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Archive for Monday, July 25, 2005

Perez’s grand slam dooms Cards

Chicago takes two of three from division-leading St. Louis

July 25, 2005

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— Neifi Perez hit a grand slam in the 10th inning after Chicago blew a one-run lead with two outs in the ninth, and the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-4, Sunday night to take two of three from the NL Central leaders.

David Eckstein's single off Ryan Dempster (3-3) in the ninth made it 4-4 when Hector Luna slid around a tag at the plate, touching it with his hand.

Aramis Ramirez's 27th homer in the eighth, a two-run shot off Julian Tavarez, had given the Cubs a 4-3 lead as the St. Louis bullpen failed to hold a one-run lead for Jeff Suppan for the second straight start.

Todd Walker started the winning rally with a double off Al Reyes (3-2). Derrek Lee and Ramirez were intentionally walked around a sacrifice by Jeromy Burnitz to load the bases, and with two outs Perez lined Reyes' first pitch over the right-field wall and just inside the line for his second career grand slam and first since July 3, 1999 against the Padres.

The Cardinals jumped on Mark Prior for three solo home runs in the first inning, then managed only four hits the rest of the way and concluded a 6-4 homestand.

Henry Blanco had his second career four-hit game and drove in two runs for the Cubs, who are 7-4 since the All-Star break. Blanco, the Cubs' backup catcher, entered the game batting .176 with eight RBIs.

Lee was 0-for-1 with four walks for the Cubs, ending a seven-game hitting streak during which he was 11-for-31 with five homers and nine RBIs. One of the walks came with one out in the seventh against Brad Thompson, and he scored with two outs when Ramirez hit a 1-1 pitch from Julian Tavarez over the left-field wall for his 27th home run.

Ramirez is 16-for-35 (.457) during an eight-game hitting streak. He was 14-for-30 on the Cubs' seven-game trip with six homers and 11 RBIs and helped the Cubs raise their record in St. Louis the last six seasons to 11-33.

In six innings, Suppan was troubled only by Blanco and allowed two runs on five base hits.

Three of the Cardinals' first five batters took Prior over the right-field wall as Abraham Nunez connected with one out, and Jim Edmonds and John Mabry followed with back-to-back, two-out shots. Prior allowed only an infield hit in his last five innings.

It was the first time the Cardinals hit three homers in an inning since April 9, 2004 at Arizona.

Astros 4, Nationals 1 (14)

Washington - Eric Bruntlett hit a three-run homer with two outs in the top of the 14th inning. Bruntlett fouled off three straight pitches before pulling Hector Carrasco's 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence and into the Nationals' bullpen to give the Astros their seventh victory in eight games.

Russ Springer (3-3) pitched two innings for the victory, and Brad Lidge pitched the bottom of the 14th for his 23rd save.

Mets 6, Dodgers 0

New York - Kris Benson pitched four-hit ball for eight innings, and Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for New York.

Carlos Beltran tripled, Cliff Floyd had an RBI double, and Piazza had three hits.

Phillies 5, Padres 1

Philadelphia - Brett Myers (8-5) allowed one run in six innings and delivered an RBI double as Philadelphia completed a three-game sweep.

Ryan Howard had three hits, including an RBI double, for Philadelphia, which went 9-4 on its homestand. Ramon Hernandez had three hits for San Diego, which went 0-6 on a road trip.

Pirates 3, Rockies 0

Pittsburgh - Mark Redman (5-10) ended a six-week winless streak by allowing six hits over eight innings.

The Pirates turned Tike Redman's bloop double to short left field that should have been caught and Jack Wilson's ground-ball triple down the first-base line into a gift two-run second inning against Shawn Chacon (1-7).

Reds 3, Brewers 2

Cincinnati - Adam Dunn led off the ninth inning with his 28th home run.

Dunn hit a 2-2 pitch from Julio Santana (2-4) into the right-field seats to give the Reds their ninth victory in 13 games.

D-backs 3, Braves 2

Phoenix - Javier Vazquez (9-9) struck out a season-high 11 in eight innings, and Arizona withstood Andruw Jones' 31st and 32nd homers. Part-time player Tony Clark hit his 15th home run for Arizona.

Marlins 4, Giants 1

San Francisco - A.J. Burnett homered and pitched into the eighth inning, and Miguel Cabrera connected for the third straight game to lead Florida.

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