NL: Rockies beat Braves before small crowd
ATLANTA ó Jason Marquis got the better of Derek Lowe in a pitchers’ duel, and there weren’t a whole lot of people there to see it.
The right-handers went at it for eight innings before Colorado added three runs against two relievers in the ninth for a 5-1 victory over Atlanta on Monday night.
The Braves dropped to 6-11 at Turner Field this season, and the latest loss was in front of 15,364, the smallest paid crowd since the stadium opened in 1997.
Marquis had the right strategy to keep Atlanta’s hitters off balance.
“I pounded the bottom of the strike zone,” he said. “I was able to attack the strike zone and put the ball on the ground.”
Marquis (5-3) scattered five hits and allowed one run in eight innings to end a two-start losing streak. He struck out three and walked three.
Marquis gave up 16 runs ó 14 earned ó in his previous two starts, a span of 9 2/3 innings against San Francisco and Houston. Even so, the right-hander believes his talent doesn’t match his career 4.56 ERA.
“I feel like every time I get the ball, I’m going to shut them down,” Marquis said. “I’m out there every pitch battling.”
Lowe (5-2) was attempting to become the NL’s first six-game winner. He allowed two runs, three hits and one walk in eight innings, losing for the first time in five starts. He dropped to 7-7 against the Rockies but improved his ERA 20 points to 4.50 in 17 career starts.
“They beat us at every aspect of the game, and that’s ultimately why we came up a little short,” Lowe said. “They did a good job of manufacturing a run in the sixth inning and that was the ball game.”
The Braves have lost two straight and three of four.
“We hit three bullets in the eighth inning,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox, whose team grounded into a season-high four double plays. “That was a game-changer. We didn’t have any luck at all. We had one hit less than they did, and they got five runs. Figure that one out.”
Eric O’Flaherty, who relieved Lowe to start the ninth inning, was charged with two runs after Troy Tulowitzki singled and Helton reached on shortstop Yunel Escobar’s fielding error.
Peter Moylan, who relieved O’Flaherty, gave up consecutive RBI singles to Chris Iannetta and pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs. Iannetta scored from third on Clint Barmes’ grounder, which third baseman Chipper Jones misplayed for an error.
Brewers 8, Cardinals 4
ST. LOUIS ó Braden Looper carried a two-hitter into the seventh inning and Mat Gamel hit a three-run homer in his first career start as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep of St. Louis.
Jason Kendall of the Brewers became the eighth full-time catcher to reach 2,000 hits.
Milwaukee has won 12 of 14 overall and 10 of 11 over the Cardinals the last two seasons.
Pirates 12, Nationals 7
WASHINGTON ó Washington made four errors ó all on routine plays ó and the bullpen had another lead-blowing implosion.
A five-run sixth inning led Pittsburgh to its third straight win and ended an eight-game road losing streak.
Ross Ohlendorf (5-3) won despite allowing four extra-base hits in a five-run fifth. Craig Monroe hit a three-run homer, and Jack Wilson got four hits for the Pirates.
Washington has lost five straight despite scoring at least five runs in every game. The Nationals entered the game with 37 errors, five more than any team in the majors.
Dodgers 3, Mets 2, 11 innings
Los Angeles won on a throwing error by the Mets with one out in the 11th inning. Starting pitchers Tim Redding (Mets) and Randy Wolf had strong outings.