NEW YORK (AP) -Johan Santana snapped the New York Mets out of their recent doldrums, pitching seven effective innings to beat the feisty Florida Marlins 5-3 Tuesday night.
Fernando Tatis and Ramon Castro each hit a pair of two-out RBI singles for the Mets, who won for only the second time in nine games.
One day after embattled manager Willie Randolph kept his job - for now - following a much-publicized meeting with ownership, New York improved to 24-26 with its fifth victory in 15 tries.
Santana (6-3) struck out seven and worked around eight hits and two walks, allowing three runs. Duaner Sanchez pitched a scoreless eighth after yielding a leadoff double. Billy Wagner fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.
Florida starter Andrew Miller (4-4) lasted only 4 2-3 innings. Cody Ross homered and drove in two runs for the NL East-leading Marlins (30-21), who lost for the fourth time in 11 games.
Reds 9, Pirates 6
CINCINNATI (AP) - Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer that set a club record for left-handed batters, and Jay Bruce went 3-for-3 in his eagerly awaited debut to lead the Reds.
Dunn's three-run shot in the fifth off Ian Snell (2-4) was his eighth in his last 12 games. With 252 career homers, he moved ahead of Ted Kluszewski - the bare-armed ``Big Klu'' - for most by a left-handed Reds hitter. Dunn later added a run-scoring single as the Reds pulled ahead 9-3.
Bruce, a 21-year-old outfielder who is the Reds' top prospect, had a pair of singles, a double, two walks, a stolen base and a pair of RBIs. He drew one standing ovation after another.
Pittsburgh couldn't take advantage of an off-night by rookie Johnny Cueto (3-5), who lasted only five innings and was in line for a loss until Dunn connected.
Brewers 3, Braves 2
MILWAUKEE (AP) - After grousing earlier in the day about being placed in a platoon situation at third base, Bill Hall scored the winning run in the Brewers' victory.
Hall, who entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth, led off the bottom of the inning with a broken-bat bloop single off Braves reliever Jeff Bennett (0-3). Rickie Weeks sacrificed Hall to second, and Hall stole third on a 2-1 pitch to Mike Cameron. Cameron then lofted a fly ball to center, and Hall's slide narrowly beat the throw home.
It was a happy homecoming for Milwaukee after dropping six games on a 10-game road trip that ended Monday. Coming into Tuesday, Milwaukee had played a major league-high 31 road games.
Salomon Torres (4-1) earned the victory for Milwaukee.
Astros 8, Cardinals 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Shawn Chacon won his second straight start after nine no-decisions to open the year and Hunter Pence had a career-best five hits in the Houston Astros' victory.
Chacon (2-0) worked seven strong innings, helping the Astros win for the fifth time in seven games in the opener of a nine-game trip.
Pence was 5-for-5 with four singles and a double, including an RBI infield hit in a four-run first off Braden Looper (6-4) and an RBI single in the third. Miguel Tejada hit a two-run homer, and Lance Berkman walked twice, singled and scored three times to give him a for a major league-best 56 runs.
Albert Pujols was 4-for-4 with his 12th homer and pinch hitter Brian Barton hit the first of his career for the Cardinals.
Cubs 3, Dodgers 1
CHICAGO (AP) - Sean Gallagher had his best start, and Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome capped a three-run seventh with run-scoring hits to lead the Cubs.
Gallagher (2-1) allowed one run and four hits in a career-high seven innings while striking out three and walking two.
The Dodgers got an RBI single from Blake DeWitt in the fourth, but the third baseman's error in the seventh allowed the tying run to score and helped turn what looked like a win for Hiroki Kuroda (2-4) into a loss.
Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save in 16 chances, the crowd chanting ``Kerry! Kerry!'' before Russell Martin grounded out to end the game.

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