Cubs
Pirates
5 - 1 Final
  for this game

Zambrano strong as Cubs beat Pirates

Sep 9, 2007 - 3:24 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Carlos Zambrano wouldn't have been hearing boos in Chicago after his latest performance.

The embattled righthander carried a one-hitter into the seventh inning as the Chicago Cubs posted a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.

Alfonso Soriano homered for the Cubs (72-69), who remained tied for first place with the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central, one game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. Milwaukee (72-69) beat the Cincinnati Reds while St. Louis is at Arizona.

"He really had his thing going," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "He had the cutter and he had the splitter and you saw how tough he was. He's very capable of doing that any time he takes the mound."

Zambrano (15-12) entered having lost five straight starts and 0-3 with a 9.56 ERA since signing a five-year, $91.5 million contract extension. In his last outing Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Zambrano was booed by the fans at Wrigley Field after being tagged for eight runs in 4 1/3 frames. The Venezuelan shot back at the fans through the media after the game.

"I had a nice talk with him and the pitching coach the other day and I said, 'Let's put all that behind you.' We need a strong finish from you," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "That's what's important and he rewarded us with a really good performance. Just get into a good rhythm and throw the ball and challenge the hitters. That's what we talked about a few days ago."

It didn't look good on paper for Zambrano against the Pirates, who had beaten him four times in five starts against them this season.

The righthander allowed just a first-inning single to Nate McLouth and three walks entering the seventh frame. Adam LaRoche singled to lead off the frame and Zambrano issued walks to Jose Bautista and Ryan Doumit before departing.

"He's in the habit of getting people out and that's exactly what he did," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "It's good to see your No. 1 starter with a win after (six) starts (that resulted in a Cubs loss). He pitched a good ball game. We jumped out to an early lead which is good to see."

Zambrano finished allowing one runs and two hits with five walks and eight strikeouts in six-plus innings.

"I've been feeling good the last two or three starts, Zambrano said. "Larry (Rothschild) talked to me the other day and he said I was giving up a lot of runs with two outs, so I tried to make adjustments today with two outs. It was hot and humid, but I went out there and just tried to do my job, even with two outs.

"I was trying to do too much for the team, but I know we have a good bullpen. Everybody here is trying to do their best to lead this team to the playoffs."

Hard-throwing Carlos Marmol entered, surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jack Wilson before retiring the next two batters to escape. Marmol, however, loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Bobby Howry got Ronnie Paulino on a groundout to end that threat and Ryan Dempster finished off the Bucs in the ninth.

"Marmol did a really good job of getting out of the seventh and Howry did a real nice job of getting out of the eighth, and Dempster finished it up so it was a good win," Piniella said. "Let's hope we can win the series tomorrow."

Chicago got to Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell (9-12) in the first, when rookie Ryan Theriot tripled to right and Derrek Lee followed with a ground single to left field. Soriano increased the edge to 3-0 with a two-run homer - his 23rd and third in three days - off Snell in the fifth.

Chicago added a fourth run in the seventh, when Jason Kendall doubled and scored on a ground ball hit by Jacque Jones that went right through LaRoche's legs at first base for an error. Jones capped the scoring with an RBI triple in the ninth.

Snell, who won for just the second time in 11 starts on last Sunday when he allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings, was charged with four runs - three earned - and seven hits in seven innings.

Pittsburgh left fielder Jason Bay left the game in the fifth inning with a knee injury








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 5 8 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, CARLOS MARMOL (7TH), BOBBY HOWRY (8TH), RYAN
    DEMPSTER (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    PIT - IAN SNELL, FRANQUELIS OSORIA (8TH), JOHN GRABOW
    (9TH) AN

    Sep 8 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY JACQUE JONES SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J JONES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: B HOWRY (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cubs vs. PiratesSep 8 9:26 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JACK WILSON SCORED ADAM LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R PAULINO ON FIRST, J BAUTISTA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: I SNELL (.100, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. PiratesSep 8 8:56 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY ADAM LAROCHE ALLOWED JASON KENDALL TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C ZAMBRANO (.275, 1-FOR-1, SAC)

    Cubs vs. PiratesSep 8 8:38 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. PiratesSep 8 8:23 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (23) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF IAN SNELL SCORED JACQUE JONES.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, PITTSBURGH 0
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.282, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. PiratesSep 8 8:22 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 1 3 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO
    PIT - IAN SNELL

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MORGAN (.300, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
    N MCLOUTH (.245, 11 HR, 29 RBI)
    F SANCHEZ (.316, 11 HR, 73 RBI)

    Cubs vs. PiratesSep 8 7:15 PM