Streaking Braves stop Marlins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

MIAMI (AP) - Julio Franco hit his eighth career grand slam, a pinch-hit shot, and Horacio Ramirez pitched the streaking Atlanta Braves past the Florida Marlins 7-2 Monday night in a game called during the eighth inning because of rain.

Brian Giles, Adam LaRoche and Johnny Estrada - celebrating his 29th birthday - also drove in runs for Atlanta, which has won nine of 11 to move within 2 1/2 games of first-place Washington in the NL East. Rafael Furcal tripled and doubled for his third multihit effort in his last five games.

Ramirez (7-4) yielded one run and five hits in seven innings to win his fourth straight decision. He has beaten the Marlins twice in a week; Florida has managed just one run and eight hits in 12 innings against him this season.

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Marlins starter Brian Moehler (2-6) allowed seven hits and three earned runs in seven innings. His ERA rose to just 3.05, yet he's winless in his last eight starts.

Astros 11, Rockies 5

DENVER (AP) - Lance Berkman homered and drove in three runs, Wandy Rodriguez was strong into the seventh inning, and Houston beat Colorado pitcher Jamey Wright for the 12th straight time.

Light-hitting Raul Chavez hit his first homer in two years, the third of his career. Jason Lane added a three-run shot for the normally punchless Astros, who had a season-high 18 hits to win for the eighth time in 11 games. Every starter, including Rodriguez (3-3), had a hit by the fourth inning in Houston's seventh straight victory over Colorado.

Most of the offense came against Wright (4-8). He allowed eight runs and a team record-tying 15 hits in seven innings, becoming the first pitcher to lose his first 12 decisions against one team since Don Sutton dropped 13 straight against the Cubs from 1966-69.

Dodgers 5, Padres 4

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jeff Kent was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, J.D. Drew and Mike Edwards hit run-scoring doubles and Los Angeles beat San Diego.

Rookie right-hander D.J. Houlton (4-1) allowed four runs - three earned - and five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings, helping trim San Diego's division lead to three games over idle Arizona and 5 1/2 over the Dodgers.

Yhency Brazoban got the last three outs for his 14th save in 17 attempts.

Xavier Nagy homered for the fourth consecutive game and Damian Jackson hit his third in two days for San Diego.

Tim Stauffer (1-4) squandered an early 4-0 lead and remained winless in eight starts since beating Cincinnati in his major league debut on May 11.