NEW YORK — Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a three-run homer that capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Mets salvaged what had been shaping up as another sorry afternoon, startling the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday.
Matt Garza pitched seven scoreless innings, and the Cubs scored twice on a madcap play that featured three bad throws by Mets infielders, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead.
But New York came back against Carlos Marmol (2-4)in the ninth, starting with Marlon Byrd’s leadoff home run. Nieuwenhuis connected with one out.
Bobby Parnell (5-3) pitched the top of the ninth. Mets starter Jeremy Hefner allowed one earned run and struck out five in five innings.
Garza gave up three hits and struck out five, and was all set up for his second win in five starts this season. The Cubs had used closer Kevin Gregg on four consecutive days and manager Dale Sveum turned to Marmol, who had been unseated as closer earlier this season.
BRAVES 3, GIANTS 0
ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman singled three times and drove in one run, and Julio Teheran pitched six innings to lead Atlanta over San Francisco.
Teheran (5-3) allowed seven hits and one walk. The 22-year-old struck out eight and got a few stellar plays from outfielders Jason Heyward and Justin Upton in the fourth, and by Andrelton Simmons at shortstop in the sixth that kept a run from scoring with the Braves holding a two-run lead.
Lincecum (4-7) gave up six hits and five walks in six innings. Two of his three runs were earned, and he struck out three.
REDS 5, BREWERS 1
CINCINNATI — Johnny Cueto pitched six solid innings in his return to Cincinnati’s rotation, and Jay Bruce homered in a win over Milwaukee.
Donald Lutz drove in two runs with a pinch-hit single, and Zack Cozart and Joey Votto each had two hits as Cincinnati rebounded after losing 6-0 on Saturday.
Cueto, activated from the disabled list Sunday, improved to 4-0 in his seventh start of the season. He allowed five hits and one run with three strikeouts and no walks as the Reds took two of three in the weekend series.
Cueto made his first start since a 6-0 win at Pittsburgh on May 31. He was placed on the disabled list on June 5 for the second time this season because of a strained muscle in his right shoulder.
MARLINS 7, CARDINALS 2
MIAMI — Ricky Nolasco allowed one run and three hits in seven innings to help Miami take the rubber game of its three-game series against St. Louis.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals lost a series for the first time since April 26-28 against Pittsburgh.
The Marlins climbed above .300 at 21-47, still baseball’s worst record. They scored 19 runs in the series against a team with the lowest ERA in the majors.
PIRATES 6, DODGERS 3
PITTSBURGH — Rookie Gerrit Cole won again, getting home run help from Pedro Alvarez and pitching Pittsburgh past Los Angeles.
Cole (2-0) allowed three runs on seven hits and no walks in 5 2/3 innings. The top pick from the 2011 draft won in his big league debut last week.
Alvarez snapped a 2-all tie when he connected off Zack Greinke (3-2) for a three-run homer in the fifth. Alvarez leads the Pirates with 15 homers.
ROCKIES 5, PHILLIES 2
DENVER — Jhoulys Chacin came within an out of his second career shutout, and Colorado topped Philadelphia.
Chacin gave up six hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. His 8 2/3 innings marked the longest outing by a Rockies starter this season.
Jimmy Rollins hit an RBI double with two outs in the Phillies’ ninth, and Ryan Howard followed with a single to finish Chacin (5-3).
PADRES 4, D’BACKS 1
SAN DIEGO — Kyle Blanks hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to a snap a tie and lift San Diego to its season-high sixth straight victory.
Blanks’ eighth home run of the season came off Arizona reliever David Hernandez (2-4) and made a winner of Clayton Richard (2-5), giving the Padres a three-game sweep.