The Atlanta Braves heaped on four runs in the 12th inning to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 on Friday. Garret Anderson, who drove in the tying run for Atlanta with a ninth-inning single, scored the go-ahead run in the 12th on a single by Yunel Escobar. Los Angeles' lead in the NL West was cut to six and a half games, the same margin by which Atlanta trails the NL East leader Philadelphia. The Florida Marlins snapped an untimely three-game losing streak and boosted their playoff hopes by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2. Ricky Nolasco pitched seven sharp innings for Florida, allowing only four hits while striking out seven.
The Colorado Rockies took advantage of the withdrawal of the Chicago Cubs' pitcher Carlos Zambrano to beat the Cubs 6-2. The Rockies won their 15th consecutive game against a rival from the NL Central and moved into a tie for the provisional wild card berth. About 15 minutes before the start of the game, Zambrano was scratched because of a recurrence of a lower back injury. The Rockies jumped on emergency stand-in Sean Marshall for three runs in two innings.
The Houston Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 to move level with Milwaukee in the NL Central and the wild card race. Jason Michaels hit a solo homer in the fifth and a three-run shot in the sixth. In Pittsburgh, Ryan Ludwick's sacrifice fly in the eighth scored the go-ahead run as the St Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 to stretch the Pirates' losing streak to six games.
Brandon Phillips drew a tie-breaking bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning as Cincinnatti Reds took advantage of a meltdown by the San Francisco Giants' bullpen to win 10-5. * AP