NEW YORK (AP) -Carlos Beltran had five RBIs and Luis Castillo singled home the winning run off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning, helping the New York Mets rally past the San Diego Padres 7-6 Tuesday night in a back-and-forth game between playoff contenders.
Hoffman and Billy Wagner, two of baseball's best relievers, struggled in the ninth. Wagner (2-1) gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Kevin Kouzmanoff that put San Diego up 6-5, but Hoffman couldn't hold the lead.
Lastings Milledge singled to start the bottom half and advanced on Mike DiFelice's sacrifice before pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson tied it with an RBI single.
Jose Reyes blooped a single to center and Castillo grounded a clean single up the middle off Hoffman (2-4). The throw from Mike Cameron was wide, allowing Anderson to score standing up.
Beltran also hit a two-run shot off Chris Young, and the NL East-leading Mets won the opener of a three-game series against San Diego, which began the day atop the wild-card standings.
Phillies 5, Dodgers 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Aaron Rowand hit a go-ahead homer and Kyle Kendrick remained unbeaten at home, as the Phillies won the opener of a 10-game homestand that includes visits by San Diego and the NL East-leading Mets.
Philadelphia could have All-Star second baseman Chase Utley back in the lineup for the New York series. However, ace Cole Hamels has a strained left elbow and will miss at least Wednesday night's start against the Dodgers after complaining of persistent soreness.
Kendrick (6-3) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings to earn his first win since July 29 and improve to 5-0 in eight home starts. Brett Myers worked the ninth for his 12th save.
James Loney and Russell Martin homered for the Dodgers, who staked Brett Tomko (2-11) to a 3-0 lead after two innings. But Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double and Jimmy Rollins added a sacrifice fly in the third, and Rowand added a two-run shot in the fourth.
Reds 8, Braves 7
CINCINNATI (AP) - Brandon Phillips hit a solo homer and a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning to lift the Reds in a game that featured three blown leads.
Phillips' solo homer in the fifth helped the Reds come from two runs down to tie the game at 7. He broke the tie an inning later with a run-scoring single off Peter Moylan (4-3), who hit two batters during the Reds' go-ahead rally.
Left-hander Bill Bray (3-0) allowed only one hit in 1 1-3 innings, and David Weathers pitched around a single and a walk to get the final three outs for his 26th save in 31 chances.
Phillips had three hits, and Jorge Cantu drove in three runs with a double and single, helping the Reds overcome deficits of 3-0 and 7-5.
Brian McCann led the Braves with a two-run homer off starter Bobby Livingston, who gave up seven runs in only 4 2-3 innings. McCann had a grand slam in the opening game of the series.
Cubs 5, Giants 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Cliff Floyd came back from the bereavement list to hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning, when the Cubs rallied against Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum (7-4) was three outs from his first career complete game when the Cubs finally got to the rookie right-hander. Ryan Theriot doubled to start the ninth, Jacque Jones followed with a base hit before Derrek Lee's RBI single tied the game at 1.
Two batters later, Floyd singled off Brad Hennessey to put Chicago up 3-1.
Scott Eyre (1-1) pitched the eighth for the win against his old team. Jason Kendall added a two-run single later in the ninth off Steve Kline for the Cubs.
Lincecum also had been on the bereavement list. He came off a four-day stint away from his team and dazzled for most of the night, allowing only a pair of singles before Lee's hit ended his night in frustrating fashion.
Cardinals 5, Marlins 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Albert Pujols homered for the fourth straight game and the Cardinals scored four times in the eighth inning to beat the slumping Marlins.
Yadier Molina knocked in the tying run in the eighth, and Aaron Miles drove home the go-ahead run after St. Louis was aided by two crucial errors in the inning. Ryan Ludwick's two-run shot capped the rally, all against Armando Benitez (2-8).
Pujols connected in the sixth, his 29th of the year, and extended his RBI streak to six games for the Cardinals, who began the night three games out of first place in the NL Central.
Miguel Cabrera homered for the Marlins, who have lost a season-worst seven in a row.
Troy Percival (3-0) allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless eighth. Jason Isringhausen finished for his 24th save in 26 chances.
Nationals 11, Astros 6
HOUSTON (AP) - Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer and had four RBIs and the Nationals ended Wandy Rodriguez's recent dominance at Minute Maid Park.
Nook Logan had a career-high five hits, including three RBI singles, as Washington snapped Rodriguez's six-game home unbeaten streak. The left-hander came in with a 1.65 ERA in 12 home starts, but allowed seven runs and six hits with four walks in 5 1-3 innings.
Rodriguez (7-12) hadn't allowed more than one earned run at home since May 30.
Zimmerman knocked in runs on a triple and a single as the Nationals beat Houston for the seventh time in the last eight meetings.
Craig Biggio homered and drove in four runs for the Astros, who have lost three in a row.
Rookie Joel Hanrahan (3-1) allowed three runs and seven hits with three walks in five innings to earn the win for the Nationals in his fifth career start.
Rockies 9, Pirates 2
DENVER (AP) - Ian Stewart hit a third-inning grand slam in his ninth career at-bat, one of a season-high four home runs for the Rockies.
Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe also went deep for Colorado, which closed to within 2 1/2 games of NL wild-card leaders San Diego and Philadelphia.
Tony Armas (2-4) retired the first six batters he faced before Yorvit Torrealba and Jamey Carroll led off the third with singles. After pitcher Elmer Dessens put down a successful sacrifice bunt, Ryan Spilborghs walked and Stewart drove a 2-1 pitch to left to make it 4-1.
The Rockies scored three times in the fifth on Holliday's solo homer and Torrealba's bases-loaded single. Tulowitzki and Hawpe hit back-to-back homers in the seventh off Shane Youman.
Taylor Buchholz (6-4) got the win in relief of Dessens. Buchholz came on two on and two out in the fifth and got Jason Bay to pop out to third. He retired nine of the 10 batters he faced.
Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 4
PHOENIX (AP) - Gabe Gross hit a grand slam to cap a five-run seventh inning, and the Brewers remained tied with the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL Central.
J.J. Hardy was 3-for-4 with a run-scoring single and Rickie Weeks added an RBI triple for the Brewers, who have won four of five on the road.
Chris Young hit his team-leading 25th home run for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three straight for the first time since July 15-17. Two of those losses have come against the Brewers.
Eric Byrnes' RBI single and Conor Jackson's RBI double cut it to 7-4 in the ninth before Francisco Cordero retired Stephen Drew with a runner on second for his 37th save in 43 chances.
Milwaukee's rally helped Dave Bush (10-9) earn his first win since a July 31 relief appearance against the New York Mets. Bush allowed two runs and six hits over six innings.
Livan Hernandez (9-8) was charged with five runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.
Arizona's Mark Reynolds tied the major league record for consecutive strikeouts by a non-pitcher when he fanned in his ninth straight plate appearance.

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