Reds
Cubs
5 - 2 Final
  for this game

Encarnacion, Harang help Reds best Cubs

Sep 19, 2007 - 5:12 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Edwin Encarnacion gave the Chicago Cubs' faithful every reason to boo Carlos Zambrano, but they did not take the bait.

Encarnacion drove in two runs and hit a solo home run to left field off Zambrano in the sixth inning as the Cincinnati Reds posted a 5-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

Zambrano, who was making his first home start since being booed off the mound on September 3 when he allowed eight runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings against Los Angeles, left the game after allowing the one-out homer to Encarnacion and a single to rookie Joey Votto.

"It was a pitch where I guessed right and hit the ball perfect," Encarnacion said. "I think it was my best swing of the game."

However, instead of hearing the "bronx cheers", Zambrano (16-13), who was pitching on three days' rest, received an improbable ovation as he walked off after allowing four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"These are the greatest fans in baseball and they have the right to do whatever they want," Zambrano said. "They paid to see a great pitcher, they paid to see a great show. We are still in first place, that's all that matters."

Jacque Jones drove in a pair of runs for Chicago (79-73), which had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell into a tie with Milwaukee (78-72) for first place in the National League Central. The Brewers beat Houston.

"You are not going to win them all," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "If Milwaukee wins every game the rest of the way they are going to win it. It's plain and simple, right now we have to win this series against the Reds."

In a matchup of staff aces, it was Aaron Harang (16-4) who pitched like his team was in a pennant race. Harang retired 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced and held a 3-0 lead until the Cubs put together a two-out rally in the fourth.

Chicago loaded the bases as Aramis Ramirez and Matt Murton singled and Mark DeRosa drew a walk. Jones then reached out and slapped a single through the hole between first and second base, plating two runs to slice the lead to 3-2.

"Games like this are fun to pitch in," Harang said. "I was able to hit my spots early and keep my pitches down in the zone."

However Harang, who improved to 8-2 in 14 career starts against Chicago, allowed just three hits the rest of the way. The 6-7 righthander allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

"The Cubs are an aggressive hitting team so you have to go out and throw strikes against them," Harang said.

"They have great power so it's important to keep the guys in front of Ramirez and (Derrek) Lee off base. The ball can fly out of here (Wrigley Field) quickly so it's important to keep the ball down."

Jared Burton threw a scoreless eighth and closer David Weathers rebounded from blowing the save in Monday's game, by working the ninth for his 31st save in 37 chances.

"My favorite part about pitching in relief is that you can go back out the next day and redeem yourself," Weathers said. "I had much better control and movement on my pitches tonight."

The Reds scored two runs in the first off Zambrano, who entered 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last two starts.

"Early on he looked a little fidgity," Piniella said. "Once he settled in he threw the ball fine. We just didn't have many chances to score and get him any runs."

Norris Hopper reached on an infield single and Zambrano hit Jeff Keppinger.

Brandon Phillips then put the Reds up 1-0 with a single to center and advanced to second on the throw home. One batter later Encarnacion made the score 2-0 by plating Phillips with a single to right.

"It didn't matter who was pitching," Encarnacion said. "We wanted to go out there and make up for last night's loss."

Adam Dunn walked three times for Cincinnati, which snapped a three-game skid.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 5 10 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - AARON HARANG, JARED BURTON (8TH), DAVID WEATHERS (9TH) AND
    JAVIER VALENTIN
    CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, CARLOS MARMOL (6TH), WILL OHMAN
    (8TH), KERRY WOOD (8TH), MI

    Sep 18 10:58 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO JAVIER VALENTIN SCORED BRANDON
    PHILLIPS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VALENTIN ON FIRST, E ENCARNACION ON
    SECOND, A DUNN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 5
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A HARANG (.101, 0-FOR-2, SAC)

    Reds vs. CubsSep 18 10:29 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY EDWIN ENCARNACION (14) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4, CHICAGO CUBS 2
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J VOTTO (.400, 0-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. CubsSep 18 9:42 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACQUE JONES SCORED ARAMIS RAMIREZ AND MATT
    MURTON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J JONES ON FIRST, M DEROSA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: J KENDALL (.288, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds vs. CubsSep 18 9:18 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NORRIS HOPPER SCORED JAVIER VALENTIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N HOPPER ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J KEPPINGER (.345, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Reds vs. CubsSep 18 8:33 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CIN - AARON HARANG
    CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO

    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.291, 27 HR, 58 RBI)
    R THERIOT (.266, 3 HR, 44 RBI)
    D LEE (.313, 18 HR, 74

    Reds vs. CubsSep 18 8:19 PM