The Mets and Phillies both won and the Phillies remain two back.
Philadelphia survived a game in which Marlins starter Sergio Mitre hit three Philadelphia hitters (Aaron Rowand, Kyle Kendrick, and Chase Utley). The Marlins have lost 14 of 16 and are tied for the worst record in the NL because Washington lost at home to San Francisco, 3-2.
The first place Mets will start Mike Pelfrey Saturday in Atlanta. He's 0-7 with a 5.92 ERA.
NL Central (Ted Savage Division):
The Cubs started off the day getting pounded by the Astros 6-1 and Sean Marshall likely lost his starting job in the rotation to newly acquired Steve Trachsel.
St. Louis weathered a bad start by Anthony Reyes to rally against the Reds and win it 8-5. Rick Ankiel hit a grand slam in the sixth to put the Cardinals ahead. Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin had his first major league RBI with a single in the 8th. Edwin Encarnacion had an inside-the-park homer for the Reds and Josh Hamilton hit a leadoff homer. Juan Encarnacion was hospitalized with an eye injury after being hit by a foul ball off the bat of Aaron Miles while standing in the ondeck circle.
The Cardinals put Scott Rolen on the DL and acquired Russell Branyan to fill his roster spot. The Cardinals are Branyan's third team this season to go along with San Diego and Philadelphia. He could realistically play in the postseason against both teams.
Well, somewhat realistically.
NL West (Steve Finley Division):
The Padres traded places with the Diamondbacks for first place. The Padres beat the Dodgers 6-4. But the Diamondbacks lost a weird game.
The DBacks took a 3-0 lead in the 7th on a 3-run homer by Miguel Montero. The Rockies got two in the 8th on an RBI single from Cory Sullivan. The Rockies were down to their last out in the ninth when Todd Helton singled. Jamie Carroll pinch ran for Helton. Garrett Atkins blooped a single to center that Short Chris Young tried to make a shoestring catch on, but he came up short and the ball bounced past him and Carroll came all the way around to score. The Rockies scored four in the 10th to win it.
NL Wild Card (Terry Mulholland Division):
In the only game matching two of the top four NL wild card contenders, Colorado will send Elmer Dessens (2-1, 5.64) against Dana Eveland of Arizona (0-0, 20.25).
AL Central (Vito Valentinetti Division):
Because of a game postponed by the I-35W bridge collapse, the Twins and Royals played a doubleheader today in Minneapolis. The Royals won the first game 9-3, but it was Scott Baker of the Twins whom the fans will remember more.
Baker came within three outs of a perfect game and within two outs of a no-hitter before Mike Sweeney singled. Baker finished up for a one-hit, shutout. He threw the first complete game one-hitter for the Twins since Scott Erickson did on July 24, 1992 against Boston, also in a doubleheader, but in the first game. The Royals have been no-hit only once and that was by Nolan Ryan in 1973. The Twins and Royals play Saturday morning at 11:10 am CT. The University of Minnesota will be playing in the Metrodome later that night against Bowling Green.
The White Sox looked to stopped Cleveland's six-game winning streak as they took a 5-2 lead into the 8th and the Indians had one one with two outs. Then walk, single, single, walk, double, and walk and it was an 8-5 Cleveland win.
AL East (Pee Wee Wanninger Division):
The Orioles finally snapped their 9-game losing streak, beating Boston 9-8, but almost blew a 9-3 lead. The Red Sox trailed 9-6 in the ninth, scored twice against Danys Baez and had two on and one out when Jason Varitek grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Yankees couldn't capitalize as the Devil Rays won their fourth straight in a 9-1 rout. Andy Sonnanstine and Grant Balfour combined on a 2-hitter, the lowest hit total given up by the Rays against the Yankees in franchise history.
AL West (John Montague Division):
The Angels increased their lead to 6½ games, the biggest margin in the majors, with a 6-5 win over Texas at home. Frank Francisco did manage to strike out Vladimir Guerrero in the 9th. Prior to that at bat, Guerrero was 4 for 5 with 3 homers and 2 BBs against Francisco.
AL Wild Card (Dave Collins Division):
Yankees lose. Mariners lose (seventh straight). Tigers lose. Tomorrow's pitching matchups: Ian Kennedy vs. Edwin Jackson, Miguel Batista vs. Dustin McGowan, Justin Verlander vs. Dan Haren.