The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"For a month, I'll be running like Geo Soto, just taking my time,"
-- Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, on how he plans to rehab from a strained left hamstring.
Brewers 5, Marlins 3
If Florida keeps up its current skid, the Nationals may have company in the NL East basement sooner rather than later. They can blame Prince Fielder -- who hit the go-ahead homer in the fifth -- and Dave Bush, who pitched his third consecutive game of seven innings or longer in Milwaukee's latest home win. The one person they can't blame is Hanley Ramirez, who stil has a .358 average despite a 1 for 4 afternoon.
Dodgers 5, Phillies 3
It's starting to look as if L.A. has figured out how to win without Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers beat their NLCS rivals again Thursday afternoon, scoring twice in the top of the 10th after letting the Phillies force extra innings with a two-run rally in the ninth. The blown save was a rarity from closer Jonathan Broxton, and it cost Chad Billingsley another win after his seven innings of one-run ball. Not that Philadelphia's Cole Hamels was much worse: He gave up two runs -- only one of them earned -- in seven innings himself.
Cubs 11, Padres 3
Chicago needed a sweep and San Diego just needed something to get on track. In the end, only the Cubs got what the wanted. Piloted by a solid Ryan Dempster start, Chicago used huge offensive innings in the fifth and sixth -- in which they combined to score 10 runs -- to blast past the Padres. That sent San Diego to its 11th straight loss on the road -- the team's worst road-losing streak in 38 years -- and a strong conception that this actually might be the team San Diego had the potential to be, not the NL West leaders early in the season. Yet neither of those storylines were the best ones from the game. What was? Infielder Bobby Scales, who is finally getting a brief cameo in the sun after 11 minor league seasons. Scales has at least one hit in each of his six starts, and is batting .444. That that, expectations!
Astros 5, Rockies 3
What has gotten into Wandy Rodriguez? The young Astros starter improved to 4-2 with his latest quality start, a seven-inning performance in which he gave up just two earned runs while striking out 11. Statistically, his Colorado counterpart, Jason Hammel, let in fewer earned runs (three of his four were unearned because of a first-inning error), but that doesn't cushion the blow from yet another loss for the slumping Rockies.
Cardinals 5, Pirates 1
St. Louis wasn't about to watch the Pirates take an entire series, even if it was in Pittsburgh. Lefty reliever Trever Miller earned his first win in a St. Louis uniform, taking over for the suddenly scuffling Mitchell Boggs in the fifth inning and working one frame with only a single hit to earn the victory. A Cody Rasmus homer off Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens was the biggest offensive blow for the Cardinals, but Skip Schumaker did much of the dirty work in a 3 for 4 afternoon.
Mets 7, Giants 4
David Wright hasn't had the smoothest week -- a brutal throwing error already cost his team one game -- but he had a nice night last night. He earned headlines once for driving in Carlos Beltran to give the Mets a lead in the ninth, then earned more plaudits for tying a franchise record with four steals in a single game. That's pretty remarkable, considering the fact that his teammate Jose Reyes -- not Wright -- is the guy known for blazing speed. The Mets needed the help, too, with Carlos Delgado sitting out the game with a pre-existing hip injury that flared up and set-up man J.J. Putz unavailable after receiving a cortisone shot in his left elbow. That may be a concern for New York going forward, but the Giants have more immediate concerns. Closer Brian Wilson took his first loss of the year in a disastrous ninth. At least San Francisco has Emmanuel Burriss, who pushed his average up to .271 with a 2 for 4 game back in the leadoff spot.
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