NEW YORK — Gio Gonzalez earned his big league-leading 19th victory and the Washington Nationals backed him with three home runs to beat the listless New York Mets 5-1 Monday night.
Kurt Suzuki put the Nationals ahead with a home run right after catcher Kelly Shoppach dropped his foul popup for an error. Ryan Zimmerman launched a two-run shot later in the third inning and Ian Desmond added a two-run drive in the fourth.
That was plenty for Gonzalez (19-7) and the team with the best record in the majors. The lefty gave up three hits over six innings — none until Scott Hairston homered in the fourth.
Gonzalez worked around five walks and looked relaxed in extending his career high for wins. While he waited in the on-deck circle in the sixth, he chatted with fans in the front row as Suzuki batted.
MILWAUKEE — Norichika Aoki had a two-run double to key a four-run seventh inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Monday night.
The Brewers sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh, but did all the damage on two hits and a sacrifice fly. Their 16th win in 21 games has brought them back to the fringe of the NL wild-card race.
Jose Veras (4-4) pitched seventh and worked out of a bases-loaded jam to earn the victory.
John Axford worked the ninth for his 28th save, including his last 10.
PHILADELPHIA — Kyle Kendrick struck out a career-high eight over seven strong innings to lead the surging Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight win, 3-1 over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.
Staked to a 3-0 lead, Kendrick (9-10) took a no-hitter into the sixth before Rob Brantly's leadoff single. The right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam when he struck out Giancarlo Stanton on a changeup.
Often overlooked on a staff that includes Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, Kendrick has been a huge reason why the Phillies (70-71) are on a late push to get into the NL wild-card race. He's won five of his last six starts and has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his past six.
HOUSTON — Dave Sappelt scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and had three RBIs, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 win on Monday night against the Houston Astros in a matchup of the teams with the worst records in the majors.
Sappelt, who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Sept. 1, drove in his first run for the Cubs with a double to the left field corner to put Chicago up 1-0 in the second inning.
The game was tied 1-all in the sixth before Sappelt scored on a wild pitch by Fernando Rodriguez (1-10) that bounced in the dirt and rolled between catcher Jason Castro's legs.
Sappelt came through again in the seventh, knocking a double off the wall in center field just short of the home run line to score a pair of insurance runs.
DENVER — Rockies pitcher Alex White homered and Colorado finally solved a struggling Ryan Vogelsong, beating the San Francisco Giants 6-5 Monday night to snap a five-game losing streak.
Buster Posey and Hunter Pence went deep for the Giants, who lost for only the second time in 10 road games. San Francisco's lead in the NL West was trimmed to five games over the idle Los Angeles Dodgers.
Trailing 6-2, the Giants got a two-run homer from Posey in the seventh inning off reliever Rex Brothers and pulled within one in the eighth. Brandon Crawford drew a one-out walk from Matt Belisle, pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff singled and Angel Pagan followed with an RBI double, his third hit of the game.
Belisle got out of the jam by retiring Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval.
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Ryan Ludwick's infield single in the 14th inning sent the Cincinnati Reds to a marathon 4-3 victory Monday night and gave the fading Pittsburgh Pirates their fourth straight loss.
Rick VandenHurk (0-1), who was called up before the game, started the 14th and gave up a single by Devin Mesoraco. Brandon Phillips reached when the Pirates failed to get a forceout on his grounder, and VandenHurk had a wild pitch to set up Ludwick's winning hit.
The Pirates loaded the bases with none out in the top of the 14th against Alfredo Simon (2-2) and failed to score.
It was the Reds' longest game of the season in innings and time — 5 hours, 22 minutes. The Pirates played a 19-inning, 6-hour game against St. Louis last month.
SAN DIEGO — Cameron Maybin hit a two-run homer, Will Venable had three RBIs and the San Diego Padres handed the struggling St. Louis Cardinals an 11-3 loss on Monday night.
The loss dropped the Cardinals 9 1-2 games behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. St. Louis, which has lost four of five, had its lead cut to one game over the idle Los Angeles Dodgers for the second NL wild-card berth.
Maybin connected for his seventh homer off Jaime Garcia (4-7) that broke a 2-all tie in the fourth inning. Maybin had three hits and scored three runs.
Chris Denorfia tied his career high with four hits and also had two RBIs. Logan Forsythe added three hits to tie his career high as San Diego matched its season best for runs and had 17 hits.