EDS: UPDATES with Mets-Marlins, Dodgers-Diamondbacks, Astros-Cardinals; SUBS Phillies-Nationals, Brewers-Braves to UPDATE; WILL be UPDATED.
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) -Aramis Ramirez hit two three-run homers and Chicago beat Pittsburgh 13-8 on Friday, maintaining their hold on first place in the NL Central.
The Cubs remained 1 1/2 games in front of Milwaukee, which beat Atlanta 4-1.
Chicago hit four homers and withstood a shaky start by Jason Marquis to send the Pirates to their seventh straight loss.
Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Paul Maholm. He hit another three-run shot, his 25th homer of the season, off Franquelis Osoria (0-2) to break a 7-7 tie in the sixth. It came right after Pirates' second baseman Freddy Sanchez dropped a flip on a perfect double-play ball.
Two batters later, Geovany Soto hit a two-run homer off John Grabow.
Alfonso Soriano hit his 29th homer leading off the bottom of the first.
Scott Eyre (2-1) pitched the top of the sixth for the win.
Maholm went two-plus innings, surrendering 10 hits and seven runs, six earned.
Marquis gave up eight hits and seven runs in 2 2-3 innings.
Brewers 4, Braves 1
ATLANTA (AP) - Corey Hart keyed a three-run, eighth inning rally and Milwaukee stayed 1 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the NL Central.
The Brewers, who had lost two straight, rallied against Atlanta's Tim Hudson (16-9).
The Braves fell 5 1/2 games behind New York in the NL East and started the day 5 1/2 behind San Diego in the wild-card race.
Hudson had a five-hit shutout going when Ryan Braun singled with two outs and nobody on in the eighth. Prince Fielder followed with a single and Hart lined a run-scoring single to right, tying the game at 1. Ron Mahay replaced Hudson with the bases loaded and walked pinch-hitter Joe Dillon, forcing in Fielder with the go-ahead run. Bill Hall singled to right for another run.
The Brewers, who haven't made the playoffs since 1982, ended the Braves' five-game winning streak, which had matched their season high.
Scott Linebrink (5-6) picked up the win with a scoreless seventh. Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 44th save.
Mets 9, Marlins 6
MIAMI (AP) - New York's Pedro Martinez pitched five innings in his fourth start since returning from rotator cuff surgery last October to get the win and Florida committed a team-record six errors while allowing eight unearned runs.
The Mets retained a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL East over second-place Philadelphia, which beat Washington 6-3. The Mets led by seven games Sept. 12 but have won only two of eight games since.
New York trailed 3-0 Friday before the Marlins' defense came to its rescue. Two errors each by third baseman Miguel Cabrera and first baseman Mike Jacobs led to seven unearned runs, and another scored on Miguel Olivo's passed ball.
Florida starter Scott Olsen (9-15) left the game after five innings trailing 8-3 despite allowing no earned runs. The Marlins lead the major leagues with 127 errors.
The game was halted for two hours, 21 minutes because of a thunderstorm in the sixth inning.
Martinez (3-0) allowed four runs, three earned, and struck out seven.
New York's Moises Alou tied the game with an RBI single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest of his career and the longest in the NL this year. Paul Lo Duca had four hits for the Mets, who reduced their magic number for clinching the division to eight with nine games left.
Phillies 6, Nationals 3
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins homered to lead Philadelphia to its major league-leading 48th come-from-behind victory.
The Phillies, who have won eight of nine, remained 1 1/2 games behind first-place New York in the NL East. The Mets, who led Philadelphia by seven games on Sept. 12, beat Florida 9-6 on Friday night.
Howard led off the second with his 42nd homer to tie the game at 1.
Chase Utley singled through a drawn-in infield to score Rollins in the third, and Burrell followed with a two-run homer, his 29th.
Rollins hit his 29th, a solo homer in the fifth. Howard had an RBI double in the inning to make it 6-1.
Rollins (2-for-5), Utley (2-for-4), Burrell (1-for-4) and Howard (4-for-4) supplied nine of Philadelphia's 10 hits.
Adam Eaton (10-9) got his first victory since July 20, ending a streak of eight winless decisions. He allowed five hits over five innings. Geoff Geary, J.C. Romero, Tom Gordon and Brett Myers held the Nationals scoreless the rest of the way. Myers worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
Shawn Hill (4-5) pitched 4 2-3 innings - the first time he didn't make it to five - and matched a season-high by allowing six earned runs.
Diamondbacks 12, Dodgers 3
PHOENIX (AP) - Tony Clark drove in four runs, including a two-run homer for Arizona as free-falling Los Angeles lost its sixth straight.
Arizona entered the game with a one-half game lead over second-place San Diego in the NL West.
Chris Young and Mark Reynolds also hit two-run homers as Arizona scored 11 consecutive runs after falling behind 3-1. Augie Ojeda tripled and doubled, scoring both times in the Diamondbacks' third straight victory and fourth in five games.
Clark tied the game at 3 with a two-run homer in the third. He also drove in a run with a groundout in the first and had an RBI single in Arizona's four-run sixth.
Livan Hernandez (11-10) gave up three runs and 10 hits in six innings and had an RBI single.
Esteban Loaiza (1-3) gave up five hits and six runs in four innings.
Astros 6, Cardinals 3
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rookie J.R. Towles had a key two-run double for Houston in the victory that eliminated last year's World Series champions from postseason contention.
Towles, who set a franchise record on Thursday with eight RBIs, also made a key defensive play behind the plate for the Astros, who are 7-12 in September but have won three in a row.
The Cardinals (71-82), who have lost 14 of 16, are assured of their first losing season since 1999. Entering this season, they were the lone NL team without a losing record in this decade.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth against rookie Stephen Randolph. Brad Lidge walked pinch-hitter Albert Pujols then got Yadier Molina on a groundout for his 16th save.
Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer in a three-run first for Houston and Brandon Backe (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
Towles, who had been 0-for-2 with a walk, gave the Astros a 5-2 lead with his two-run double off Ryan Franklin in a three-run eighth.
Joel Pineiro (5-4) gave up three runs and four hits in the first inning then allowed four hits over the rest of his 5 2-3 innings.

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