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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Reds Commit Five Errors but Still Beat Cubs, 4-3

The Cincinnati Reds keep losing ballplayers, but they don’t lose many games.

Todd Benzinger drove in two runs with a double and a single at Chicago Monday night and the Reds overcame five errors to beat the Cubs, 4-3.

The Reds’ 14th victory in 17 road games improved the best record in the majors to 26-9, and the Reds continued their runaway in the West.

The Reds’ infield is ailing. Second baseman Mariano Duncan, hitting .382, is on the disabled list because of torn rib muscles, and shortstop Barry Larkin is playing on a sore leg.

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Four of the errors were by infielders, and winning pitcher Jose Rijo (3-1) committed the other. Rijo gave up six hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Larkin and his backup at shortstop, Luis Quinones, committed errors, as did second baseman Ron Oester and third baseman Chris Sabo. But relief pitchers Rob Dibble and Randy Myers overcame the lapses.

Dibble gave up a hit, but pitched 1 1/3 innings, getting two strikeouts. Myers struck out two in the ninth and got his eighth save in his eighth opportunity.

Atlanta 6, St. Louis 5--Last season teams welcomed a series with the futile Braves. They are no longer pushovers.

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The Cardinals took a 4-1 lead for their five-game winner, Bryn Smith, at Atlanta, but he couldn’t hold it. The Braves hit four solo home runs, three of them in the sixth inning.

The Braves have won three in a row and seven of their last 10.

Houston 3, Pittsburgh 2--The Astros overcame a 2-0 deficit at Houston for their third victory in 15 games.

Eric Anthony hit his third home run with one out in the 11th inning as the Pirates suffered their third loss in a row.

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Philadelphia 5, San Francisco 2--Len Dykstra had three hits at San Francisco, increasing the major leagues’ best batting average to .405 and moving the Phillies within 1 1/2 games of first place in the East.

Dickie Thon of the Phillies hit his first home run of the season to back Terry Mulholland (3-1).


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