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Associated Press
Houston Astros' Travis Buck (6) breaks his bat as he hits the ball on Monday night.

HOUSTON — Matt Downs hit a two-run homer and Jed Lowrie had the go-ahead single in the eighth inning to propel the Houston Astros to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday night.

The game was tied 3-all when Jordan Schafer reached on an infield single to start the eighth. He stole second with one out and scored on the hit by Lowrie, which reliever Manny Acosta (0-2) deflected into the outfield.

BREWERS 8, PADRES 3: At San Diego, Ryan Braun hit three home runs in a game for the first time in his career, connecting in consecutive at-bats at spacious Petco Park.

PIRATES 9, BRAVES 3: At Atlanta, Pedro Alvarez and Yamaico Navarro each hit two-run homers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates enjoyed a long-awaited offensive breakthrough.

The Pirates, last in the major leagues with 58 runs in 22 games, almost doubled their previous season high of five runs. Neil Walker had three hits and drove in a run.

PHILLIES 6, CUBS 4: At Philadelphia, Placido Polanco hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to lift the Phillies.

Bryan LaHair hit a tying, two-run homer off Chad Qualls (1-0) in the eighth after Vance Worley threw seven impressive innings for Philadelphia.

But the Phillies answered in the bottom half. Scott Maine (0-1) hit pinch-hitter Juan Pierre with a one-out pitch and Jimmy Rollins singled off Rafael Dolis with two outs.

DIAMONDBACKS 9, MARLINS 5: At Miami, left-hander Patrick Corbin pitched 52/3 innings to win his major league debut, and Arizona beat the slumping Marlins.

The 22-year-old Corbin, who was called up from Double-A Mobile, struck out six and allowed three runs.

ROCKIES 6, DODGERS 2: At Denver, Juan Nicasio pitched six solid innings, Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run double and the Colorado Rockies overcame Matt Kemp's latest homer.

American League

RANGERS 4, BLUE JAYS 1: At Toronto, Yu Darvish won his third straight start and Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry homered for the Texas Rangers.

Darvish (4-0) allowed his first home run but remained unbeaten in five major league starts. He gave up four hits in seven innings, walked two and struck out nine.

YANKEES 2, ORIOLES 1: At New York, Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven neat innings and teamed with catcher Russell Martin to nab Nick Markakis at the plate in the key play of the game.

The loss denied Buck Showalter his 1,000th win as a big league manager — his first victory came in 1992 next door at the old Yankee Stadium.

RED SOX 11, ATHLETICS 6: At Boston, David Ortiz finished the best April of his career with a pair of solo homers and Mike Aviles hit a three-run shot in Boston's victory over Oakland.

Darnell McDonald had a two-run homer and Marlon Byrd drove in a pair of runs to support Clay Buchholz (3-1), who held Oakland to one run until he gave up five in the seventh inning.

RAYS 3, MARINERS 2 (12 INNINGS): At St. Petersburg, Fla., Elliot Johnson hit an RBI single with one out in the 12th inning to complete the comeback.

ANGELS 4, TWINS 3: At Anaheim, Calif., C.J. Wilson pitched five-hit ball into the eighth inning and Torii Hunter homered and drove in three runs.MLB notebook: Marlins will try lamps to revive grass MIAMI — The Miami Marlins hit the road for the next nine games, which will give their grounds crew some time to revive the fading turf at the team's new ballpark.

The grass has been turning brown because the retractable roof was closed more than anticipated in April.

The ballpark has drawn mostly favorable reviews, and the roof helped avert rainouts Sunday and Monday. But because the weather has been unusually wet for April, the grass hasn't gotten much sun.

During the Marlins' trip, the grounds crew will try sun lamps to help the grass, team president David Samson said. He said the Marlins remain confident natural grass can be successful in the ballpark, even though the roof will be closed for most games.

MATSUI, RAYS REACH MINOR LEAGUE DEAL: Hideki Matsui has signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, and the two-time AL All-Star will report Wednesday to extended spring training in Port Charlotte.

Tampa Bay wants to add depth in the outfield and at designated hitter. The 37-year-old has played nine seasons in the major leagues, including seven with the New York Yankees.

Matsui has a .285 career average with 173 home runs and 753 RBIs for the Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics.

MLB MULLS ALTERING INTERLEAGUE FORMAT: Major League Baseball is working on a scheduling reconfiguration for the 2013 season and beyond that likely will eliminate the Mets and Yankees as well as other "natural rivals" playing home-and-home, six-game series annually, baseball sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

With the Houston Astros moving to the American League West next season and the leagues becoming balanced at 15 teams apiece, natural rivals throughout baseball no longer will be guaranteed six games a season and home-and-home series, the sources said.

That goes for obvious intracity rivals such as Mets-Yankees and Cubs-White Sox, as well as for more-forced natural rivals such as the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

PIRATES SEND MEEK TO MINORS: The Pirates have optioned reliever Evan Meek to Triple-A Indianapolis with instructions to sharpen the location on his fastball.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said he wasn't ready to announce a corresponding move Monday night.

Meek, an NL All-Star in 2010, allowed three inherited runs to score and was charged with one earned run in 12/3 innings against the Braves on Friday night.

He had a 5.59 ERA in nine games, allowing 12 hits and six runs in 92/3 innings.