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Pettitte can't keep Cubs at bay

Greg Maddux outdueled Andy Pettitte for seven innings, and Aramis Ramirez homered and doubled twice to help the Chicago Cubs snap a six-game road losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Houston Astros last night.

Maddux (10-9) allowed just three hits -- his fewest since May -- and shut down the Astros after Houston scored 12 runs on 16 hits the previous night.

Kerry Wood pitched a perfect eighth for his sixth scoreless relief appearance, and Ryan Dempster worked the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.

With the win, the Cubs pulled within 6 1/2 games of Houston in the wild-card race.

Ramirez was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, his last a high-arching solo homer to left in sixth. It was his 30th home run of the season.

It was just the second loss since June for Pettitte (10-9), who allowed eight hits and tied his season high with eight strikeouts.

Dodgers 6, Braves 4 -- Olmedo Saenz drove in two runs with a pinch-hit single in the ninth as Los Angeles rallied to win in Atlanta.

The Dodgers trailed, 4-3, heading to the ninth but erased that deficit against Braves closer Chris Reitsma, who failed to get an out.

Jason Werth hit Reitsma's first pitch off the wall for a double, and moved to third when Hee-Seop Choi slapped a single to left. Ricky Ledee walked to load the bases.

Saenz, who has a .368 average with runners in scoring position, singled to left, bringing home the tying and go-ahead runs. Reitsma (3-4) has blown seven of 22 save chances.

Padres 4, Marlins 2 -- Miguel Olivo tripled and Mark Loretta doubled in San Diego's three-run sixth inning to help beat Florida in Miami.

Brian Lawrence (7-12) allowed six hits and a run in five innings for San Diego, escaping a two-on, no-out jam in his last inning.

Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 2 -- So Taguchi matched career highs with four hits and three RBIs, and Jeff Suppan (12-8) pitched seven strong innings to win for the third time in four starts as host St. Louis spanked Arizona.

Mets 6, Pirates 2 -- Kris Benson (9-4) hit a two-run single against his former team while pitching host New York over Pittsburgh.

Giants 10, Reds 8 -- Deivi Cruz and Pedro Feliz set career highs with five hits, and San Francisco overpowered host Cincinnati.

Brewers 6, Rockies 4 -- In Denver, Victor Santos (4-11) earned his second win in 14 starts, and Wes Helms homered and drove in two runs to help Milwaukee beat Colorado.

Washington's game at Philadelphia was rained out and rescheduled for a day-night doubleheader tomorrow.

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