MILWAUKEE – Marco Estrada pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, and Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez homered as the streaking Brewers shut out the Atlanta Braves 5-0 in Milwaukee.
The Brewers won their eighth in a row at Miller Park and reached the .500 mark for the first time since April 24. Milwaukee has surged back into the NL wild-card race by winning 17 of 22 overall, and beat the wild card-leading Braves for the second consecutive day.
Estrada (3-6) was dominant from the start, allowing only two singles to Andrelton Simmons in the first five innings. Estrada allowed four hits in 6 2-3 innings and struck out six.
Four Milwaukee pitchers combined on a five-hitter.
Atlanta’s Tim Hudson (14-6) gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Padres 6, Cardinals 4: The San Diego Padres are turning out to be the last team a playoff contender wants to play.
Logan Forsythe and Alexi Amarista had key hits in a five-run fourth inning, and the Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals, sending the slumping World Series champions to their 10th loss in 14 games.
St. Louis maintained a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL’s second wild-card berth but dropped 10½ games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.
Phillies 9, Marlins 7: Jimmy Rollins homered and drove in three runs and Roy Halladay won again as the streaking Philadelphia Phillies outslugged the Miami Marlins for their sixth consecutive win.
Despite allowing five runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, Halladay (10-7) improved to 4-0 in his last five starts.
Juan Pierre and Chase Utley had three hits apiece for Philadelphia, which finished with 15 overall while winning for the 14th time in the last 18 games. The five-time defending NL East champion Phillies, who reached .500 for the first time since June 4, are making a late playoff push.
Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 0: Ian Kennedy pitched neatly into the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks used an unearned run to beat Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Arizona left fielder Jason Kubel robbed Luis Cruz of a two-run homer with a leaping grab at the wall to end the fifth inning.
The lone run came in the seventh, when Paul Goldschmidt reached on shortstop Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error and scored from first on Miguel Montero’s double.
Giants 9, Rockies 8: Madison Bumgarner hit a three-run homer on a night when he struggled on the mound and Brandon Belt drove in four runs for NL West-leading San Francisco.
Belt broke a tie in the fifth with a two-run double. He also brought in a run on a fielder’s choice and added a solo homer for the Giants, who are 20-7 on the road since the All-Star break.
Bumgarner was roughed up by the Rockies, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin belted a two-run homer for Colorado before Javier Lopez came in and retired Jason Giambi for his seventh save.
Astros 1, Cubs 0: Jimmy Paredes singled and scored an unearned run in the third inning, lifting Houston to the victory in the matchup of the worst teams in baseball.
It was an otherwise tough night for the second baseman, who committed three errors.
Paredes has started the last three games at second base with All-Star Jose Altuve out with an abdominal strain.
Houston starter Jordan Lyles (4-11) yielded two hits and struck out five in five innings.
Nationals 5, Mets 3: Bryce Harper had his first four-hit game and pinch-hitter Tyler Moore launched a go-ahead homer off R.A. Dickey in the seventh inning, powering Washington to the victory.
Reds 5, Pirates 3: Mike Leake pitched seven innings, had a pair of hits and scored on a dash home off a wild pitch, helping Cincinnati to the win. — Agencies