NL East Roundup

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Cubs 3, Braves 0
Rich Hill allowed four hits in eight scoreless innings, Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez backed him with solo homers, and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Thursday night.

Chicago, which had lost two straight and seven of nine, had a third straight masterful start from Hill (3-0).

The left-hander struck out seven and walked three, lowering his ERA to 0.41, best in the majors. Opponents were hitting .089 against Hill, the best in the majors.

Since Sept. 1, 2006, Hill is 6-1 with a 1.24 ERA in eight starts following a Cubs loss. Chicago is 7-1 in his starts.

Ryan Dempster earned his third save with a perfect ninth.

The Braves fell into second place in the NL East by a half game, swapping places with the Mets, who defeated Florida 11-3. Atlanta starts a three-game series in New York on Friday night.

With one out in the eighth, Hill stumbled on the front end of his delivery, sailing the ball far over Kelly Johnson's head. Johnson walked on the next pitch, but Hill struck out Edgar Renteria and retired Chipper Jones on a hard grounder to end the inning.

Barrett's second homer gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the fourth off Mark Redman (0-3).

Ramirez made it 2-0 with his second homer in the sixth. Left fielder Matt Diaz, running hard to his left, crashed into the wall in a vain attempt to catch the ball.

Chicago took a 3-0 lead in the eighth on Mark DeRosa's RBI double.

Atlanta had won two straight and three of four, but the Braves had runners in scoring position just three times. The heart of Atlanta's order -- Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur -- went just 1-for-10.

Redman allowed seven hits, three runs and two walks in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five.

Tyler Yates relieved Redman in the eighth, and Oscar Villarreal pitched the ninth for Atlanta.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2
Aaron Rowand hit his first home run of the season to help the slumping Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 4-to-2.

Veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer took a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning to earn his second win in three decisions this year.

Tom Gordon came on and made things interesting, hitting his first batter, then allowing a single that loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch-hitter Robert Fick's sacrifice fly made it 4-to-2, but Gordon secured his third save by getting Brian Schneider to ground out and striking out Chris Snelling.

Nats ace John Patterson lasted just four innings and drops to 0-and-3.

Philadelphia, which entered the contest a league-worst 3-and-10, won despite playing without reigning National League M-V-P Ryan Howard, who hurt his left leg during last night's 13-inning loss in Washington.

Mets 11, Marlins 3
Carlos Beltran had four hits including a solo home run in the New York Mets' 11-3 thrashing of the Florida Marlins.

Ramon Castro and Jose Valentin also homered to back Orlando Hernandez, who struck out ten over seven innings to improve 2-1.

David Wright singled in the fifth inning to stretch his hitting streak to a Mets' record 26 games. The Mets third-baseman has hit safely in the first 14 games this year.

The Mets won both games of the series and get their first sweep in Miami since May of 1998. New York outscored the Marlins 20-5 and outhit them 33-7.

Marlins rookie Rick Vanden Hurk was battered for eight runs in four innings in his second major league start. He's 0-1.

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