ST. LOUIS — Yadier Molina had three hits and two RBIs in his return to the lineup, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a big 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
St. Louis bounced back from Friday night's 2-1 loss in the series opener and pulled within a game of Pittsburgh for the second NL wild-card spot. Jaime Garcia is expected to come off the disabled list to start Sunday's series finale against Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens.
Molina also had two RBIs and scored a run after missing the previous three games with a sore back. He hit a tiebreaking two-run double off Erik Bedard (7-13) in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-3 lead.
CINCINNATI — Brett Jackson hit his first career home run to help Brooks Raley earn his first major league win, leading the Chicago Cubs to a victory over the Cincinnati Reds and a split of their day-night doubleheader.
Starlin Castro had three hits and two RBIs as the Cubs rebounded after losing the first two in the four-game weekend series. David DeJesus added his fifth home run of the season in the ninth.
Raley (1-2) gave up four runs, three earned, and five hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Ryan Ludwick went deep twice and drove in three runs for the Reds
WASHINGTON — Jonathon Niese pitched into the eighth inning and Ike Davis hit a two-run homer in the seventh to lead the New York Mets over the Washington Nationals.
ATLANTA — Hanley Ramirez drove in four runs with two homers, including the first of three straight shots by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning during a win over the Atlanta Braves.
Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz hit consecutive homers in a span of four pitches from Ben Sheets. Ramirez added a three-run homer in the sixth.
HOUSTON — Aaron Hill hit a three-run homer in a nine-run fifth inning, Chris Young had four hits and the Arizona Diamondbacks routed the Houston Astros.
MILWAUKEE — John Mayberry Jr. and Erik Kratz hit back-to-back home runs and Cole Hamels tied a season high with 10 strikeouts to help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers.
Hamels (14-6) gave up eight hits and three earned runs in 7 2-3 innings. He walked just one batter, but gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Braun with two outs in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon came on and struck out Aramis Ramirez, then pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 27th save.
Hamels entered the game having thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous three starts.