Pinch runner Eric Bruntlett stole second and third then scored the go-ahead run on Jason Lane's RBI single in the ninth inning, lifting the wild-card leading Houston Astros to a 2-1 victory in Philadelphia last night.
The Astros moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia in the wild-card race with their 11th consecutive win over the Phillies.
Bruntlett's daring dashes made a winner out of Roy Oswalt (17-11), who struck out eight. With one out in the ninth, Lance Berkman was walked by reliever Billy Wagner (4-2). Bruntlett stole second and third -- his fourth and fifth steals this year. Lane then ripped a single to left for a 2-1 lead.
Braves 3, Mets 1 -- John Smoltz outpitched Pedro Martinez, and Andruw Jones drove in two runs as host Atlanta beat New York.
Facing Martinez for the third time this season, Smoltz (14-6) won his second straight in the matchup of former Cy Young Award winners. Smoltz allowed seven hits and one run in seven innings. Martinez (13-7) pitched six innings, allowing five hits and three runs for New York.
Rockies 6, Padres 5 -- Colorado's Todd Helton reached base five times and scored twice, and San Diego catcher Miguel Olivo committed two critical errors in the seventh that led to two runs as the visiting Rockies beat the NL West-leading Padres.
Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 2 -- Rookie catcher Ryan Doumit's errant throw on a rundown play in the 12th inning got Pete Mackanin's managerial run off to a losing start for host Pittsburgh. The Pirates dropped their fifth in a row, 10th in 11 games and 15th in 19 -- a slide that caused manager Lloyd McClendon to be fired earlier in the day.
Dodgers 4, Giants 2 -- Jeff Kent hit the first pitch from Jeremy Accardo into the left field seats for a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th, leading host Los Angeles past San Francisco.
Marlins 4, Nationals 2 -- Luis Castillo went 3 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs, and Ismael Valdez won for the first time in more than a month, leading Florida past host Washington.
Cubs 5, Cardinals 2 -- Chicago's Glendon Rusch was perfect for six innings and pitched into the eighth at St. Louis, and Derrek Lee hit his 40th homer on his 30th birthday.
Reds 2, Brewers 1 -- Javier Valentin's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave host Cincinnati the victory.