|Zambrano cruises to major league-leading 14th win; Bonds remains at 754 homers|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 29 July 2007 22:36|
Zambrano pitched into the eighth inning and added three hits as the Chicago Cubs beat the Reds 6-0 on Sunday in Cincinnati, climbing within a half-game of division-leading Milwaukee.
The Brewers lost to St. Louis 9-5, making the NL Central the tightest it's been since opening day. The Cardinals moved within six games of Milwaukee in third.
``I think this is the best stretch I've ever had,'' said Zambrano (14-7), who has won four straight and seven of his last eight. ``I feel confident and comfortable. I've been hitting my spots and throwing more strikes. My arm slot feels good.''
Bonds went 1-for-4 with an infield single on the final day of the Giants' homestand, failing to come close to a home run during an 8-5 loss to the Florida Marlins.
Still one homer from tying Hank Aaron's record, Bonds is 1-for-7 with five walks since hitting No. 754 on Friday night. He'll take his next swing at the Hammer when San Francisco heads to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series against Los Angeles that begins Tuesday.
``I'm sure the fans will be pretty happy when we get him out. And be pretty mad if he gets a home run,'' Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. ``It's going to add a little intensity to the series, for sure.''
In other NL games, it was the New York Mets 5, Washington 0 in 4 1/2 innings; Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 1; San Diego 18, Houston 11; Colorado 9, Los Angeles 6; and Atlanta 14, Arizona 0.
Derrek Lee homered for the third time in four days for Chicago, which finished a 4-2 trip against the Cardinals and Reds. Alfonso Soriano also had two hits and scored a run.
Lee's two-run homer off Matt Belisle in the seventh inning gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. It was his second in less than 24 hours and 11th of the season, and it drove Belisle from the game.
Belisle (5-8) hasn't won in 10 starts over two months since beating the Astros at Houston on May 29. He gave up four runs and nine hits, struck out four and walked one.
Brandon Phillips' first-inning single up the middle and Javier Valentin's seventh-inning bloop single to center were the only hits allowed by Zambrano in 7 1-3 innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked three.
``He's a special pitcher,'' Cincinnati manager Pete Mackanin said. ``You can see why he's got the record he's got. He's a solid pitcher, and what he'd have? Three hits? He wanted to steal a base, but we held him down there.''
Much like Florida's pitching held down Bonds.
Sergio Mitre (5-5) was perfect through three innings on 31 pitches, and went after Bonds each time in their first career matchup - just like Dontrelle Willis did Saturday night. Kevin Gregg finished for his 21st save in 23 opportunities.
``We did what we've done all year, which is go after the hitters,'' Mitre said. ``It doesn't matter if it's Barry Bonds or whoever.''
Jeremy Hermida hit a tying RBI double in the seventh off Matt Morris (7-7) and Jason Wood followed with a go-ahead single as the Marlins ended a six-game losing streak. Miguel Cabrera homered, doubled and hit a pair of RBI singles on the way to three RBIs for Florida.
``I don't even care about Barry Bonds being in the yard,'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``I'm just happy to get a win. It seems like it's almost been a month.''
Cardinals 9, Brewers 5
At St. Louis, Ryan Ludwick's bases-loaded walk broke an eighth-inning tie, Albert Pujols followed with a three-run double and the Cardinals rallied from a five-run deficit against Derrick Turnbow (2-4) and Carlos Villanueva.
Ryan Franklin (4-0) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings as St. Louis won its third straight.
Mets 5, Nationals 0, 4 1/2 innings
At New York, John Maine shut down Washington, David Wright drove in two runs and the Mets salvaged a four-game split in a game shortened by rain.
Maine (12-5) struck out five without a walk and won for the sixth time in his last eight starts. This time he beat Billy Traber (2-2), who gave up five runs in 3 2-3 innings.
Phillies 5, Pirates 1
At Philadelphia, Jimmy Rollins had three hits and Kyle Kendrick (5-1) tossed seven strong innings as the Phillies completed a three-game sweep.
Ian Snell (7-9), who was 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA against the Phillies in his previous two starts, allowed three runs and six hits over six innings to lose for the fourth straight time.
Padres 18, Astros 11
At Houston, Mike Cameron and Adrian Gonzalez hit two-run homers during an 11-run first inning off Jason Jennings (2-7), and the Padres' bats came alive on the day franchise hits leader Tony Gwynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Doug Brocail (3-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings of relief to get the win.
Rockies 9, Dodgers 6
At Denver, Matt Holliday homered and drove in three runs, and Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0) went six innings for his first major league victory.
Chad Billingsley (7-1) allowed four runs in 4 1-3 innings, losing for the first time since last Sept. 16 against San Diego.
Braves 14, Diamondbacks 0
At Phoenix, Chipper Jones drove in five runs, Tim Hudson (11-5) allowed three hits in seven innings and the Braves ended the Diamondbacks' eight-game winning streak.
Livan Hernandez (6-7) dropped to 3-15 in his career against the Braves. He allowed eight runs and eighth hits in four innings with three walks and no strikeouts.