In the majors or the minors, Andy Benes knows how to beat younger brother Alan.
Andy came within one out of a shutout and contributed to Alan's early exit with two hits during in 11-run third inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 11-2 on Friday night.
"We were hoping for a 1-0 game," Andy said. "I'll tell you what, the third inning just killed me watching it, and I had to kind of regroup."
The Benes vs. Benes matchup was believed to be only the seventh time in major league history that brothers have faced each other. It was the first time since Ramon Martinez beat Pedro Martinez on Aug. 29, 1996.
The Benes brothers pitched against each other in a Triple-A game between Iowa and Memphis earlier this summer while both were working their way back to the majors. Andy and Memphis also won that game, 8-5.
"He's my younger brother and I'm his second-biggest fan behind his wife and it's gut-wrenching," he said.
In other NL games, it was: Los Angeles 3, Houston 2; San Francisco 1, Arizona 0; Atlanta 5, Montreal 0; Cincinnati 5, Milwaukee 3 in 12 innings; Colorado 7, San Diego 3; New York 7, Philadelphia 2; and Pittsburgh 11, Florida 0.
Charles Benes watched his sons from a Busch Stadium box seat midway between the two dugouts, alternately wearing a Cubs and Cardinals cap.
Andy (5-4) breezed along, extending his strong second half by pitching a nine-hitter. He struck out six -- fanning Sammy Sosa all three times -- and walked one. Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to spoil the shutout bid.
It was a much tougher night for Alan (1-1), who lasted only 2 2-3 innings. He gave up eight runs on seven hits in his third start for the Cubs since being called up from Iowa on Aug. 23.
"I'd probably rather come to the game and not talk about facing my brother," Alan said. "I've never been one to love the media attention."
Alan, a former Cardinals' first-round draft pick who was teammates with his brother with St. Louis from 1996-97 and 2000-01, had an 0.73 ERA his first two starts with the Cubs.
In the third, Andy even had a little fun at his brother's expense. After gloving Alan's soft liner to the mound, Andy let the ball dribble out of his mitt so his brother would have to run it out before finishing him off with an underhand toss to first.
"I was just being playful," Andy said.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals won their third in a row and ended the Cubs' three-game winning streak. Albert Pujols had four RBIs in St. Louis' big inning, but he left with a spasm in his upper left shoulder.
Dodgers 3, Astros 2
Eric Karros' sacrifice fly in the eighth inning scored Shawn Green with the go-ahead run at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles maintained a three-game lead over San Francisco in the wild-card race and trimmed Arizona's NL West lead to 4 1/2 games.
Eric Gagne earned his 48th save in 52 chances. Lance Berkman drove in both Houston runs, including his 30th homer.
Giants 1, Diamondbacks 0
Reggie Sanders hit an RBI single off Mike Fetters (3-1) in the ninth inning to beat his former teammates at Pacific Bell Park.
San Francisco manager Dusty Baker won his 824th game to pass Bill Terry for second place on the franchise list. Starting pitchers Kirk Rueter and Miguel Batista kept it scoreless most of the night.
Braves 5, Expos 0
Kevin Millwood pitched a three-hitter and hit a two-run double to win his seventh consecutive decision as host Atlanta reduced its magic number to four.
The Braves, seeking their 11th consecutive division title, have a 19 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. With 21 games left, their 89 wins surpass last season's total.
Millwood (16-6) is 14-1 in 21 starts since May 24, and the Braves won five of those six no-decisions. Expos starter Masato Yoshii (4-8) lasted only 1 2-3 innings, falling to 0-8 in 15 career appearances against Atlanta.
Reds 5, Brewers 3, 12 innings
Barry Larkin singled in the go-ahead run, and Cincinnati improved to 7-0 at Miller Park this season. Danny Graves (6-3) pitched two scoreless innings, and Joey Hamilton worked the 12th for his first save in 229 major league appearances.
Rockies 7, Padres 3
Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer, and rookie Aaron Cook (1-1) pitched seven strong innings before a franchise-low 26,243 at Coors Field.
Mets 7, Phillies 2
Jeromy Burnitz hit a three-run homer, Timo Perez had three RBIs and Al Leiter (12-11) pitched seven solid innings at Philadelphia.
The Mets have won four straight since setting an NL record with 15 consecutive losses at home and dropping 17 of 20 overall.
Pirates 11, Marlins 0
Jack Wilson hit a three-run homer to snap Pittsburgh's 0-for-29 skid with runners in scoring position and back Kris Benson (7-6) at PNC Park.
Kevin Young hit a two-run homer, and four relievers finished a nine-hitter. The Marlins lost their fourth straight.
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