Haren hurls Nationals to 3-1 win over Atlanta
Dan Haren pitched eight sharp innings, Denard Span hit a two-run double and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 Thursday night.
The Nationals, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Atlanta on Wednesday, allowed their NL East rivals to get only three runners in scoring position over two nights.
Haren (3-3) won his second consecutive start, giving up four hits and one run with one walk and four strikeouts.
Rafael Soriano earned his ninth save in 10 chances by pitching the ninth. He retired Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman on groundouts before Evan Gattis singled and Dan Uggla popped up.
Washington got off to a good start in the first off Kris Medlen, breaking its 15-game streak without a first-inning run when Span led off with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Steve Lombardozzi's RBI single.
Adam LaRoche doubled and rookie Anthony Rendon singled to start the second. With two outs, Span doubled past third baseman Chris Johnson on a play that was originally scored an error and later changed to a hit.
Medlen (1-4) lost his third straight start, allowing seven hits, three runs and three walks in seven innings. He struck out eight.
Haren shook off his 7.31 career ERA in three career starts at Turner Field to win consecutive starts for the first time since signing as a free agent with the Nationals last winter.
Haren had the Braves guessing all night until Uggla's fifth homer cut the lead to 3-1 with two out in the seventh.
Needing just 13 pitches to get through the first two innings, Haren didn't allow a hit until Freeman's two-out single in the fourth. Haren made just 69 pitches through the seventh.
Of Atlanta's three runners in scoring position the last two games, two of them -- Medlen and Paul Maholm -- were pitchers.
Span went 3 for 4 with a walk. He snapped an 0-for-41 skid that the Nationals had this season against the Atlanta bullpen when he singled off Jordan Walden in the ninth.
Cardinals 6, Brewers 5: Jake Westbrook allowed one run over six innings for his 100th career win as St. Louis held off Milwaukee.
Westbrook (2-1), came in with a 0.98 ERA, best in the majors -- it increased to 1.10. He walked three and struck out four. The Brewers were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position against him.
Westbrook allowed Norichika Aoki's double to open the game and then nothing more until one out in the fourth when the Brewers pushed across a run on three consecutive singles. He struck out Alex Gonzalez and then fanned Wily Peralta (2-2), his third strikeout of the inning.
Padres 4, Cubs 2: Yonder Alonso's two-out fly ball to right field dropped in front of Julio Borbon for an RBI single that led to a four-run eighth inning and boosted San Diego over Chicago for a four-game series split.
Travis Wood (2-2) retired his first 14 batters before Kyle Blanks singled, and he led 2-0 when Jesus Guzman reached on an infield single leading off the eighth. Blanks walked, Jedd Gyorko flied out and Nick Hundley fouled out.
Alonso, pinch hitting for Joe Thatcher, lofted a ball to right on the windy afternoon. Second baseman Darwin Barney backpedaled and Borbon sprinted in. Borbon called for the ball, Barney peeled off, and the ball fell just in front of Borbon's outstretched glove as Guzman scored.
In the American League:
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Ryan Dempster won his second straight start and Boston took advantage of a season-high 10 walks to beat Toronto.
Dempster (2-2) allowed one run and four hits in six innings. The right-hander, who walked three and struck out four, retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
Winless in his first four starts this season, Dempster posted his first victory by beating Houston a week ago.
Andrew Miller got two outs in seventh and Junichi Tazawa got the third. Koji Uehara pitched the eighth and Joel Hanrahan finished for his fourth save in five chances.
Boston improved its major league-best road record to 9-3 and won its seventh series in nine tries this season.
White Sox 3, Rangers 1: Hector Santiago allowed two runs in five-plus innings filling in for Jake Peavy, and Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer as Chicago handed Texas its first series loss of the season.
Flowers' drive just inside the foul pole in left field was the third straight hit after Texas right-hander Justin Grimm (2-1) retired 10 in a row on the day he was named AL rookie of the month.
Adrian Beltre's homer in the second was the only hit through five innings against Santiago (1-1), who had six strikeouts and two walks in 5a-c innings. The left-hander made his first start of the season and fifth of his career after Peavy was scratched because of back spasms.