Roy Oswalt loves facing the Cincinnati Reds. Brad Penny can't think of anywhere he'd rather pitch than Florida.
Oswalt improved to 19-1 in his career against the Reds with the Houston Astros' 5-4 victory Monday night.
His success against the Reds is unprecedented. The right-hander won his first 15 decisions against them.
``Coming out of the bullpen, I felt better than I did in a long time,'' Oswalt said. ``The ball was jumping out of my hand. My curve was great. I thought I might go seven or eight innings without giving up a hit.''
Oswalt got into a little trouble in the second inning, giving up consecutive homers to Adam Dunn and Alex Gonzalez. It's only the second time in 22 career starts against Cincinnati that he gave up two homers.
``He's just so good,'' Dunn said. ``We jumped on him early, but to his credit, like he always does, if you don't get five right there, you're not going to get it.''
Penny wanted a souvenir after striking out a career-high 14 in Los Angeles' 6-1 win over Florida. So he took the ball after his final strikeout and put it in his hip pocket. Penny allowed only five baserunners in seven shutout innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-1 victory over his former team, the Florida Marlins.
``I love pitching here,'' Penny said. ``The mound is huge, and it's perfect for a guy like me who likes to throw hard. My fastball was the best it has been all year.''
In other NL games, it was: San Francisco 9, New York 4; Arizona 4, Philadelphia 3; Colorado 3, St. Louis 2; Milwaukee 3, Washington 0; and San Diego 4, Atlanta 2.
Penny (4-0) walked none and gave up five hits, including two infield singles, and lowered his ERA to 1.39. Following no-decisions in his past three games, he became the first Dodgers starter to begin a season 4-0 since Kazuhisa Ishii in 2002.
Penny's strikeout total was the highest by a Dodgers pitcher since Chan Ho Park had 14 at Milwaukee on Aug. 29, 2000. Second-year Los Angeles manager Grady Little said the performance was the best he has seen by Penny.
``He played hardball tonight,'' Little said. ``Brad didn't shy away from anyone.''
At Cincinnati, Lance Berkman hit his 36th career homer against the Reds - 13 have come at Great American Ball Park. He also has 104 RBIs against them - his highest total against any team.
Oswalt needed Luke Scott's three-run homer in the eighth inning to earn the win.
Giants 9, Mets 4
At San Francisco, Bengie Molina hit a disputed two-run homer in the fifth, then added a three-run drive later in the same inning.
Molina became the first Giants player to homer twice in an inning since Willie McCovey in 1977, and Rich Aurilia also hit a three-run homer in the nine-run fifth.
Barry Zito (3-3) struck out five in six innings to win for the first time in three starts. He also had his second career hit in 44 career at-bats and scored his first major league run.
Barry Bonds scored his 2,175th run, moving out of a tie with Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth into sole possession of third place.
With the Mets leading 1-0 in the fifth, Molina lined a shot off Oliver Perez (3-3) to deep left-center. The ball hit the top of the wall, just in front of a fan, and dropped onto the warning track. Mets manager Willie Randolph came out to argue, then the umpires huddled and ruled it a homer.
Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 3
At Phoenix, rookie Carlos Quentin singled off Francisco Rosario (0-2) to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. Batting .203 (12-for-59) at the start of the night, Quentin also doubled and scored.
Brandon Lyon (3-1) earned the victory despite giving up consecutive two-out doubles to Aaron Rowand and Wes Helms that tied it at 3 in the eighth. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Arizona's Chris Young went 3-for-4 with two doubles and made a leaping catch at the center-field wall on Pat Burrell.
Rockies 3, Cardinals 2
At St. Louis, Brad Hawpe drew a full-count walk from Tyler Johnson with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Troy Tulowitzki, who scored the go-ahead run on the walk, reached on a one-out double off Brian Falkenborg (0-1). Umpires ruled his drive off the top of the wall in left-center was not a home run, and Rockies manager Clint Hurdle drew his first ejection of the season for arguing the call with second base umpire Bob Davidson.
Zach McClellan (1-0) had two strikeouts in a perfect eighth, and Brian Fuentes got three outs for his eighth save.
Brewers 3, Nationals 0
At Milwaukee, Chris Capuano struck out a season-high nine, Geoff Jenkins hit a homer and the Brewers won for the eighth time in nine games.
The victory pushed the surging Brewers to 22-10, 5 1/2 games up on the idle Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. Washington (9-23) has lost six in a row for the second time this year.
Capuano (5-0) allowed seven hits and walked none in eight-plus innings as the Brewers improved to 7-0 in his starts this season. Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 13th save.
Matt Chico (2-4) gave up Jenkins' homer in the third.
Padres 4, Braves 2
At Atlanta, Chris Young (4-2) struck out eight in six innings, allowing two runs and two hits.
Scott Linebrink, Heath Bell and Trevor Hoffman completed the three-hitter, with Hoffman getting his ninth save to finish off San Diego's third straight victory.
Chuck James (3-3) gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings, the first time in seven starts this season he has not lasted five innings.

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