Brewers put Sheets over fading Astros

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

MILWAUKEE -- Ben Sheets beat the Houston for the third time this season, and the Milwaukee Brewers damaged the Astros' faint postseason hopes with a 5-4 victory Tuesday night.

Houston, which has 11 games remaining, began the night 6 1/2 games behind the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals.

Sheets (10-16) allowed six hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

With runners on first and third and two outs in the ninth, Luis Vizcaino struck out pinch-hitter Mark Loretta for his fifth save. Kirk Saarloos (6-6) allowed five runs -- four earned -- and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Braves 2, Phillies 1

ATLANTA -- Greg Maddux allowed four hits in seven innings, moving within one victory of joining Cy Young as the only pitchers to win 15 or more games in 15 straight seasons and leading the Atlanta Braves over the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 Tuesday night.

Maddux (14-6), who had given up six runs to Florida in the first inning of his previous start, improved to 19-6 in 34 starts on three days' rest. John Smoltz got four outs for his 52nd save, one shy of the NL record shared by Randy Myers and Trevor Hoffman.

Mets 3, Cubs 1

NEW YORK -- Jeromy Burnitz hit a two-run homer off Juan Cruz (2-11) in the ninth.

Sammy Sosa hit his 497th career homer and 47th of the season.

David Weathers (6-3) struck out Mark Bellhorn and Alex Gonzalez with two on to end the ninth.

Pirates 11, Reds 3

PITTSBURGH -- Pokey Reese had a career-high five RBIs and Cincinnati made five errors -- its most since May 21, 1990, at Chicago's Wrigley Field -- in allowing nine unearned runs.

The third-place Reds (74-77), who led the NL Central for 57 days earlier this season, were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

American League

Twins 7, Tigers 4

DETROIT -- Despite losing outfielders Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones and third baseman Corey Koskie to injuries, Minnesota beat Detroit.

Jones had four hits, including a homer leading off the game, before spraining his left ankle on an awkward slide into second. Hunter had a bruised left triceps after being hit by a pitch and Koskie bruised his right shin after fouling a ball off his leg. X-rays didn't show any major injuries.

Red Sox 4, Indians 2

BOSTON -- Tim Wakefield (11-5) won his fourth straight start, allowing five hits in eight innings, and Manny Ramirez hit his seventh homer in 11 games.

Ugueth Urbina finished for his 36th save.

Devil Rays 9, Yankees 7

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alfonso Soriano went 5-for-5 with his 39th home, but John Flaherty hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth off Steve Karsay.

The Yankees' magic number to capture the AL East title remained at four. Shortstop Derek Jeter left with a bruised right wrist shortly after being hit by Paul Wilson's pitch in the seventh.

Orioles 10, Blue Jays 4

BALTIMORE -- Chris Singleton hit two of Baltimore's season-high five home runs, and Australian rookie John Stephens (2-4) earned his second major league win, allowing four runs, six hits and four walks in six-plus innings.

White Sox 6, Royals 1

CHICAGO -- Mark Buehrle (18-11) got his 18th win on the third try, scattering six hits over seven innings. He's the first Chicago lefty to win 18 since 1985, when Britt Burns went 18-11.

-- From wire reports

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