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Cardinals, Cubs Win; Sox Lose

>>Garcia Sharp Once Again as Cardinals Blank Phillies


Jaime Garcia pitched seven sharp innings Thursday as the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Philadelphia Phillies.

Later, Garcia wanted to rave about the 462-foot drive by Brandon Moss. It was the longest home run by a left-handed hitter in the history of new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006.

Garcia also was impressive. The left-hander gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out five.


Garcia (2-2) threw 82 pitches, 61 for strikes.


Moss unloaded off Jerad Eickhoff (1-4) for a solo homer in the first inning.


Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal took over to pitch the ninth and gave up two quick singles.

Andres Blanco followed with a foul flyball to right and Piscotty ran a long way, then made a hard, headfirst dive onto the dirt for the catch.


St. Louis scored three times in the seventh. Ruben Tejada hit a sacrifice fly and Piscotty delivered a bases-loaded double with two outs.


The Phillies scored just eight runs in the four-game series and lost three times. They were shut out twice.


1B Matt Adams exited the game in the fourth because of a bruised left knee. He collided with Rupp on a play at first base in the first inning. He is listed as day-to-day.


Carlos Martinez (4-1, 2.60) faces Pittsburgh LHP Francisco Liriano (2-1, 3.86) in the opener of a three-game series on Friday. Martinez had pitched at least six innings in all five starts this season.


>>Cubs Beat Nationals


Kyle Hendricks pitched six scoreless innings, Ben Zobrist drove in four runs and the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series between two of baseball's hottest teams.

Hendricks (2-2) allowed two hits, struck out four and walked two as Chicago began a 10-game homestand with its fourth consecutive win and eighth in nine games.


Zobrist hit a two-run single in the fourth and a two-run homer in the eighth, helping the Cubs improve their major league-best record to 21-6 for their best start since they were 23-4 in 1907.

Jayson Werth hit a long two-run homer in the ninth for Washington, which had won five of six, including a 13-2 victory at World Series champion Kansas City on Wednesday. The Nationals began the day with baseball's second-best record at 19-8.


Joe Ross (3-1) matched Hendricks for much of the chilly night, striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed five hits and walked two.


Washington ace Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.35 ERA) takes on John Lackey (3-1, 4.32 ERA) in a matchup of veteran right-handers on Friday afternoon. Scherzer is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three career starts at Wrigley. Lackey needs six strikeouts to become the fifth active pitcher with at least 2,000 Ks, joining CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez and Jake Peavy.


>>Homers Lead Red Sox Over White Sox


Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

The Red Sox won for the ninth time in 11 games and took two of three in this series between AL division leaders, although this was anything but a thing of beauty.


The teams combined to strand 21 runners and draw 16 walks. But the East-leading Red Sox came up with enough big hits to prevail in a game that lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes.


Pedroia had three hits, starting with a solo homer in the first. Ramirez connected leading off a two-run third against Erik Johnson (0-1).


Reliever Matt Barnes (2-1) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.


Mat Latos (4-0, 1.84) looks to remain unbeaten as the White Sox open a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.


>>Cubs' Heyward Returns From Wrist Injury


Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward returned from a wrist injury after center fielder Dexter Fowler was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.


Heyward was held out of the starting lineup against Washington on Thursday night for the fourth straight game, but he tested his ailing wrist during batting practice. He had planned to return on Friday, but trotted out to center after Fowler was tossed for arguing with home plate umpire Vic Carpazza after he struck out looking to end the third.


Heyward got hurt while working on his swing in the batting cage during Chicago's series at Arizona about a month ago. He is batting .211 with no homers and 13 RBIs in his first season with the Cubs after agreeing to a $184 million, eight-year contract during free agency.

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