Pirates
Cubs
0 - 8 Final
  for this game

Zambrano earns rare home win as Cubs beat Pirates

Sep 23, 2007 - 10:46 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The Chicago Cubs are getting their top starter in gear just in time for the playoffs.

Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings to earn his first home win in two months and the Cubs pounded out 14 hits en route to an 8-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Derrek Lee and Ronny Cedeno each homered for Chicago, giving the club 38 blasts in 23 games this month. The victory moved the Cubs (83-73) 3 1/2 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers (79-76), who dropped a 7-4 decision to the Atlanta Braves, in the National League Central Division.

"I felt all along we would get hot in September," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We still have some work to do. We did our job here now we have to take care of the last six games."

Chicago's magic number to clinch the division sits at four with six games remaining in the regular season.

Zambrano (17-13), who had not notched a home win since July 18 against the San Francisco Giants, got off to a quick start on Sunday, striking out the side in the first inning and yielding just three hits in six outstanding frames.

"From the first pitch on I knew I had my good stuff today," Zambrano said.

The burly righthander did come out for the seventh inning, however he threw only one warm up toss before leaving the field. Zambrano cramped up in the dugout while the Cubs offense put three runs on the board in the home half of the sixth.

"I don't know why that keeps happening to me," Zambrano said about the cramps. "I am a pitcher not a doctor. I have to start drinking more water to stay hydrated."

Zambrano walked three and struck out six before handing the ball over to Kerry Wood and Michael Wuertz, who combined for six strikeouts in three hitless innings of relief.

"The bullpen did a nice job," Piniella said. "Kerry has really thrown the ball well his last three or four outings, that is a big boost for us."

Chicago jumped on the board in the second when Cedeno scored Matt Murton from third with a single to right field.

The advantage stayed at 1-0 until the fifth, when Lee clubbed an RBI double and rookie Geovany Soto lofted a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 3-0.

Things got worse for Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny (14-9) in the following frame, when he allowed a one-out double to Zambrano and an RBI single to Mark DeRosa. Lee followed with his 20th homer of the season - a two-run blast that gave the Cubs a comfortable 6-0 cushion.

"You can tell right away Zambrano had his good stuff," Lee said. "We knew if we could get Z (Zambrano) some runs early and let him relax, it would be a good day for him."

Gorzelanny was removed after the homer and charged with six runs and 12 hits in 5 2/3 frames while walking two and striking out seven.

"The Cubs are swinging a hot bat and making the most of it," Gorzelanny said. "Every time I made a mistake they took advantage of it. That's what a team does when they are on fire."

Cedeno completed the scoring with a two-run blast in the seventh inning for the Chicago, which will look to clinch a playoff spot when it goes on the road to Florida for three games starting Tuesday.

"We still have some baseball to play," Piniella said. "We have to finish this off period. In Miami we have to play the same type of baseball that we played on this homestand."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 1 0 0 2 3 2 0 x 8 14 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - TOM GORZELANNY, FRANQUELIS OSORIA (6TH), ROMULO SANCHEZ (7TH)
    AND RONNY PAULINO
    CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, KERRY WOOD (7TH), MIKE WUERTZ
    (9TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO


    Sep 23 4:56 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RONNY CEDENO (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF ROMULO SANCHEZ SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, CHICAGO CUBS 8
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: K WOOD (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 23 4:27 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DERREK LEE (20) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF TOM GORZELANNY SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, CHICAGO CUBS 6
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.313, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 23 4:08 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK DEROSA SCORED CARLOS ZAMBRANO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M DEROSA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.318, 1-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 23 4:06 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GEOVANY SOTO SCORED DERREK LEE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M MURTON ON FIRST, A RAMIREZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C MONROE (.225, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 23 3:51 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DERREK LEE SCORED ALFONSO SORIANO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D LEE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.313, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 23 3:47 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNY CEDENO SCORED MATT MURTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CEDENO ON FIRST, G SOTO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C ZAMBRANO (.253, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 23 2:51 PM