San Francisco ahead by 5 1/2 games in West
AP Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 12:03 am TWN
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito came through in one of the most important outings in his San Francisco tenure, pitching the NL West-leading Giants past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 on Sunday night to extend their division lead to 5 1/2 games.
Hunter Pence hit a two-run double in the first inning that held up and Buster Posey homered in San Francisco's fifth win in the last six meetings of the rivalry.
Marco Scutaro added a sacrifice fly to back an impressive performance by Zito (11-8), who allowed four hits in 6-1/3 scoreless innings to win his third straight decision. He combined with five relievers on the five-hit shutout
Joe Blanton (1-4) took the loss for Los Angeles (74-67), which dropped 1-1/2 games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
Angel Pagan matched his career high with an 11th triple, leaving him one shy of the San Francisco record. Hall of Famer Willie Mays hit 12 in 1960 and Steve Finley did so in 2006.
Marlins 8, Nationals 0 Ricky Nolasco tossed a four-hitter to shut out Washington for the second time in two weeks and Giancarlo Stanton homered for the third straight day to lead Miami.
Nolasco also doubled in two runs and Greg Dobbs added three singles for Miami.
The Marlins won two of three games in the weekend series against the NL East-leading Nationals (86-54), whose division lead slipped to 5-1/2 games over Atlanta.
Nolasco (12-12), who won his third straight and notched his fourth career shutout, struck out six and walked one, stifling a team that had scored 43 runs in its five previous games.
Washington's Edwin Jackson (9-10) gave up six earned runs on nine hits in 4-2/3 innings.
Astros 5, Reds 1 Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer and Tyler Greene added a solo shot to help Houston slow Cincinnati's run to the NL Central title.
Edgar Gonzalez allowed two hits and one run in five innings against the Reds, who came in with a magic number of 14 for eliminating second-place St. Louis. Gonzalez (2-0) walked one and struck out six as the Astros won a road series for the first time since early June.
Houston relievers Wesley Wright, Mickey Storey and Wilton Lopez combined for eight strikeouts over four shutout innings.
Johnny Cueto (17-8) allowed four runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in four innings.
Braves 3, Mets 2, 10 innings Brian McCann homered and drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning to lift Atlanta over New York for its fifth straight win.
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