The Atlanta Braves got to see firsthand why the San Diego Padres might be so formidable in the post-season.

Relievers Randy Myers, Dan Miceli and Trevor Hoffman shut down the Braves, giving the Padres a 3-1 victory Tuesday night in a matchup of the NL's top two teams."The thing that's tough about those guys, especially since they've acquired Myers, is that if you get down by one or two runs going into the seventh or eighth inning, the game is over . . . pretty much," Atlanta starter Denny Neagle said.

Down 3-1, Atlanta put two runners on base with no outs in the eighth. But Myers - recently acquired from Toronto - and Miceli escaped the inning, and Hoffman breezed through the ninth on just eight pitches for his major league-leading 39th save.

METS 8, CARDINALS 3: Mark McGwire showed off his power at Busch Stadium, hitting his major league-leading 47th home run and setting an NL record for most homers before September.

McGwire had been tied for the homer lead with Sammy Sosa, who homered twice Monday for Chicago, but did not connect Tuesday. McGwire moved back on top with a 464-foot drive in the fourth inning.

He broke Hack Wilson's NL record of 46 homers through August set in 1930. Roger Maris holds the major league record of 61 in 1961.

McGwire played his 162nd game for the Cardinals since they got him from Oakland on July 31, 1997. In that time, McGwire has 71 homers, 146 RBIs and 165 walks.

ASTROS 6, BREWERS 5: For the seventh time this season, Houston rallied to win a game in which it trailed after eight innings.

Bill Spiers hit a tying single in the ninth inning and pinch-hitter Tony Eusebio's single in the 10th ended the game at the Astrodome. Houston won its fifth in a row overall.

Jeff Bagwell and Moises Alou homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth against Milwaukee starter Bronswell Patrick.

GIANTS 8, CUBS 7: Jeff Kent hit a pair of two-run homers and Barry Bonds drove in three runs as San Francisco beat Chicago to stop a five-game losing streak.

MARLINS 8, DODGERS 6: Rookie Jesus Sanchez pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Todd Dunwoody homered and drove in three runs as Florida won at Dodger Stadium.

The Marlins led 8-0 and got 17 hits, the most against Los Angeles this season. The Dodgers scored five runs in the ninth inning and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

ROCKIES 15, EXPOS 6: Mike Lansing, Vinny Castilla and Todd Helton each drove in four runs as Colorado beat Montreal at Coors Field.

Dante Bichette went 4 for 4 and is batting .347, three points behind league leader John Olerud of the Mets.

DIAMONDBACKS 7, PHILLIES 3: Tony Batista hit two home runs and Andy Benes won at home for the first time in nearly three months. Philadelphia lost for the 11th time in 13 games.

PIRATES 7, REDS 0: Francisco Cordova pitched a six-hitter and Kevin Young and Jason Kendall each homered as Pittsburgh won at Cincinnati.


YANKEES 4, TWINS 0: David Wells, who threw a perfect game against Minnesota earlier this season, threw a four-hit shutout against the Twins to lead New York to its sixth straight victory.

Wells, 15-2 overall and 10-0 at home, said he didn't want to match his feat of May 17.

"Too much pressure. It changes your life drastically. I wouldn't want another one," he said. "It's tough on everyday life, dinner, lunch, hanging out. It's kind of hard. People in this town recognize you; they want to be a part of it."

He became only the second pitcher this century to shut out a team in his first start against them after a perfect game, matching the feat accomplished by Philadelphia's Jim Bunning against the New York Mets in 1964.

BLUE JAYS 7, MARINERS 4: Ken Griffey Jr. failed to homer for the 10th straight game, going 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. Griffey, who leads the AL with 41 homers, hasn't connected in 46 at-bats - his longest drought of the season.

RANGERS 2, INDIANS 1: Esteban Loaiza (1-2), acquired from Pittsburgh on July 17, allowed one run and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings at Jacobs Field to get his first victory for Texas.

Juan Gonzalez, who leads the majors with 119 RBIs, missed his second straight game and eighth in 13 games with a stiff neck. Mike Simms, his replacement in the lineup, hit his 12th homer.

DEVIL RAYS 2, ORIOLES 1: At Tampa, Bobby Smith singled home the winning run off Armando Benitez (4-3) with two outs in the ninth as Baltimore lost for only the seventh time in 30 games since the All-Star break.

RED SOX 7, ROYALS 4: Nomar Garciaparra tied the score with a solo homer in the sixth at Fenway Park, then hit a three-run shot in the 10th that raised his season total to 24. Boston has won seven straight against the Royals, who have lost five straight overall.

ANGELS 5, TIGERS 4: Left-fielder Luis Gonzalez dropped Craig Shipley's fly to left for an error, allowing Jim Edmonds to score the go-ahead run in the 11th at Tiger Stadium as Detroit lost its 11th straight, matching its season high.

ATHLETICS 6, WHITE SOX 4: Bip Roberts had three hits, including a two-run double. Ben Grieve also drove in two runs as Oakland stopped a three-game losing streak won at Chicago.