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Cardinals beat back Braves

Woody Williams won his sixth straight decision, Albert Pujols and Larry Walker homered, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Braves, 4-1, last night in the series opener in Atlanta between division leaders.

Williams (9-6) allowed only three hits and one run in seven innings as St. Louis stretched its Central lead over the Chicago Cubs to 13 1/2 games.

He has six wins and five no-decisions since his last loss June 8 at Chicago.

Williams allowed just one base runner to advance past second base -- Chipper Jones's leadoff homer in the seventh. Williams walked two batters but otherwise consistently stayed ahead in the count, throwing first-pitch strikes to 23 of the 25 batters he faced.

Dodgers 8, Cubs 1 -- Odalis Perez outpitched Greg Maddux and Steve Finley drove in three runs to help streaking Los Angeles pull away at the end to beat the Cubs in Chicago. Leading, 2-1, the Dodgers scored six times in the ninth, taking advantage of Chicago's wilting bullpen and the Cubs' wobbly defense. The West leaders won for the 28th time in 37 games.

Giants 16, Phillies 6 -- J.T. Snow homered three times, scored a career-best five runs, and knocked in four, and Barry Bonds hit career homer No. 689, leading San Francisco at Philadelphia.

A.J. Pierzynski homered and drove in five runs, and Marquis Grissom also homered for the Giants, who moved one game behind Chicago for the wild-card race.

Padres 14, Reds 5 -- Khalil Greene had his first two-homer game and Brian Giles and Ryan Klesko each connected in a five-run first to lead visiting San Diego. With the win, the Padres moved into a tie with the Cubs for the lead in the wild-card race.

Rockies 9, Pirates 3 -- Luis Gonzalez, a late addition to Colorado's starting lineup, hit a three-run homer and Jeff Fassero pitched seven strong innings to lead the Rockies at Pittsburgh.

Vinny Castilla and Todd Helton also homered for the Rockies, have won 13 of their past 17 road games and are just one shy of last year's victory total of 25 away from Coors Field.

Mets 10, Diamondbacks 6 -- Rookie Danny Garcia hit a three-run homer and Richard Hidalgo and Mike Cameron also homered to lead host New York.

Brewers 6, Marlins 4 -- Host Milwaukee's Wes Obermueller gave up two hits in seven shutout innings in an emergency start in place of Chris Capuano (sore left forearm), earning his first win in almost 11 weeks.

Expos 6, Astros 5 -- Alex Gonzalez hit a tying homer in the 12th and Terrmel Sledge singled in the winning run, giving the host Montreal the come-from-behind victory.

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