The Arizona Diamondbacks took over sole possession of first place in the NL West from San Diego. The Philadelphia Phillies outlasted New York to complete a sweep of the Mets and tighten the East and wild-card races.
Mark Reynolds drove in a career-high five RBIs and the Diamondbacks held on for an 8-7 win over the Padres on Thursday night. Arizona, which trailed San Diego by one percentage point coming into the game, held on after taking an 8-0 lead in the seventh to avoid the four-game sweep and move back one game ahead.
``It's huge,'' Reynolds said. ``We came in here today and didn't really think about the past three days. We knew we were still tied for first and nobody thought we would be in this position.''
Reynolds hit a two-run homer an estimated 451 feet into the second deck in left field off Chris Young (9-5) in the second inning. Reynolds, who had three hits, then capped a four-run fifth inning with a three-run double off Cla Meredith.
``That was an unbelievable game for (Reynolds),'' Melvin said. ``He had the at-bat of the game against Meredith.''
Chase Utley hit an RBI single off Billy Wagner in the ninth inning to help the Phillies rally for an 11-10 victory and finish a three-game sweep of the first-place Mets in one of the wildest games of the season. Philadelphia moved within two games of New York in the NL East and San Diego for the wild card.
And in the Central, the Chicago Cubs held off Milwaukee 5-4 to increase their lead to 2 1/2 games over the second-place Brewers.
In only other NL games Thursday, Houston beat St. Louis 2-1 and Cincinnati edged Pittsburgh 5-4.
At San Diego, Doug Davis (12-11) allowed three runs and four hits over 6 2-3 innings to improve to 7-1 in 10 starts since the All-Star break. He struck out seven and walked two as the Diamondbacks won for the ninth time in his 10 second-half starts.
Jose Valverde gave up a solo homer to Milton Bradley in the ninth before finishing up for his major league-leading 41st save.
``That was a nail-bitter but we came through and won the game,'' Davis said.
The Diamondbacks scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning on consecutive doubles by Tony Clark, Stephen Drew and Chris Snyder for an 8-0 lead.
d an RBI infield single.
At Philadelphia, Pat Burrell homered twice, Ryan Howard and Aaron Rowand also connected, and the Phillies wasted leads of 5-0 and 8-5 before falling behind 10-8 in the eighth. That's when the Mets called on the struggling Wagner, who hadn't pitched since last Friday after experiencing a tired arm.
Looking for his first six-out save in eight years, Wagner (2-2) gave up Burrell's solo shot in the eighth and pinch-hitter Tadahito Iguchi's tying single in the ninth.
Jimmy Rollins was intentionally walked after Iguchi stole second, bringing up Utley, who entered the game leading the NL in batting average. The All-Star second baseman, playing his third game after missing a month with a broken hand, worked a full count before lining a single to right field to score Iguchi and send the crowd into a frenzy.
``When Utley was batting, that's the loudest I ever heard it,'' Burrell said.
The Phillies have sliced five games off New York's lead with five straight wins while the Mets have lost five in a row.
``I felt fresh. I was fine,'' Wagner said. ``I was trying to make pitches and I was unable to make them.''
Tom Gordon (2-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Cubs 5, Brewers 4
Matt Murton and Alfonso Soriano hit consecutive homers off Chris Capuano in the sixth inning for host Chicago, which took two of three in their final series of the season with the Brewers.
Capuano (5-12) took his franchise-record 12th straight loss while making his second relief appearance this season. He made 23 starts and began the year 5-0, but dropped to 0-12 in his last 16 appearances.
Carlos Marmol (4-1) struck out five over two innings of relief, and Ryan Dempster allowed a run in the ninth but retired Kevin Mench with the bases loaded for his 23rd save.
Reds 5, Pirates 4
Alex Gonzalez scored from first on Ken Griffey Jr.'s pop-fly single off Matt Capps (4-6) that fell among three fielders in the ninth inning for visiting Cincinnati.
Griffey had three hits and scored twice to help the Reds came back from deficits of 2-0 and 4-3 to win their eighth in 10 games and split the four-game series. The Pirates lost their fourth in 13 games.
Jared Burton (4-1) won despite allowing Jose Bautista's two-run homer that put the Pirates up 4-3 in the seventh. David Weathers earned his 29th save.
Astros 2, Cardinals 1
At Houston, Matt Albers (4-6) pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and Lance Berkman homered for the second consecutive game for the Astros.
Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 14th save. St. Louis' Joel Pineiro (3-2) lost for the first time in five starts.
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