The Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals split a doubleheader at Wrigley Field on the final day before the All-Star break.
Win apiece for Cubs and St Louis
The Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals split a doubleheader at Wrigley Field on the final day before the All-Star break. The Cubs won the opener 7-3 behind a strong performance from Carlos Zambrano, but were denied by the pitching of Adam Wainwright in the night game as they went down 4-2. The Cardinals hold a three and a half game lead over the third-placed Cubs in the National League Central Division, while the second-placed Milwaukee Brewers are two and a half games back after losing 7-4 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw held the Brewers to one run through six innings, and the Dodgers roughed up Milwaukee's Yovanni Gallardo for five runs in five innings as Orlando Hudson hit two home runs after Brad Ausmus also went deep. The New York Mets' struggling offence came alive as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-7. Luis Castillo had three hits and three runs and Gary Sheffield provided three RBIs, but the biggest surprises were a pair of home runs from Brian Schneider and Fernando Tatis as the Mets snapped a run of 80 innings without going deep.
The Mets built a 7-0 lead before letting the Reds rally. The Mets remain three games under .500 and have a lot of work to do in the second half to chase down the division leading Philadelphia Phillies, who are six and a half games ahead after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2. The Phillies hold a four-game lead in the division over the Florida Marlins, who romped to an 8-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hanley Ramirez had three hits, scoring two runs and adding an RBI for the Phillies, while Jeremy Hermida cranked a two-run homer. The Atlanta Braves have fallen to six games behind after the Colorado Rockies scored five runs in the final three innings to win 8-7. * PA Sport