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Burrell’s homer helps Phillies beat Braves


Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer in the eighth and the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Monday night for their 10th win in 11 games.

The Phillies reduced their magic number for clinching their second straight division title to five, pending the outcome of the New York Mets’ game against the Cubs. Philadelphia’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is three.

Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer for the Braves, who helped the Phillies by winning two straight against the Mets over the weekend.

With the score tied at 2, pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs singled off Jeff Bennett (3-7) to start the bottom of the eighth. Greg Golson ran for Dobbs and scooted all the way to third when Bennett’s pickoff attempt sailed down the right-field line.

After Bennett retired Jimmy Rollins on a sharp grounder to second, Chase Utley was intentionally walked. Jayson Werth then hit a hard grounder to third baseman Martin Prado’s right. Prado made the backhanded play, but Golson beat the throw home, sliding under Clint Sammons’ tag.

Burrell ripped a two-out shot off Julian Tavarez to the seats in left to extend the lead to 6-2. The struggling Burrell, who came in batting .176 since Aug. 1, got a curtain call from a towel-waving crowd.

Cubs 9, Mets 5

NEW YORK — Jason Marquis became the second pitcher to hit a grand slam against the Mets this season, and Chicago clinched home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs while damaging New York’s postseason chances.

Struggling to avoid another late collapse, the Mets slipped 2 1/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East and had their wild-card lead cut to one game over idle Milwaukee.

Jon Niese (1-1) lasted only three-plus innings in his third major league start and New York lost its third straight since moving into first place Friday with a win at Atlanta.

Marquis (11-9) drove in five runs and pitched effectively into the seventh, a big game in his hometown with friends and family in the stands. Derrek Lee also homered and Reed Johnson had a pair of RBI singles for the NL Central champions in the opener of a four-game series that could be a postseason preview.

Reds 7, Marlins 5

CINCINNATI — Joey Votto homered and doubled, helping the Reds rally from a four-run deficit and beat Florida in a makeup game.

The loss dropped Florida five games behind New York in the NL wild-card race.

Votto hit a go-ahead double during a six-run burst in the seventh inning. Jerry Hairston Jr. drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to tie it, and pinch-hitter Andy Phillips later delivered a two-run single.

Aaron Harang (6-16), who pitched a shutout against St. Louis last Wednesday, gave up four runs in seven innings. Francisco Cordero closed for his 33rd save in 39 chances.

Andrew Miller (6-10) relieved Florida starter Ricky Nolasco and took the loss.

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