By The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS - Albert Pujols hit his third home run in five games, and Garrett Stephenson worked eight strong innings as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Montreal Expos 3-1 Saturday for their sixth straight win.
The defending NL Central champions are a season-best four games above .500 at 16-12. They're undefeated on their current six-game homestand with one game to go, outscoring their opponents 43-14.
Pujols hit a two-run homer off rookie Claudio Vargas (0-1) in the third inning that banged off a stadium club window just below the upper deck at Busch Stadium, a drive measured at 452 feet. The homer was his sixth of the season and followed an RBI single by J.D. Drew to put the Cardinals ahead 3-1.
The Expos missed a chance to tie their best start ever. They're 18-12 after going 19-11 in 1979, '85 and '96.
Stephenson (2-2) allowed one run on eight hits. Rookie Kiko Calero worked the ninth for his first career save.
Rockies 6, Cubs 4
CHICAGO - Preston Wilson hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as Colorado rallied to beat Chicago.
Charles Johnson also had a pair of RBIs for the Rockies, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Carlos Zambrano hit his first career home run and pitched six strong innings, but it was wasted as the Cubs bullpen gave up three runs in the eighth.
Justin Speier (2-0) gave up a walk in two hitless innings, and Jose Jimenez pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
Mark Guthrie (0-2) gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Brewers 3, Mets 2
MILWAUKEE - Eric Young got two big hits before getting hurt and the Milwaukee Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak by holding off the New York Mets.
With the bases loaded in the ninth inning, closer Mike DeJean got Raul Gonzalez to ground into a game-ending double play for his fifth save.
Mike Piazza bounced into a pair of double plays for the Mets, who also wasted a great chance to score in the eighth.
Young homered and doubled for the only hits off rookie right-hander Jae Seo in six innings. Young left in the sixth after aggravating a strained right quadriceps muscle.
Brady Clark's pinch-hit sacrifice fly off Mike Stanton in the seventh scored John Vander Wal to break a 2-2 tie.
John Foster (2-0) earned the win with one hitless inning. David Weathers (1-1) took the loss, allowing two singles and an intentional walk in one-third of an inning.
The Mets have lost six of seven. After the game, they put first baseman Mo Vaughn on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his left knee.
Astros 5, Marlins 2
HOUSTON - Tim Redding won his third straight start and the Houston Astros chased newly promoted Justin Wayne before he retired a batter in a victory over the Florida Marlins.
Derrek Lee homered twice for the Marlins.
Redding (3-2) pitched five innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.
Wayne (0-2) was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque before the game when pitcher Mark Redman was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left thumb.
Craig Biggio led off the Houston first with a single and scored on a double by Geoff Blum. Walks to Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent loaded the bases for Lance Berkman, who was hit by a pitch.
A walk to Richard Hidalgo forced home another run. Wayne was pulled at that point, having thrown 10 straight balls, and Tommy Phelps relieved.
Dodgers 4, Pirates 1
LOS ANGELES - Darren Dreifort pitched six strong innings on his 31st birthday and Shawn Green hit a two-run homer as Los Angeles ended Pittsburgh's four-game winning streak.
Paul Lo Duca drove in the tiebreaking run with a single off Jeff Suppan (4-2) in the fifth. Green added his fourth homer in the seventh off ex-Dodger Dennys Reyes.
Dreifort (2-3), the only pitcher to come back from two "Tommy John" surgeries, allowed a run and four hits. Eric Gagne got his ninth save.
Phillies 5, Padres 4, 10 innings
SAN DIEGO - David Bell atoned for a key error with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning that sent Philadelphia past San Diego.
Bell's throwing error in the eighth helped the Padres rally for three runs to tie it at 4. It was the second straight 10-inning game between the teams. San Diego won 5-4 Friday night.
Bobby Abreu started the winning rally by drawing a leadoff walk from Jaret Wright (1-4). Abreu advanced on Mike Lieberthal's single and Jim Thome's grounder before Bell's fly to center off Matt Herges.
Carlos Silva (3-0) pitched a perfect ninth, and Jose Mesa got three straight outs for his eighth save in 10 chances - one night after blowing a 10th-inning lead.
Lieberthal gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead with a two-run double in the eighth.
Diamondbacks 7, Braves 6
PHOENIX - Quinton McCracken hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning and Arizona rallied past Atlanta, ending the Braves' six-game winning streak.
Pinch-hitter Matt Williams tied it at 6 with an RBI double. Pinch-hitter Junior Spivey hit a two-run homer in the sixth to pull the Diamondbacks to 6-5.
Oscar Villarreal (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the victory. Matt Mantei worked a perfect ninth for his fifth save in six chances.
Arizona ace Curt Schilling returned from the disabled list and gave up two-run homers to Andruw Jones and Robert Fick, who each drove in three runs.
Atlanta reliever Kevin Gryboski (1-2) took the loss.
FLYING PIG MARATHON
Locals win Flying Pig
REDS SUNDAY GAME
Giants 6, Reds 1
Reds Box, Runs
REDS SATURDAY GAME
Giants 9, Reds 6
Reds notebook: Riedling prepared to start
Harnisch putting in his innings
First win of season gives Graves shot of confidence
Aussie takes American game for a kick and a jog
Fay: MLB power rankings
NL: Pujols, Cards hot
AL: Pedro twirls five-hitter
Notes from Saturday's games
Louisville 4, Buffalo 1
Cy Young vs. Cy Old
Mix up makes Choi the NL rookie of month
Ex-Astro Lugo says he didn't strike wife
Funny Cide up in Derby
Jockey Santos realizes dream with a gelding
Frankel accepts defeat in stride
A win for owners, and their home state
In a N.Y. minute - or two
No fade at finish for humbled Patton
Bengals begin to take shape
Newest receiver should fit right in
Kitna comes out with early praise for Warrick
Price fired as Alabama football coach
Tide president made the right call
Alabama players upset by coach's firing
Daugherty: O.J. Mayo
Prep results, schedule
Cronin's goal is to outfox ex-employers UC, U of L for recruits
Pictures worth 1,000 words for Missouri English major
Court: newspaper may be entitled to Knight records
Duncan to repeat as MVP
Ky. Speedway still hoping for Cup race
Driver Nadeau critical but improving
Giguere pulled in loss to Stars
Clones lose finale
Verplank maintains 3-shot lead
De La Hoya stops Campas
SUNDAY SPORTS SPOTLITE
Ignorance is bliss for Thomas More
Some college coaches can't be trusted
'I made some very, very poor decisions'
Division II Lewis beats BYU for NCAA title
Top Of The Second power rankings
PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio
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