for this game

Zambrano, solo homers lift Cubs past Cardinals

Jul 5, 2008 - 5:27 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings and the Chicago Cubs benefited from a pair of solo home runs to record a 2-1 triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Zambrano (9-3) yielded only four hits and two walks in six frames with five strikeouts. Kerry Wood worked around one hit in the ninth to record his 22nd save of the season.

Kosuke Fukudome homered in the first off Cardinals starter Braden Looper to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead and rookie Geovany Soto added a solo shot in the fourth.

"It was a three-two splitter and he just left it up," Soto said. "I was trying to put good wood on the ball and I saw it up and I got it right there."

"I felt pretty good. I made a couple of mistakes," Looper said. "The first inning I tried to go down and away and the ball cut on me. And the other inning I hung the change-up. On both of those they both made me pay. It's a game of minimizing mistakes as much as you can. Those two mistakes really hurt me."

Albert Pujols cut the deficit to 2-1 with a home run to left in the eighth, the 300th homer of his career.

Pujols' homer came off of Cubs reliever Bob Howry with two outs in the eighth inning. The Cardinals slugger improved to 5-for-9 with a pair of homers off Howry and reached 300 homers at the age of 28 years, 170 days. He is the fifth-youngest player to reach the milestone. Alex Rodriguez is the youngest, accomplishing the feat at 27 years, 249 days.

"It's just another home run. Hopefully, if I stay healthy, I can get hit a lot more in my career," Pujols said. "It's a great honor to be name with some of the great players in the game. I would have taken a win, that's more important. If we would had won the game it would have been more special. I don't play here for records or anything. I'm here to try to help my team win."

Making his first start since June 18, Zambrano continued his dominance of the Cardinals.

Zambrano was activated from the disabled list Friday to start the opener of this three-game series. He had not pitched since June 18, when he left a start against the Tampa Bay Rays with a strained right shoulder and went on the DL for the first time in his career. He threw a bullpen session on Sunday.

"It went good today and had no more problems with my arm," Zambrano said. "And we were able to win this first game, that's good. I knew I was feeling good. I was just trying to do my job and win the ball game. I appreciate the way they take the situation, like I've been saying all year long, we have a good bullpen. And we let the bullpen do their job."

"He had a good tempo and good quick innings," Soto said of Zambrano. "That's why he's the ace of the team. He likes big games. Whenever we have big games, he's the guy that wants them. He's a competitor and he's going out there giving you one hundred percent. I think he was better than right before he got hurt."

The 27-year-old improved to 8-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his last 11 games against the Cardinals. The Cubs are 10-1 in those games.

"It was a well pitched game on both sides," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Zambrano did exactly what we needed him to do. He went out and gave us six good innings and I think threw 87 or 88 pitches. He was exactly what we needed because we didn't mount too much offense. Just a good ball game all the way around. It was a good win. The first game of an important series and we came out

on top today. It gives us a chance tomorrow to increase our lead."

Jim Edmonds, who played in St. Louis from 2000-07, received a long standing ovation before his first at-bat, but finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

"I don't know. I don't hear much out there. I don't know what to say," Edmonds said. "It was great coming back here. It was good to see everybody, but it was a tough day. It's one I don't want to go through again."








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

    BATTERIES: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, BOBBY HOWRY (7TH), NEAL COTTS (8TH), KERRY
    WOOD (9TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RUSS SPRINGER (8TH), JASON
    ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AN

    Jul 4 10:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (18) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF BOBBY HOWRY.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2, ST LOUIS 1
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R ANKIEL (.260, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cubs 2, Cardinals 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 4 10:26 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs 2, Cardinals 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 4 10:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GEOVANY SOTO (14) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF BRADEN LOOPER.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2, ST LOUIS 0
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs 2, Cardinals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 4 9:11 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.302, 6 HR, 31 RBI)
    A MILES (.324, 1 HR, 13 RBI)
    A PUJOLS (.345, 17 HR,

    Cubs 1, Cardinals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 4 8:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. CardinalsJul 2 11:36 PM