How about those Pirates?: NL roundup
Brewers rally to beat Reds
Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in five runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 9-1 on Sunday to enter the all-star break with their best record in 19 years.
McCutchen backed Paul Maholm with a three-run homer and two sacrifice flies. Neil Walker went 3 for 4, and Alex Presley had two hits and scored two runs for Pittsburgh.
The Pirates (47-43) have their best record and are closer to first place this late in the season than at any time since their most recent winning season in 1992.
The Milwaukee Brewers pounced on Cincinnati Reds closer Francisco Cordero, rallying from a run down in the ninth for a 4-3 victory Sunday.
Pinch hitter Mark Kotsay tied the game with an RBI single, scoring Nyjer Morgan. With the bases loaded and one out, pinch hitter Craig Counsell delivered a sacrifice fly to win the game.
The rally ruined a return to the big leagues by Reds starter Dontrelle Willis, who gave up a pair of runs over six innings.
Milwaukee again was without Ryan Braun, who has missed the team's last eight games with a lingering calf strain. Braun will not play in Tuesday's All-Star game but said he expects to be ready to return when the Brewers resume play in Colorado on Thursday.
Jaime Garcia won for the sixth time at home and David Freese homered for the first time since April 12, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Sunday for a four-game split heading into the All-Star break.
Albert Pujols had two hits and Matt Holliday had an RBI single and a walk for the Cardinals, who were tied for the NL Central lead and have a roster finally healthy for the second half.
They're 3-3 since getting Pujols back from the DL and Freese prospered batting fifth after going 2 for 12 the previous three games batting second.
Brian Roberts hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, who completed a 5-5 trip and are in second place in the NL West.
Raul Ibanez homered and drove in six runs to back eight strong innings by Cole Hamels in the Philadelphia Phillies' 14-1 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Hamels (11-4) allowed three hits while striking out six and walking two. The left-hander, who was selected to his second All-Star team but won't pitch due to Sunday's start, allowed just one hit after the second inning and retired his final 13 batters.
Philadelphia, which had 17 hits and scored four runs in 21 innings in the first two extra-inning games of the series, finished with a season-high 20 hits.
Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the seventh inning, Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel provided the offence, and the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 2-0 Sunday to head into the All-Star break with a .500 record for the first time since 2005.
This amounted to a rout for the Nationals, whose previous 10 victories had come by either one run or in extra innings. They ended a three-game losing streak, too, and each of those defeats were by a single run.
Zimmermann (6-7) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four singles. He also struck out six and didn't walk anyone, continuing his impressive return from reconstructive elbow surgery.
Mike Cameron belted a tying two-run homer for his first hit since joining the Florida Marlins, who completed a four-game sweep of the woeful Houston Astros with a 5-4 victory Sunday.
Florida's Emilio Bonifacio had three hits, extending his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. He stole three bases and scored twice.
All-star Gaby Sanchez drove in two runs for the rejuvenated Marlins, who head into the break with a season-best five-game win streak. They're only five games below .500 (43-48) despite a streak last month of 19 losses in 20 games.
Houston all-star Hunter Pence hit his 11th homer.
Andre Ethier homered twice before heading off to his second straight all-star game, Ted Lilly won for the first time in a month after losing his previous four starts and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat San Diego 4-1 on Sunday for their season-high fourth straight victory after three consecutive shutouts.
Lilly (6-9) allowed a run and four hits over five innings, helping send the Padres to their fifth straight loss. The 35-year-old left-hander struck out seven and walked two en route to his first victory since June 11 at Colorado.
Rookie right-hander Javy Guerra, the sixth Dodgers pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save. Guerra has emerged as the Dodgers' closer because of season-ending injuries to Jonathan Broxton and Vicente Padilla.
SAN FRANCISCO — Pablo Sandoval celebrated his first All-Star game selection by hitting an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to 21 games and fellow All-Star Matt Cain pitched six scoreless innings to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday night.
Nate Schierholtz added four hits and an RBI after being moved up to the cleanup spot for the Giants, who have won four of five to take a three-game lead over Arizona in the NL West heading into the All-Star break.
Cain (8-5) allowed five hits and three walks. Brian Wilson gave up an RBI double to Justin Turner in the ninth before recording his 26th save.
Mike Pelfrey (5-8) took the loss.