Major Leagues: National League Roundup
The National League roundup …
HOUSTON ó Clint Barmes hit a three-run homer and J.A. Happ pitched six solid innings against his former team as the Houston Astros beat Philadelphia 5-2 on Tuesday night, preventing the Phillies from wrapping up a playoff spot.
The Phillies needed a win over Houston or a loss by St. Louis to clinch at least a wild-card berth. But the NL East leaders will have to wait to secure their place in the postseason after the Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (14-8) fell to 0-3 in his last five starts against the Astros after going 3-0 in his first four career starts against them.
Braves 7, Marlins 1
ATLANTA ó Brian McCann and Dan Uggla each hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves ended their longest losing streak of the season at four games.
The Braves, whose lead over St. Louis in the NL wild-card standings is down to 41/2 games, held a private meeting before the game in hopes of shaking things up.
It finally worked in the sixth. Uggla drew a one-out walk from Brad Hand (1-7), Matt Diaz singled to right and McCann came through with a towering shot over the center-field wall for his 24th homer. Uggla put it out of reach in the seventh with his career-best 34th homer, also a three-run shot.
Cardinals 6, Pirates 4
PITTSBURGH ó Nick Punto hit a go-ahead double in the ninth inning and the surging St. Louis Cardinals overcame three errors by first baseman Albert Pujols.
Trying to stay in the wild card and NL Central races, the Cardinals won for the sixth time in seven games.
Nationals 3, Mets 2
NEW YORK ó Craig Stammen got his first win and hit in more than a year, scoring the go-ahead run on Ryan Zimmermanís seventh-inning single.
Stammen (1-1) entered in the sixth with two on, then got three straight outs to escape the trouble. Stammen then singled off Dale Thayer (0-2) leading off seventh ó a .217 hitter coming in, Stammen had not gotten a hit since July 30 last year.
Reds 2, Cubs 1
CINCINNATI ó Brandon Phillips homered again, hitting a leadoff shot that helped Mike Leake and Cincinnati end a three-game losing streak.
Phillips homered for the third time in two games. He has 15 home runs this year.
Leake (12-9) allowed six hits and two walks over eight innings in what is expected to be his final start of the season.
The Reds plan to shut him down in an effort to prevent arm problems.
Leake pitched a career-high nine innings in his previous start, giving up three hits against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He took a one-hit shutout into the ninth in that game before giving up Starlin Castroís two-out infield single and pinch-hitter Bryan LaHairís tying home run.
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 33rd save.
The Associated Press