Cubs' Zambrano continues his mastery of Pittsburgh

Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2005

PITTSBURGH — Carlos Zambrano beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the seventh consecutive time over two seasons, helping himself and the Chicago Cubs with two hits in a 9-5 victory Saturday.

Pitching 7 2-3 innings, Zambrano (12-5) won his fourth decision in a row overall, though he failed for the first time in 13 starts to allow three or fewer runs. He gave up five runs and five hits, striking out nine and walking four.

The Pirates are two losses from a 13th consecutive losing season. Chicago is 10-3 against Pittsburgh this year and 23-8 over the last two seasons.

The Pirates lost their eighth in nine games and their 11th in 13 overall.

Cardinals 4, Astros 2

HOUSTON — Chris Carpenter became baseball's first 20-game winner this season, and St. Louis took advantage of Roger Clemens' injury to beat Houston.

Clemens came out after five innings because of a strained left hamstring, leaving him without a decision in a marquee matchup of NL Cy Young Award candidates.

Carpenter (20-4) won his 12th straight decision over 15 starts, pitching his major league-leading seventh complete game.

The right-hander allowed eight hits in his 20th career complete game. It was his fourth victory this season over Houston, which has managed only three runs off him in 33 innings. He struck out eight and walked two.

It also was Carpenter's 10th straight road victory, the first NL pitcher to accomplish that since Bob Gibson won 12 in a row in 1970.

Clemens said he tweaked his hamstring during his at-bat in the second inning, when he struck out while trying to bunt. The Astros said he was day-to-day, and Clemens said he hoped to make his next scheduled start Friday at Milwaukee.

Nationals 5, Phillies 4

WASHINGTON — Preston Wilson's one-out RBI single in the 12th inning gave Washington a victory over Philadelphia.

Jose Guillen walked with one out, advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored on Wilson's blooper to right off Aquilino Lopez (0-1).

Hector Carrasco (4-3) threw a perfect 12th, although Bobby Abreu hit a drive to center field that Wilson caught with his back against the wall.

Nationals reliever Gary Majewski got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 11th.

Washington, which had lost its previous seven extra-inning games, pulled back within three games of wild-card leader Philadelphia. The Nationals also moved past the Mets for fourth place in the NL East.

Marlins 5, Mets 4

MIAMI — Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run double with two outs in the seventh inning to cap a comeback by Florida, which beat New York to give manager Jack McKeon his 1,000th major league win.

With two runners on in the ninth, Todd Jones retired Carlos Beltran on an easy grounder for his 34th save in 36 chances. He has converted 24 in a row for the Marlins, who are a half-game behind wild-card leader Philadelphia.

Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer for the Marlins, his 27th. Cliff Floyd hit a two-run shot, his first since Aug. 16 and his 28th this year, but barely missed catching Cabrera's liner.

McKeon (1,000-924) became the seventh active manager to reach the 1,000-win milestone.

Ron Villone (1-2) pitched a perfect seventh for the win. Juan Padilla (1-1) was the loser.

Braves 9, Reds 3

ATLANTA — Jeff Francoeur's three-run homer highlighted a five-run third inning, and Atlanta beat Cincinnati to move 20 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones each drove in a run in the third for Atlanta (78-58), which has won three straight and four of five. Rafael Furcal added a two-run single and Marcus Giles a two-run double in the sixth.

Jorge Sosa (10-3) labored through five innings, allowing four hits and three runs — two earned. Four Atlanta relievers followed Sosa with a scoreless inning each.

Padres 6, Brewers 1

MILWAUKEE — Woody Williams pitched six solid innings to win for the second time in 10 starts, and San Diego beat Milwaukee.

Williams (7-11) pitched out of trouble early as Milwaukee went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings. But the right-hander retired 11 of his final 12 batters to snap his three-game skid. Williams was 1-6 with a 6.44 ERA in his previous nine starts.

Rockies 11, Dodgers 1

DENVER — Byung-Hyun Kim won consecutive starts for only the second time in his major league career, and Brad Hawpe hit a three-run homer in a five-run fifth inning to lead Colorado over Los Angeles.

Coming off a 2-1 win at San Francisco, Kim (5-10) allowed one run and five hits in six innings. The only other time he won consecutive starts was in his 2003 finale and 2004 opener, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He has allowed two earned runs in his last three starts.

Hawpe, activated Friday after a stint on the disabled list caused by a strained left hamstring, had a career-high four RBIs. Garrett Atkins had three hits, including a home run.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 4

PHOENIX — Randy Winn homered twice and Moises Alou had three hits, including a three-run homer, to power San Francisco past Arizona.

The Giants' fourth straight victory and sixth in seven games moved them into second place in the NL West, 6 1/2 games behind San Diego.

Noah Lowry (12-11) withstood a three-run first to pitch six innings and win his sixth consecutive start. He allowed three runs, seven hits and four walks, striking out seven.

Mike Matheny hit a two-run single for the Giants.

Winn, San Francisco's leadoff hitter, homered off Claudio Vargas (8-8) and Oscar Villarreal for his second career two-homer game.

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