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 ATLANTA (AP) -Oliver Perez pitched seven strong innings, David Wright hit his fourth homer in the last four games and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Wednesday night.
The first-place Mets increased their lead over Atlanta in the NL East to 2 1/2 games.
Perez (6-3) gave up only four hits and two walks in seven innings. Joe Smith pitched a perfect eighth and Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 11th save to complete the five-hitter.
Wright hit fourth for the third time this season, and Carlos Delgado - normally the cleanup hitter- hit sixth, the first time he's hit that low in 10 years. Delgado, who began the night hitting .209, had two hits.
An fielding error by second baseman Martin Prado helped the Mets score their first run in the third, and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Carlos Gomez in the fourth drove in Paul Lo Duca for a 2-0 lead.
Chuck James (4-4) gave up seven hits and three runs in 4 2-3 innings.
Nationals 12, Reds 7
CINCINNATI (AP) - Ryan Church returned to Washington's lineup with a pair of homers and a career-high six RBIs, keeping the Nationals on their offensive tear.
The Nationals hit a season-high four homers during their biggest run splurge in more than a year. Brian Schneider and Ryan Zimmerman also homered.
Church set the tone with a two-run homer in the first inning off Kyle Lohse (1-6), who has lost his last six starts. Church, who was out of the lineup the last two games with a bruised forearm, also had a solo homer and a bases-loaded double.
The Reds keep stumbling to new lows. They've lost 16 of 21, falling 11 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005 season.
Jason Simontacchi (2-2) got his first road victory.
Cardinals 5, Pirates 3
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Kip Wells ended a seven-game losing streak with seven strong innings and was backed by three home runs, a rare power display by St. Louis.
David Eckstein opened the first with his fifth career leadoff homer, Jim Edmonds hit his second of the year in the second and Chris Duncan added a two-run shot in the fifth for the Cardinals, who have won two straight after losing five in a row.
All of the homers came off Ian Snell (4-3), who had allowed only two in 58 2-3 innings all season and none in his three previous starts.
Wells (2-8) faced the Pirates for the first time since he went to the Rangers at the trade deadline last July and allowed one earned run on five hits in seven innings.
Jason Isringhausen got the last five outs for his 11th save in 12 chances.
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