2013-09-13 / State/National Sports

Freeman, Johnson spark Braves

Milwaukee Brewers’ Sean Halton hits an RBI-single to score Logan Schafer during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday in St. Louis. The Brewers won 5-3. 
AP Photo by JEFF ROBERSON Milwaukee Brewers’ Sean Halton hits an RBI-single to score Logan Schafer during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday in St. Louis. The Brewers won 5-3. AP Photo by JEFF ROBERSON MIAMI (AP) — Freddy Garcia earned his second NL victory since 2007, and first since joining the Atlanta Braves last month, by pitching six innings to help beat the Miami Marlins 6-1 on Thursday.

Freddie Freeman had three hits on his 24th birthday, including his 20th home run. Chris Johnson had three hits to raise his average to .330.

Closing in on their first NL East title since 2005, the Braves reduced their magic number to six.

Garcia (1-1) allowed five hits and one run. He was making a spot start in place of rookie lefthander Alex Wood, whose turn was skipped to give him a breather.

Three relievers completed a seven-hitter.

The crowd of 15,274 was the Marlins’ smallest at home since July 1. They are last in the NL in attendance.

Brian Flynn (0-1), making his second major-league start, allowed six runs in four innings.

Pirates 3, Cubs 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jeff Locke allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first victory in nearly two months as Pittsburgh beat Chicago to move into a tie for the NL Central lead.

Locke (10-5) struck out five and walked one to help the Pirates win their fourth straight and pull even with St. Louis at 85-61. Mark Melancon worked out of a two-on, none-out jam in the ninth for his 14th save.

Jordy Mercer went 2 for 4 with an RBI double for Pittsburgh. Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez added an RBI singles.

Chris Rusin (2-4) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings for the Cubs.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 3

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tyler Thornburg threw six solid innings, Sean Halton homered and Milwaukee snapped St. Louis’ five-game winning streak.

The Brewers beat the Cardinals for only the fourth time in 16 meetings this season.

Thornburg (2-1), making his eighth career start, gave up two runs and three hits. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville, going 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 starts.

Jim Henderson earned his 25th save in 29 opportunities.

Halton, who had three RBIs, hit a two-run homer off Joe Kelly (8-4) in the fourth to put Milwaukee up 4-0.

Dodgers 3, Giants 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez singled home the winning run in the 10th inning to give Los Angeles a victory over San Francisco.

The Dodgers reduced their magic number to five for clinching their first NL West title since 2009. They won for the seventh time in eight games against the rival Giants.

The loss ended last-place San Francisco’s streak of four consecutive winning seasons.

Carl Crawford opened the 10th with a single off Jeremy Affeldt (1-5), activated from the disabled list before the game. Pinch-hitter Nick Punto sacrificed Crawford to second before Gonzalez gave the Dodgers their eighth walk-off win of the season.

Brian Wilson (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning against his former team.

Gregor Blanco’s RBI single off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen tied the score in the ninth.

Nationals 7, Mets 2

NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos homered off Aaron Harang in his Mets debut, and Washington completed a four-game sweep.

Anthony Rendon also connected for Washington, which outhomered the Mets 13-0 in a series that helped the Nationals remain on the fringe of the NL wild-card race.

Zimmerman added an RBI double in the eighth after Denard Span extended his careerbest hitting streak to 23 games with a leadoff double. The Nationals won 17 of those games.

The Mets have lost nine of 11 and fallen to 64-81, ensuring a non-winning record in all five seasons at Citi Field.

Tanner Roark (6-0) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings of his second big league start.

Harang (0-1) allowed the three homers and a single in six innings. He struck out 10 and walked one.

Phillies 10, Padres 5

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carlos Ruiz had three hits and three RBIs, and rookie Cesar Hernandez reached base four times, scored twice and drove in two runs as Philadelphia rode a six-run first inning to a win over San Diego.

Roy Halladay was in line for the win but couldn’t get through the fifth after walking four straight batters and committing a throwing error. In his fourth start since coming off the disabled list, Halladay gave up five runs — four earned — and four hits. He struck out six and walked a season-high five in 4 2-3 innings.

Five relievers held the Padres hitless over the final four innings to lead the Phillies to their fifth victory in six games. Justin De Fratus (3-3) escaped a fifthinning jam.

After a 55-minute rain delay at the start, Will Venable hit a leadoff homer on Halladay’s third pitch.

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