Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey each hit a two-run homer and Pat Burrell and Juan Uribe also went yard as the San Francisco Giants beat host San Diego, 7-3, last night to pull within one game of the NL West-leading Padres.
Matt Cain took a three-hitter into the ninth in the opener of the four-game showdown between the rivals, who also will meet in a season-ending, three-game series at San Francisco Oct. 1-3. San Francisco is one behind Atlanta in the wild-card race.
Cain (11-10) allowed David Eckstein’s leadoff single in the ninth followed by Ryan Ludwick’s homer to straightaway center, leading manager Bruce Bochy to turn to Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez to finish. Cain struck out eight and walked one.
It was the Giants’ third win in 12 games against San Diego this season. The Giants have two more losses than the Padres, who have played two fewer games than San Francisco.
Huff and Freddy Sanchez each had three hits for the Giants.
Jon Garland (13-11) took his third straight loss. His previous two defeats were during a 10-game Padres losing streak that trimmed 5 1/2 games off their lead.
The Giants hit Garland early, often and hard. He allowed three of the Giants’ homers and Kevin Correia surrendered the fourth.
Andres Torres led off the game with a triple and scored on Sanchez’s single to left.
Rockies 6, Reds 5 — Chris Nelson stole home in the eighth inning to send host Colorado over Cincinnati, completing a four-game series sweep and extending its winning streak to season-best seven games.
With one out and runners on the corners, Nelson broke for home before Nick Masset (3-4) threw his first pitch to Miguel Olivo. Inexplicably, Masset stepped off the mound, whirled to his left and toward second base.
Nelson scored easily to give the Rockies a 6-5 lead.
Tigers 6, White Sox 3 — Johnny Damon had a season-high four hits, scored two runs, and drove in one, helping host Detroit hand Chicago its third straight loss.
The Tigers have won six of eight to get back above .500 for the first time since July 31.
Rangers 4, Blue Jays 2 — Colby Lewis, who had gone 0-7 with a 5.07 ERA in nine starts since beating Boston July 16, got the decision and Mitch Moreland drove in three runs as Texas won in Toronto.
Cardinals 11, Braves 4 — Colby Rasmus hit a pair of homers and Albert Pujols and Skip Schumaker also connected to lead visiting St. Louis.
Astros 3, Dodgers 2 — Chris Johnson hit a three-run homer in the sixth as host Houston handed Los Angeles its sixth straight loss.