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Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

Zambrano continues to deal

Cubs starter throws another gem in his turnaround

June 23, 2007

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Cubs 5, White Sox 1

Chicago - Now, Carlos Zambrano is punching out the opposition.

Zambrano matched a career high with 12 strikeouts, leading the Chicago Cubs over the White Sox on Friday and sending their crosstown rivals to their 20th loss in 25 games.

Alfonso Soriano homered off Mark Buehrle leading off the game, and Aramis Ramirez, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, added a solo shot two outs later.

Zambrano (8-6) took over from there, striking out seven of his first nine batters and finishing with 12 for the fourth time in his career. He allowed three hits and one walk in eight innings, striking out the side in the first and third.

"I put it in my mind that it's a new season for me," Zambrano said.

He improved to 3-1 in his last four outings - in his previous start he lost 1-0 to San Diego after taking a no-hit bid into the eighth inning - and his earned-run average has dropped from 5.62 to 4.27.

Zambrano's lone mistake on Friday was Paul Konerko's homer with one out in the seventh. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a single, but Jermaine Dye grounded into a double play.

Zambrano is starting to build a case for his third All-Star selection - a scenario that seemed unlikely on June 1.

He fought with Michael Barrett during a game against Atlanta that day, leaving the catcher with a black eye and a cut on his lower lip that required six stitches. Barrett also had a heated exchange in the dugout with Rich Hill less than two weeks later and was dealt to San Diego on Wednesday.

"You have to have pride," Zambrano said. "All players have to have pride. It was embarrassing, what I did to one of my teammates. ... I'm a good pitcher, and I have to settle down and shut it off, start a new season."

Tigers 5, Braves 0

Atlanta - Kenny Rogers, making his first start of the season after a blood clot was removed from his pitching shoulder, allowed two hits over six innings to lead Detroit past Atlanta.

The Braves were shut out for the third straight game, their scoreless streak stretching to 28 innings.

After two rehab outings in the minor leagues, Rogers breezed through a Braves lineup that's having trouble scoring.

Marlins 5, Twins 4

Miami - Hanley Ramirez hit a tie-breaking homer with two outs in the eighth inning to lead Florida to its third straight win.

Dan Uggla hit his 14th home run and had three RBIs for Florida.

Nationals 4, Indians 1

Washington - A few days after earning a promotion based on a 43-game minor-league hitting streak, Brandon Watson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Washington.

Mets 9, Athletics 1

New York - Tom Glavine picked up his 296th victory by ending a five-start winless streak.

Dodgers 6, Devil Rays 3

St. Petersburg, Fla. - Luis Gonzalez homered and had two RBIs, and Russell Martin hit a two-run single to lead Los Angeles.

Blue Jays 9, Rockies 8 (10)

Toronto - John McDonald's two-run single in the 10th inning tied it, and Curtis Thigpen scored the winning run on catcher Chris Iannetta's throwing error to give Toronto the wild victory.

Rangers 11, Astros 3

Arlington, Texas - Sammy Sosa hit career home run No. 601, the first of three Texas hit in an eight-run fifth inning.

Craig Biggio singled in the fifth inning for his 2,993rd career hit, and Mike Lamb went 2-for-4 for Houston.

Orioles 7, Diamondbacks 1

Phoenix - Brian Roberts tripled and homered and drove in three runs, and Baltimore took advantage of three Arizona errors for a third straight win. The Diamondbacks swept the Orioles last weekend.

Reds 16, Mariners 1

Seattle - While Ken Griffey Jr. was being adored by Seattle fans in his return, David Ross and Brandon Phillips both hit two homers, and Aaron Harang worked eight strong innings in Cincinnati's rout.

Red Sox 2, Padres 1

San Diego - Daisuke Matsuzaka escaped a first-inning jam to outpitch Greg Maddux, leading the Red Sox to a win over the Padres.

Yankees 7, Giants 3

San Francisco - In a matchup of two of baseball's most feared sluggers, Barry Bonds' 749th career home run wasn't enough to overcome four hits and two RBIs for Alex Rodriguez.

Angels 5, Pirates 4 (11)

Anaheim, Calif.- Chone Figgins tripled with one out in the 11th inning and scored on an Orlando Cabrera single, lifting Los Angeles.

National League

Phillies 6, Cardinals 0

St. Louis - Anthony Reyes lost his 11th straight decision, failing to make it out of the fifth inning of Philadelphia's victory over St. Louis.

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