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Nationals' Byrd flies off handle

Nationals outfielder Marlon Byrd knocked over one umpire during an argument with another last night, an ugly moment in Washington's 7-3 victory over the visiting Florida Marlins.

In a rare large-margin victory for the Nationals, Vinny Castilla hit a three-run double, Nick Johnson drove in two runs, and even slumping Cristian Guzman contributed two hits and an RBI.

Byrd, thinking he had drawn a walk in the sixth, was about halfway to first when he realized first base umpire Bill Miller had called him out on a checked swing with the count full. Byrd began arguing with the umpire, and first base coach Don Buford stepped between them.

As the Nationals took the field for the top of the seventh, Byrd continued arguing on his way to left, and Miller ejected him.

Byrd then headed toward Miller, and second base umpire Joe Brinkman tried to get in the player's way. They collided, sending Brinkman tumbling to his back on the infield dirt.

Braves 1, Pirates 0 -- Julio Franco's two-out double in the ninth scored the game's only run and rookie Kyle Davies shut down Pittsburgh into the eighth, leading Atlanta on the road.

Dominated for eight innings by Mark Redman, the Braves advanced only one runner to second -- and that on a strikeout -- until the 46-year-old Franco's double off reliever Mike Gonzalez (0-2) to right scored Brian Jordan, who had reached on a force play. The RBI was only the eighth for Franco.

Phillies sweep, 10-6; 5-3 -- Placido Polanco homered twice and Philadelphia beat visiting Arizona for its fifth straight victory and a doubleheader sweep.

In the opener, Bobby Abreu homered twice and drove in four runs, and Vicente Padilla won for only the second time this year.

With the Phillies trailing, 3-1, in the nightcap, pinch hitter Endy Chavez led off the sixth with a single and scored on Kenny Lofton's second triple of the doubleheader. Then Polanco lined a two-run homer to left for a 4-3 lead.

Cardinals 11, Astros 9 -- Reggie Sanders hit a grand slam and pitcher Jason Marquis added a two-run homer during an eight-run third inning, and visiting St. Louis held off Houston.

Sanders went 4 for 4 with five RBIs, Marquis was 3 for 3 with two hits in the third, and Albert Pujols homered in the eighth to help preserve the victory for the Cardinals, who have won 11 of 15.

Mets 5, Giants 1 -- Tom Glavine pitched effectively into the eighth inning and host New York defeated San Francisco, sending the Giants to their eighth straight loss.

Dodgers 2, Brewers 1 -- D.J. Houlton earned his first major league victory in his first start, J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent hit consecutive homers for the second time in three games, and Los Angeles edged visiting Milwaukee.

Cubs 11, Padres 5 -- Greg Maddux won his 309th game and major league batting leader Derrek Lee had two hits during a seven-run fifth inning as visiting Chicago earned its eighth win in nine games.

Rockies 7, Reds 5 -- J.D. Closser hit a two-run double in a six-run sixth inning, and Colorado won its season-high third straight with a victory over Cincinnati in Denver.

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