MILWAUKEE (AP) -Adam Wainwright gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings and Yadier Molina put on a rare power display with two homers as the St. Louis Cardinals completed a crucial three-game sweep of the Brewers with an 8-0 victory on Thursday.
It was the first career multihomer game for Molina, who came into Thursday's game with only one home run this season. He drove in all three of the Cardinals' runs through the first eight innings as the third-place Cardinals closed to within 2 1/2 games of the NL Central division lead for the first time since April 20.
The Brewers, who have lost 13 of 18, were swept at home for the first time since Florida took three games at Miller Park last September. The Cardinals outscored the Brewers 28-7 in the series.
Wainwright (11-9), in his first year as a starter after starring as a reliever during the Cardinals' World Series run last year, struck out a career-high eight while walking three.
With two outs in the second inning, Molina drove a 2-2 pitch from Brewers starter Dave Bush (9-9) into the second deck in left field, putting the Cardinals ahead 1-0.
The Cardinals added five runs in the ninth on David Eckstein's three-run double, an RBI single by Albert Pujols, and an error by outfielder Geoff Jenkins.
Cubs 12, Reds 4
CHICAGO (AP) - Mark DeRosa went 5-for-5 with four RBIs and Chicago scored seven times in the seventh to win for just the fifth time in the last 15 games.
Jacque Jones added four hits for the Cubs, who are only two games above .500 but moved within a half game of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Jason Marquis (10-7) allowed seven hits and four runs - all of those coming in the second - over six innings plus as Chicago salvaged one win in the three-game series.
DeRosa's RBI single off Bobby Livingston (3-3) drove in Ryan Theriot, who had doubled, to break a 4-4 tie in the fourth. The Cubs had 20 hits in the game.
Adam Dunn hit his 32nd homer to lead off the second for Cincinnati.
Giants 9, Braves 3
ATLANTA (AP) - The Giants homered in each of the first four innings off Chuck James, scored in every inning until the eighth and went on to salvage the finale of a three-game series.
San Francisco jumped ahead quickly on Bengie Molina's three-run homer in the first. He batted cleanup in place of Barry Bonds, who got the night off after hitting his 759th career homer on Wednesday.
Daniel Ortmeier led off the second with his fourth homer, Randy Winn hit a solo shot in the third and light-hitting Kevin Frandsen finished off James (9-9) with a two-out homer in the fourth, giving the Giants a 6-2 lead.
Tim Lincecum (7-3) went five innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs before coming out after throwing 89 pitches. Pat Misch, just back from the minors, followed with three perfect innings before Brian Wilson worked the ninth.
Pirates 10, Mets 7
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Two costly New York errors and Adam LaRoche's third hit of the game helped finish off Pittsburgh's comeback from a five-run deficit, and the Pirates avoided being swept at home by the Mets for the first time since 2001.
Jason Bay had three run-scoring singles and LaRoche hit a two-run homer to lead the Pirates' rally from deficits of 5-0 and 7-3.
With two outs, third baseman David Wright threw away Freddy Sanchez's potential inning-ending grounder for a two-base error. Sanchez then scored the go-ahead run when catcher Mike DiFelice dropped the throw at the plate for an error after LaRoche singled for his third hit. Bay and Jose Bautista followed with run-scoring singles.
Damaso Marte (1-0) won it with a scoreless eighth. Aaron Heilman (7-5), the Mets' fourth pitcher, lost it by allowing three runs - none earned - and five hits over two innings. Matt Capps got the save, his 11th in 13 opportunities.
Phillies 4, Nationals 2
WASHINGTON (AP) - Cole Hamels pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings for his 14th victory, tying for the NL lead in wins, and Philadelphia took its third straight series.
Hamels (14-5) allowed four hits, struck out six, walked two and pitched into the seventh inning for his sixth straight start. He has won five of his last six decisions.
Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run home run in the second, and Ryan Howard and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs had RBIs for the Phillies.
Hamels allowed only a double by Ronnie Belliard in the first inning and a single by Austin Kearns in the second before the Nationals chased him in the seventh. Brett Myers pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
Joel Hanrahan (2-1), making his fourth career start, struck out a career-high eight batters - including Howard three times - and allowed only four hits over five innings in another strong outing by the Nationals rookie. But he also walked four had thrown nearly as many balls (50) as strikes (51) when he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 4
MIAMI (AP) - Livan Hernandez shook off a rough start to pitch seven innings, and the Arizona won for the 19th time in 24 games.
Hernandez (9-7) gave up three runs in the first, then allowed only one run over the next six innings. The right-hander struck out none but walked only one, and he also had two hits and scored a run.
Chris Young led off the first inning with a homer for the sixth time this season, and tied the Arizona rookie record of 22 homers set by Travis Lee in 1998. Mark Reynolds hit his 10th homer for the Diamondbacks.
NL batting leader Hanley Ramirez singled and homered, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Mike Jacobs hit a two-run homer for Florida, his 10th. He's 11-for-22 since an 0-for-33 slump.
Marlins rookie Daniel Barone (0-1) made his second major league start and needed 89 pitches to get through four innings. He allowed five runs, four earned.
Dodgers 6, Astros 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Derek Lowe pitched seven shutout innings to earn his first victory in almost two months for the Dodgers.
Jeff Kent hit three doubles to match his career high and drove in two runs, and Rafael Furcal had two singles and two RBIs for the Dodgers, who won their second straight game after losing 18 of their previous 24 to fall a season-high 6 1/2 games behind division-leading Arizona.
Lowe (9-11) allowed five hits while walking none and striking out two. He was backed by a season-high four double plays.
Lowe had been winless since June 22, going 0-5 with three no-decisions.
Rodriguez (7-11) was lifted for a pinch hitter after allowing five hits and four runs, two earned, in five innings. The 28-year-old left-hander is 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 12 starts at home and 1-9 with a 7.80 ERA in 12 starts on the road.
Takashi Saito got two outs in the ninth for his 31st save in 34 chances.
Padres 11, Rockies 9
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Mike Cameron's three-run homer and Pete Laforest's two-run shot highlighted a nine-run rally with two outs in the fifth inning that carried the Padres.
Trailing 6-2, the Padres sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth inning, scoring nine runs on eight hits and two walks. In a rare twist, Marcus Giles, pinch-hitting for starter Clay Hensley, batted twice in the inning. He struck out looking for the first out, then came up again and doubled to right-center. He scored the final run on big brother Brian's single to center.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 33 chances, extending his career record to 512. He also extended his big league record of 30-save seasons to 12.
Hensley (2-3) left trailing by four runs after five innings but got the win thanks to the big rally. He was pitching in the bigs for the first time since surrendering Barry Bonds' record-tying 755th homer at Petco Park on Aug. 4.
Jeremy Affeldt (4-3) was responsible for five runs and four hits without recording an out.

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