Ramirez powers Cubs past GiantsJul 11, 2008 - 10:27 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Aramis Ramirez cracked the big hit for the Chicago Cubs, while the San Francisco Giants again failed to deliver one of their own.
Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and Kerry Wood survived a shaky ninth as the Cubs defeated the Giants, 3-1, on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Ryan Theriot led off the eighth with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Tyler Walker (3-5) intentionally walked Derrek Lee, Ramirez lined the first pitch he saw down the line in left . It just stayed fair to give the Cubs the lead.
"I like being out there in that situation," Ramirez said. "I don't put pressure on myself. I think the pressure is on the pitcher."
"It's my job to execute pitches and I did not," Walker said. "So the "L" is in my corner and deservingly so."
Wood allowed the first three hitters to reach base as Bengie Molina's RBI single cut the deficit to 3-1 and put runners on first and third with nobody out.
But the closer retired the next three hitters, the last two with the tying run on second base, to secure his 24th save. Wood struck out Aaron Rowand, got rookie John Bowker to fly out to shallow right and induced Rich Aurilia to groundout weakly to first to end the game.
It was the fifth straight loss for the Giants, who have scored just seven runs over that span and four in their last four games.
"We are just not clicking on offense," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said.
The late-inning drama followed an excellent pitching duel between the Giants' Matt Cain and the Cubs' Jason Marquis, who each threw seven scoreless innings. Neither hurler allowed a runner past second base.
Cain retired 10 straight batters until Lee doubled with two outs in the sixth. After an intentional walk to Ramirez, he got rookie Geovany Soto on a weak groundout to second.
"I was feeling confident with anything I threw," Cain said. "I was just trying to keep them swinging and take advantage of some of their aggressive swings."
Daryle Ward led off the seventh with a double to right. He remained there as Cain struck out Mark DeRosa and Reed Johnson before getting All-Star Kosuke Fukudome to foul out to catcher.
Cain allowed three hits and three walks, striking out nine over his 115-pitch outing. He shut out the Cubs over eight innings on July 1, earning the win while recording 10 strikeouts.
"Matt did a terrific job he really pitched great," Bochy said. "Matt could not do more than he did for us today."
Marquis did not allow a hit until the fifth and worked out of his only trouble in the sixth when Fred Lewis and Ray Durham hit one-out, back-to-back singles. The righthander struck out Eugenio Velez and got Molina to fly out to right to end the inning.
He gave up three hits and two walks and notched four strikeouts.
"(Cain) is a quality pitcher and we saw what he did in San Francisco," Marquis said. "I had to keep the runs to a minimum and battle like our team has all year."
Cubs reliever Bobby Howry (3-2) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to earn the win.
"The wind made it a pitchers' ballpark today," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "It was a nice pitched game on both sides. Ramirez hit a big home run and this one is in the win column."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 3 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: SFO - MATT CAIN, TYLER WALKER (8TH) AND BENGIE MOLINA
CHN - JASON MARQUIS, BOBBY HOWRY (8TH), KERRY WOOD
(9TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
HOME RUNS: SFO - NONE
CHN - ARAMIS
Jul 11 4:44 PM
AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY BENGIE MOLINA SCORED RAY DURHAM.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MOLINA ON FIRST, E VELEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: SAN FRANCISCO 1
CHICAGO CUBS 3 TOP, 9TH
DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: A ROWAND (.293, 0-FOR-3)
Giants 1, Cubs 3 Top 9, 0 OutsJul 11 4:40 PM
AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ (17) TO LEFT WITH 1
OUT IN THE 8TH OFF TYLER WALKER SCORED RYAN THERIOT AND DERREK LEE.
CURRENT SCORE: SAN FRANCISCO 0, CHICAGO CUBS 3
DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: G SOTO (.288, 0-FOR-3)
Giants 0, Cubs 3 Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 11 4:27 PM
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