Braves 9, Rockies 6
DENVER -- Brooks Conrad made the most of a rare start.
Conrad, playing for the injured Dan Uggla, homered, scored twice and used his speed on the basepaths to help the Atlanta Braves overcome a shaky start by Tommy Hanson to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-6 Thursday.
"You get him in there because Danny can't go and he comes up with a big homer," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a helluva teammate; guys love him. He's a pro. Great to have him."
The switch-hitting Conrad hadn't started a game since July 4 against Colorado but didn't show any rust. He broke up a double play in the third that led to one run and he broke up a double play in the fifth that helped the Braves score another.
"That's Brooksie, man. That's him," Jason Heyward said. "That's why we love him around here and we pull for him."
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 30th save.
"I'm beat after this game and yesterday's game," Gonzalez said. "They're fun at the end of the night but it could have gone either way. Get on the bird before they ask us to play another game."
Carlos Gonzalez homered for the Rockies before leaving in the fifth inning with a right wrist injury while swinging -- he fouled the ball off. He was taken to for an MRI. It's the same wrist on which he sustained a deep bone bruise after running into the center-field wall on July 3. He missed eight games.
"He obviously felt something," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He took a swing and started coming over towards us in a hurry. I have no idea what were dealing with other than the fact that it's the wrist that we just rehabbed."
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin struggled for the second straight game, allowing five runs on four hits and walking seven in 4 2-3 innings.
Hanson (11-5) also struggled but received enough run support to get the win. He allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out seven in six innings.
"It seems like my pitches did what they wanted to do," Hanson said. "If they felt like breaking they broke; if they didn't they stayed straight. Glad to get out of this one and glad we won."
Cardinals 6, Mets 2
Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first and Westbrook had the Mets pounding the ball into the ground over eight excellent innings as St. Louis beat New York 6-2 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep and snap a three-game skid.
With the temperature already at 90 when the first pitch was thrown at 12:13 p.m., Westbrook (8-4) worked efficiently (90 pitches) and rapidly, and kept his infielders busy. Just as important, he let them quickly get back to the dugout and out of the scorching sun.
"That's the way he works all the time. This guy don't mess around," Pujols said. "Working fast, keeping the ball down. He had his sinker going today."
Westbrook recorded 17 outs on groundballs, including two double plays, and allowed only four hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out three, leading the Cardinals to only their second win since the All-Star break in a tidy 2 hours, 7 minutes.
"I think everybody appreciated it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Pujols drove a pitch from Jonathon Niese (9-8) left up in the strike zone off the facade of the second deck in left field for his 21st home run of the season and a 2-0 lead.
What was the pitch Pujols sent flying?
"To tell you the truth, I don't even know," Pujols said. "I think it was the same pitch I pulled fouled earlier in the at-bat."
Westbrook, who came in with an ERA of 5.26 in his first full season with St. Louis, breezed through the first three innings.
"My stuff was the same. My command was better," he said. "I was able to harness it."
Padres 5, Marlins 3
Only now Maybin plays for the San Diego Padres.
Maybin had four more hits and a home-run-saving catch Thursday to help the Padres complete a three-game sweep by beating Florida 5-3. He went 9 for 14 with five runs and five stolen bases in the three games against his former team.
"I see a different guy," said McKeon, the Marlins' manager. "I see a guy who is tremendously improved. He's a much better hitter. What they did to him over there, I don't know. I don't know why he didn't do it with us."
Maybin batted .246 for Florida while splitting his time between the majors and minors in 2008-10. Traded to San Diego last November, he's now an everyday big leaguer, and the showing in Miami lifted his average to .277.
"To sweep these guys, it definitely means a lot to me," Maybin said. "I've got so many buddies over there. They have been talking trash the whole time, but I do honestly love all those guys."
Maybin helped the light-hitting Padres outscore Florida 23-6 in the series.
"They probably scored more runs in this series than they had scored all month," McKeon said.
When the sweep was complete, the Padres were pleased but also relieved. Second baseman Orlando Hudson avoided serious injury when he collided with a wall after catching a pop foul.
Following an eight-minute delay, Hudson was carted off the field and taken to a hospital for tests. He was expected to be fine and was likely to rejoin the Padres in Philadelphia on Friday, a team spokesman said.
"It was a scary moment," manager Bud Black said. "When a guy goes unconscious, you're worried."
The catch ended a Marlins threat in the seventh with San Diego nursing a two-run lead. The news that Hudson would be OK allowed the light-hitting Padres to savor their offensive surge.
Especially grateful was Dustin Moseley (3-9), who went six innings and allowed three runs, all unearned. He came into the game ranked next to last in the majors in run support, but the Padres gave him a quick lead when their first three batters scored.
"It makes things a lot easier, that's for sure," he said. "You don't have to be so careful and try to be perfect."
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