ST LOUIS: Yadier Molina had three hits and two RBIs in his return to the St Louis lineup, leading the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
St. Louis bounced back from Friday night's 2-1 loss in the series opener and pulled within a game of Pittsburgh for the second NL wild-card spot. Jaime Garcia is expected to come off the disabled list to start Sunday's series finale against Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens.
Molina also scored a run after missing the previous three games with a sore back. He hit a two-run double off Erik Bedard (7-13) in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-3 lead. Shane Robinson also had a two-run double for St. Louis.
At Houston, Aaron Hill hit a three-run homer in a nine-run fifth inning and Chris Young had four hits as Arizona routed Houston 12-4.
After the game, the struggling Astros fired manager Brad Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham. Mills was in his third season as manager.
The Astros have the worst record in the majors at 39-82. Young also drove in three runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Justin Upton added two hits for the Diamondbacks and Ryan Wheeler hit his first major league home run.
At Cincinnati, Brett Jackson hit his first career home run to help Brooks Raley earn his first major league win, leading Chicago over Cincinnati for a split of their day-night doubleheader.
The Reds won the first game 5-3, while the Cubs prevailed in the second game 9-7.
David DeJesus also homered and Starlin Castro had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs. Raley (1-2) allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. Carlos Marmol earned his 15th save in 17 chances.
Ryan Ludwick went deep twice and drove in three runs for the Reds. Todd Redmond (0-1) gave up four runs, seven hits and five walks in 3 1-3 innings.
In the opener, Johnny Cueto remained perfect under the sun and Cincinnati's Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead homer for the second straight game.