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The Globe and Mail

Sandoval homers twice as Giants smash Padres

Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on September 5, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Giants 7, Padres 2

San Diego — Pablo Sandoval homered twice, lefty Madison Bumgarner struck out a career-high 13 in 8 1-3 innings and the San Francisco Giants beat the last-place San Diego Padres 7-2 on Monday to remain seven games behind the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks with 21 to play.

The defending World Series champion Giants came into this three-game series with their biggest deficit of the season after losing two of three to the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. The Diamondbacks won 10-7 at Colorado on Monday.

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Sandoval's 17th and 18th homers, both off Tim Stauffer (8-12), were enough to carry the Giants to just their third win in eight games. With two outs in the first, he homered into the sand play area beyond the fence in right-center on a 2-0 pitch. He led off the fourth with a shot into the right field seats on a 2-1 pitch.

The Giants have hit seven homers in their last five games after going homerless in their previous six.

It was the third time Sandoval has had two homers in a game. The first two were in 2009.

Sandoval flied out to left in his third at-bat. In his fourth at-bat, with runners on first and third, first base opened on a wild pitch by Jeff Fulchino while Sandoval was batting, and he was intentionally walked. After a forceout at home, Cody Ross hit a two-run double. Brad Brach, the third Padres reliever that inning, walked pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa with the bases loaded to run San Francisco's lead to 7-1. The Padres walked four that inning.

Sandoval struck out in the ninth inning.

Bumgarner (10-12) came within two outs of his first career complete game. He was pulled after Nick Hundley hit a solo homer with one out in the ninth, his sixth. Bumgarner held San Diego to two runs and seven hits, and walked one. It was the fourth time he struck out 10 or more, all coming this season.

Stauffer lost his third straight start. allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out one and walked one.

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In his previous start, Stauffer lasted only 1 2-3 innings and had a career-high seven walks in an 8-5 loss at Dodger Stadium. Six of them were in the second inning alone, three with the bases loaded.

San Diego's Jesus Guzman hit an RBI single in the first.

Notes: Giants RF Carlos Beltran was scratched from the lineup. Manager Bruce Bochy said he had either serious food poisoning or the flu and was sick all night. ... The Padres reinstated OF Chris Denorfia from the 15-day DL before the game. Denorfia had two doubles. ... Giants LHP Eric Surkamp (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will make his second career start on Tuesday night. The Padres will counter with LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 5.14).

Brewers 4, Cardinals 1

St. Louis — Randy Wolf allowed one run over eight innings and Ryan Braun and Nyjer Morgan homered to lead Milwaukee to a 4-1 win over St. Louis on Monday.

The Brewers won their fourth straight to move 10 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central, tying their largest lead of the season.

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Wolf (12-9) gave up four hits, struck out five and walked two as he improved to 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA in his last eight starts. The left-hander allowed two hits over his final six innings, and had two infield singles.

John Axford pitched a perfect ninth to record his 41th save in 43 chances.

Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (11-8) gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings. He tied a career high with nine strikeouts.

St. Louis lost for the third time in the last four games.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 7

Denver — Geoff Blum homered and Wade Miley tossed seven strong innings for streaking Arizona.

Justin Upton homered and Paul Goldschmidt had three RBIs for Arizona, which has won three straight and 12 of 13. Blum had three hits and three RBIs.

The Diamondbacks held a seven-game over San Francisco in the NL West.

Dexter Fowler homered from both sides of the plate, and Mark Ellis and Troy Tulowitzki also connected for Colorado.

Arizona scored five runs in the sixth to break open a close game.

Miley (3-1) posted his longest start of the season while beating the Rockies for the second time in less than a week. He gave up two runs and six hits, struck out six and walked three. He also drove in a run in the seventh to give Arizona a 9-2 lead.

Esmil Rogers (6-5) gave up six runs and eight hits.

Nationals 7, Dodgers 2

Washington — Michael Morse hit two of Washington's four homers and John Lannan pitched into the sixth inning to break a four-start losing streak.

Morse, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth all went deep in the first inning as Washington grabbed a 4-1 lead. The Nationals had dropped 10 of 12, while the Dodgers came in winners of 11 of 13.

All four homers — Morse hit No. 26 in the sixth inning — came against Hiroki Kuroda (11-15), who entered with a career-high four-game winning streak. The right-hander had a season-high nine strikeouts, but gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings.

Lannan (9-11) allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. Collin Balester, Tom Gorzelanny, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett combined for the final 3 2-3 innings.

Pirates 3, Astros 1

Pittsburgh — Ryan Doumit had three hits and Pittsburgh's James McDonald pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season.

Josh Harrison added two hits and Derrek Lee hit his 16th homer as the Pirates won for the third time in four games. It was Lee's fourth homer since he was acquired in a trade with Baltimore on July 30.

Joel Hanrahan worked the ninth for his 35th save.

Henry Sosa (2-3) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings for the Astros, who have lost four straight.

McDonald (9-7) needed just 91 pitches to get through 7 1-3 innings, allowing one run and three hits. It was his longest outing since he pitched eight innings against New York last September.

The start of the game was delayed 56 minutes by rain.

Cubs 4, Reds 3

Chicago— Matt Garza pitched eight strong innings and Aramis Ramirez had a tiebreaking two-run single for Chicago.

Garza (8-10) gave up six hits and three runs — one earned — while striking out eight and walking three to win for just the second time at home since June 27. Carlos Marmol finished up for his 32nd save.

Ramirez had his two-run single in the fifth, walked twice and scored a run. Starlin Castro added a single, walk and two runs.

Dontrelle Willis (0-5) allowed six hits and four runs over seven innings, striking out eight and walking five. Drew Stubbs singled, walked and scored a run, Yonder Alonso had two singles, a run and an RBI for the Reds.

Phillies 9, Braves 0

Philadelphia — Cliff Lee tossed a five-hitter for his sixth shutout of the season, helping the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies beat the second-place Atlanta Braves 9-0 on Monday night.

Lee (16-7) struck out six, walked none and needed only 100 pitches to finish off the Braves after falling one out shy of a shutout in his previous start at Cincinnati. The left-hander has won his last seven starts, and hasn't allowed a run in five of those games.

The major league-leading Phillies increased their lead to 8 1-2 games over Atlanta and reduced their magic number for clinching their fifth straight NL East title to just 16 with 25 games remaining.

Marlins 9, Mets 3

Miami — Javier Vazquez pitched seven strong innings, Jose Lopez homered and the Florida Marlins had 15 hits in a 9-3 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

Emilio Bonifacio and Gaby Sanchez both had three hits and two RBIs and Lopez and Logan Morrison also had three hits to help the Marlins win three straight for the first time since July 31-Aug. 2.

Vazquez (9-11) gave up one run and six hits while striking out seven and walking none.

Chris Capuano (10-12) allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings, his shortest of 27 starts this year. He walked one, struck out three and threw a wild pitch that scored a run.

Jason Bay hit his 11th homer, a two-run shot off Chris Hatcher in the ninth, for the mets.

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