Cubs
Giants
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Baker's homer stuns Giants, Cubs stay alive

Sep 25, 2009 - 7:35 AM SAN FRANCISCO(AP) -- Jeff Baker became a Chicago celebrity for a day with one swing of the bat.

Baker hit a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, and the Cubs staved off elimination in the NL Central for a day by handing the San Francisco Giants a blow to their postseason hopes with a 3-2 victory Thursday night.

Had the Cubs lost, the St. Louis Cardinals would have clinched the Central. The Cardinals on Friday begin a three-game series against the NL wild card-leading Rockies, who lead the Braves by 3 1/2 games with San Francisco and Florida four behind. The Cubs trail Colorado by 6 1/2 games with 10 to play.

"How about that?" Cubs manager Lou Piniella declared. "Two outs, two strikes and he hits it into the seats off a good relief pitcher. It got awful quiet when Baker hit the home run."

Brian Wilson (5-6) walked Derrek Lee, who was treated for neck spasms afterward, to open the inning but got Micah Hoffpauir and Mike Fontenot on infield popups before Baker hit his fourth home run.

"We know what happened tonight. We had a chance to pick up a game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We were one pitch from winning the game. It's disappointing, there's no way of getting around that."

Aaron Heilman (4-4) pitched the eighth to earn the victory and Carlos Marmol put two runners on in the ninth but finished for his 15th save in 19 chances, including 11 straight.

"He basically solidified his job for next year," Piniella said. "Going into camp, it's his job."

Kosuke Fukudome had two hits for the Cubs, who won their fourth in five games.

Giants starter Brad Penny outpitched his former teammate with the Florida Marlins with eight solid innings. He allowed a run and seven hits, struck out four and walked one.

"It's tough with the situation we're in," Penny said. "Even going into today we were in a tough spot. In a close game you have to be perfect."

Cubs starter Ryan Dempster allowed two runs on seven hits in his seven innings. He walked one and struck out six.

"That was pretty awesome," Dempster said.

John Bowker hit his first home run of the year and drove in two runs. The Giants lost for the second time in 75 games when leading after eight innings.

"It was a tough loss for all of us," Bowker said.

Dodgers 7, Nationals 6=

At Washington, Rafael Furcal hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and Los Angeles handed the Nationals their 100th loss of the season.

Furcal's drive off Ron Villone (4-6) was his fourth hit of the game. Ramon Troncoso (5-4) pitched 1 1-3 innings to get the win, which reduced the Dodgers' magic number to one.

The Nationals, who were 59-102 last season, are the first NL franchise to lose 100 games in consecutive seasons since the San Diego Padres, who dropped 102 in both 1973 and 1974.

Padres 5, Rockies 4=

At Denver, Nick Hundley homered to start the comeback and drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single off Rafael Betancourt

The Rockies' cushion in the wild-card race was trimmed to 3 1/2 games over idle Atlanta.

Joe Beimel (1-6) took the loss for Colorado, allowing one run while getting just two outs, and Adam Russell (3-1) retired the only batter he faced to pick up the win.

Phillies 9, Brewers 4=

At Milwaukee, Jimmy Rollins capped a six-run fifth inning with a three-run homer, and Ryan Howard drove in two runs to help Philadelphia rookie J.A. Happ earn his 11th win.

Pedro Feliz had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run for Philadelphia, which amassed 14 hits and reduced its magic number to clinch the NL East to four.

Happ (11-4) tied Randy Wells of the Chicago Cubs for the most victories by a rookie.

Reds 4, Pirates 1=

At Pittsburgh, Bronson Arroyo limited Pittsburgh to one run over seven innings and the Reds completed their second sweep of the plummeting Pirates in less than a month.

Arroyo (14-13) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out four. Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 39th save in 43 opportunities.








  • Giants 2, Cubs 3 - FINAL
    CHICAGO CUBS ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    K Fukudome rf 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 .259
    A Blanco ss 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .259
    D Lee 1b 3 1 0 0 1 1 2 .306
    S Fuld lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .260
    M Hoffpauir lf-1b 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 .241
    M Fontenot 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .242
    J Baker 3b

    Sep 25 12:56 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JEFF BAKER (4) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF BRIAN WILSON SCORED DERREK LEE.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, SAN FRANCISCO 2
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: K HILL (.236, 1-FOR-3)

    Cubs 3, Giants 2  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 25 12:40 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHN BOWKER (2) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF RYAN DEMPSTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, SAN FRANCISCO 2
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: T ISHIKAWA (.262, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs 1, Giants 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 25 12:10 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 39 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs 1, Giants 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 25 12:10 AM
  • 74
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 74 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs 1, Giants 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 25 12:06 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHN BOWKER SCORED JUAN URIBE
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BOWKER ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM,4TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: T ISHIKAWA (.263, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Cubs 1, Giants 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 24 11:25 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND DP BY JEFF BAKER SCORED MICAH HOFFPAUIR
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 TOP,4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: K HILL (.234, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs 1, Giants 0  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 24 11:13 PM