Louis to take two of three from the NL Central leaders.

David Eckstein's single off Ryan Dempster in the ninth made it 4-4 when Hector Luna slid around a tag at the plate, touching it with his hand.

Aramis Ramirez's 27th homer, a two-run shot off Julian Tavarez in the eighth, had given the Cubs a 4-3 lead as the St. Louis bullpen failed to hold a one-run lead for Jeff Suppan for the second straight start.

Todd Walker, who was 2 for 14 in the series, started the winning rally with a double off Al Reyes (3-2). Derrek Lee and Ramirez were intentionally walked around a sacrifice by Jeromy Burnitz to load the bases, and with two outs Perez lined Reyes's first pitch over the right-field wall for his second career grand slam and first since July 3, 1999.

Dempster (3-3) was credited with the win despite his second blown save of the season.

Three of the Cardinals' first five batters took Mark Prior over the right-field wall as Abraham Nunez connected with one out and Jim Edmonds and John Mabry followed with back-to-back two-out shots. Prior allowed only an infield hit in his final five innings.

Astros 4, Nationals 1 -- At Washington, Eric Bruntlett hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 14th, giving Houston its seventh win in eight games.

Adam Everett started the winning rally with a single to center off Hector Carrasco (3-3). Everett advanced on a wild pitch, then Jose Vizcaino walked. Two batters later, pinch hitter -- and Saturday's starting pitcher -- Brandon Backe hit a long fly to right that advanced Everett to third, and Vizcaino stole second.

Bruntlett then fouled off three straight pitches before pulling Carrasco's 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence.

Diamondbacks 3, Braves 2 -- At Phoenix, Javier Vazquez (9-9) struck out a season-high 11 in eight innings and Arizona withstood a pair of home runs by Andruw Jones to climb within 2 1/2 games of the NL West lead.

Phillies 5, Padres 1 -- Brett Myers (8-5) allowed one run in six innings and delivered an RBI double as Philadelphia completed a three-game home sweep of slumping San Diego, which has dropped seven straight.

Mets 6, Dodgers 0 -- Kris Benson (7-3) pitched four-hit ball for eight innings and Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer as host New York matched a season high by moving four games over .500.

Reds 3, Brewers 2 -- Adam Dunn led off the bottom of the ninth with his 28th home run, giving Cincinnati its ninth victory in 13 games.

Marlins 4, Giants 1 -- A.J. Burnett (7-6) homered and pitched into the eighth and Miguel Cabrera also connected as Florida wrapped up its 10-game road trip at 5-5.

Pirates 3, Rockies 0 -- Mark Redman (5-10) ended a six-week winless streak by allowing six hits over eight innings and host Pittsburgh won its first series since the All-Star break.

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