Wilkerson#039;s home run sparks Nationals win

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) - Brad Wilkerson connected off previously unbeaten Jon Lieber for the first upper-deck home run at RFK Stadium in 34 years, leading the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Wilkerson pulled a two-run shot down the right-field line and into the front row of section 470 in the fifth inning. While it lacked the power or magnitude of Frank Howard's mammoth blasts for the old Senators - the landing spots are still marked by white seats in deep left-center - Wilkerson's homer broke a 1-1 tie against a pitcher who was 4-0 and was 11-1 in his last 14 starts dating to last season.

Nick Johnson extended his major league season-high hitting streak to 16 games with a first-inning home run.

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Braves 4, Mets 3

NEW YORK (AP) - John Smoltz finally got some run support and bullpen help, earning his first win of the season in Atlanta's victory over Pedro Martinez and the Mets.

Smoltz scattered seven hits over 6 2-3 innings in his fifth start since returning to Atlanta's rotation. He earned his first win as a starter since June 3, 2001, the last season he was a regular member of the Braves rotation.

The Braves barely held on after closer Dan Kolb allowed two runs in the ninth. John Foster came in with two runners on and got Cliff Floyd to pop out for his first career save.

Atlanta bunched four hits for three runs in the first inning against Martinez (2-1). The three runs matched the total the Braves had scored for Smoltz (1-3) in his first four starts this season.

Marlins 9, Rockies 3

DENVER (AP) - Josh Beckett had a two-run double in Florida's five-run seventh inning and matched teammate Dontrelle Willis and Philadelphia's Jon Lieber for the NL lead in wins.

Beckett (4-1) gave up three runs - two earned - in the first two innings and not much else, allowing eight hits in six innings.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 3

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Albert Pujols was 3-for-5 with a pair of two-run doubles, and closer Jason Isringhausen left the Cardinals' win a strained right abdominal muscle.

St. Louis has won 10 of 11 and is a National League-best 13-5, the best start for the Cardinals since they began 1982 with a 13-4 record and went on to win the World Series.

Diamondbacks 3,

Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Shawn Green had a home run and a diving catch against his former team, Russ Ortiz pitched six effective innings, and the Diamondbacks won their fifth straight.

Green, traded during the offseason after playing five seasons in Los Angeles, hit his third homer off Scott Erickson (1-2) to put the Diamondbacks ahead for good in the second inning. His catch of a liner to right by Jason Phillips in the sixth kept the tying run from scoring.

The Diamondbacks moved within a half-game of the NL West-leading Dodgers, who have lost five of six after going 12-2 to start the season.

Ortiz (2-1) gave up two runs and seven hits. Brandon Lyon, the fifth Arizona pitcher, worked the ninth for his third save in as many games and his big league-leading 10th in 11 chances.