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Zambrano's wild sixth dooms Cubs vs. Rockies

Sep 29, 2006 - 8:57 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Carlos Zambrano may have set a career high in strikeouts, but he can thank a wild sixth inning for his failure to establish a personal best in wins.

The Colorado Rockies scored three runs in the sixth against Zambrano without recording a hit en route to a 5-2 triumph in the opening contest of a series-ending three-game series.

Zambrano (16-7) allowed four runs - two earned - and three hits in seven innings as he failed to surpass his victory total of 2004. His nine strikeouts gave him a career-best 210, but he was hindered by four walks, including three in the sixth frame.

"I had trouble with my command in that one inning," Zambrano said. "That was the big problem for me."

The game was tied, 1-1, before Zambrano issued consecutive walks to Garrett Atkins and Matt Holliday with one out in the sixth. Atkins scored the go-ahead run when Cubs first baseman John Mabry let a ground ball by Todd Helton get by him, and after Brad Hawpe was walked intentionally to load the bases, Zambrano hit Troy Tulowitzki to force in a run. Chris Iannetta gave the visitors a 4-1 lead by plating Helton on a groundout.

"Zambrano was pitching good, I was lucky he walked me," Atkins said. "The guys behind me like Helton and Hawpe were able to come through for us."

Hawpe made it 5-2 with an RBI single off Scott Eyre in the eighth.

"We were able to put some people on and find ways to score them," said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, whose team surrendered 36 runs in a three-game home sweep to Los Angeles. "After what we went through in the Dodgers series, getting some late runs and breaking things open meant a lot."

Josh Fogg (11-9) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for his 50th career victory. Brian Fuentes began the ninth by surrendering a double to Ryan Theriot and hitting Aramis Ramirez but escaped the jam for his 30th save.

"It was nice to finish the season with two good outings," Fogg said. "They were very aggressive with the bats and that played right into my hands. I was able to get a lot of ground balls today."

Juan Pierre led off the bottom of the first with his 200th hit of the season. No Cub had reached the milestone since Ryne Sandberg in 1984.

"Geno (Cubs batting coach Gene Clines) did a lot of work with me this year," Pierre said. "I had confidence in myself that I would get it going, but having his support really helped me. I have to thank Geno a lot."

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