Zambrano loses no-hit bid, game to PadresJun 16, 2007 - 9:53 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) - Chicago Cubs righthander Carlos Zambrano came close to pitching a no-hitter, but wound up taking the loss instead. Russell Branyan homered in the top of the ninth inning to lead the San Diego Padres to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs on Saturday. Branyan hit a 3-2 pitch off Zambrano with one out over the left field fence for his fifth homer of the season.
"Actually I was thinking home run there," Branyan said. "He was so dominant all day. I was hoping he would make a mistake and leave one up, I was really trying to barrel up something."
Zambrano's no-hit bid was broken up with one out in the eighth when Marcus Giles hit a grounder up the middle that deflected off Zambrano's glove. Giles reached first without a throw, ending Zambrano's bid at history.
"He (Zambrano) pitched really well," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He had a no-hitter for seven plus innings and gave up only one run, he deserved better." The Cubs have had 14 no-hitters in their history, the last by Milt Pappas in 1972. Zambrano (7-6) went the distance for the first time since 2005. He allowed only two hits, striking out six and walking five.
"I have been pitching good and today I continued that," Zambrano said. "Nothing we could do but move on to tomorrow and try to take two out of three." Heath Bell (1-2) picked up the win for the Padres, pitching 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman needed just 11 pitches to close out the game in the ninth inning to earn his 19th save of the season, and 499th save as a Padre.
"They're all very special," Hoffman said. "It really points to longevity and trying to be consistent." The wild game also featured a benches-clearing brawl in the bottom of the fourth inning. The incident was touched off when Padres starter Chris Young hit Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee with a pitch near his head and surgically-repaired wrist. The two met near the first base line, and Lee threw a punch at the righthander, who in turn threw a punch at Lee.
"I don't like anybody throwing at my head," Lee said. "I believe that is what he did. I then reacted to our brief conversation, which will stay between him (Young) and I." Young denied throwing at Lee.
"I will say this I didn't throw at him, and I didn't try to hit him," Young said. "It had nothing to do with anything from the past, it was just a pitch that got away."
Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry and Padres righthander Jake Peavy were also ejected by plate umpire Mike Everitt for taking part in the altercation.
"We felt (umpiring crew) that both of those individuals were fighting, not breaking things up," umpire crew chief Gerry Davis said. "After reviewing the video we feel we made the right call, there will not be anymore penalties." The Cubs made a pair of errors behind Zambrano during his hitless stretch. With one out in the top fifth inning, Cubs third baseman Ryan Theriot was unable to handle grounder off the bat of Hiram Bocachica. To lead off the sixth, Giles looked to have the first hit for the Padres after drilling a smash past the glove of Mark DeRosa, who took a step to his left, at first base. But the official scorer made the questionable ruling of an error. Both Theriot and DeRosa were playing different positions than they started the game at due to ejection of Lee. Zambrano was attempting to join Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers as pitchers to throw no-hitters this season.
"I was aware I had a no-hitter in the seventh inning," Zambrano said. "Some things happened that were out of my control. I will just move on to my next start."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
SAN DIEGO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0
CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: SDG - CHRIS YOUNG, JUSTIN HAMPSON (4TH), HEATH BELL (7TH), TREVOR
HOFFMAN (9TH) AND ROB BOWEN
CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO AND KOYIE HILL
HOME RUNS: SDG - RUSSELL BRANYA
Jun 16 3:41 PM
AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY RUSSELL BRANYAN (5) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
OUT IN THE 9TH OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO.
CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, CHICAGO CUBS 0
DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: K GREENE (.226, 0-FOR-3)
Padres vs. CubsJun 16 3:31 PM
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