Cubbies can win on road, as well
By: By The Associated Press
Chicago has built the best record in the majors mostly by winning at Wrigley Field. After taking the first two games in San Diego, the Cubs are showing they can win on the road, too. Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run homer and Mark DeRosa added a two-run shot to lead the Cubs to a 9-6 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night, their ninth straight victory. “We are finding ways to win,” DeRosa said. “We have guys who are swinging hot bats. We never feel like we’re ever out of the game.” The Cubs’ streak is their best since winning 12 straight games from May 19-June 2, 2001. By taking the first two games of the three-game set, Chicago won a road series for the first time since sweeping three games at Pittsburgh April 7-10. The Cubs had failed to win in seven road series since. “Right now, it’s fun to play with the way things have been going for us,” Reed Johnson said. “We are playing with a lot of confidence and it shows.” The Cubs have their best record after 59 games since the 1977 team was 39-20. In other NL games, it was: Milwaukee 7, Arizona 1; Atlanta 5, Florida 4; Philadelphia 3, Cincinnati 2; Houston 2, Pittsburgh 0; Colorado 3, Los Angeles 0; New York 9, San Francisco 6; and St. Louis 6, Washington 1. Jason Marquis (3-3) won for just the second time in eight starts, although he didn’t get past the sixth inning for the seventh straight time. Kerry Wood pitched the ninth for his 16th save. Corey allowed three runs on four hits in 11/3 innings. Adrian Gonzalez, the NL leader in RBI with 55, drove in a run for the Padres, who lost their third straight. “The biggest thing about that lineup is that they really forced us to come to them,” Padres catcher Michael Barrett said. “You don’t see them making too many quick outs.” Cardinals 6, Nationals 1 At Washington, The St. Louis Cardinals faced more resistance from Mother Nature than from the Washington Nationals, enduring more than 21/2 hours of delays before finishing off a victory. A miscue-filled, four-run first-inning, highlighted by Yadier Molina’s three-run homer, was all the Cardinals needed. The game’s two delays totaled 2 hours, 40 minutes, but Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse (6-2) returned both times to pitch the required five innings for the victory. Braves 5, Marlins 4 At Atlanta, Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer and Greg Norton came through with a two-run double in the eighth inning that gave the Atlanta another come-from-behind victory. The Braves actually won a one-run game, improving their mark in those contests to 3-16, despite two more homers by Florida’s slugging second baseman, Dan Uggla. Will Ohman (3-0) won for the second night in a row with a scoreless inning. Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 1 At Milwaukee, Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer to ruin a memorable night for Arizona’s Randy Johnson. Johnson (4-2) broke a tie with Roger Clemens to take sole possession of second place on baseball’s career strikeout list. in the first inning when he fanned Mike Cameron. That gave the Big Unit 4,673 strikeouts, still far behind Nolan Ryan’s 5,714. Johnson struck out eight in five innings. Brewers starter Seth McClung (3-2) gave up a run and six hits over six innings in his third start of the season. Phillies 3, Reds 2 At Philadelphia, Pat Burrell hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Adam Eaton pitched 62/3 impressive innings and the Phillies beat the Reds. Ken Griffey Jr. walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning to remain one shy of 600 home runs. Griffey wasn’t in the Reds’ lineup for the second straight game because of general soreness. He’s been bothered by a sore left knee, though he could return Wednesday. Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo homer and tripled for two of Cincinnati’s four hits. Eaton (2-3) allowed one run and three hits, outpitching Aaron Harang (2-8). Brad Lidge finished for his 15th save. Astros 2, Pirates 0 At Pittsburgh, Lance Berkman and Miguel Tejada doubled in runs, Wandy Rodriguez pitched six shutout innings in his second start after coming off the disabled list, and Houston ended a five-game losing streak. Chris Sampson, Doug Brocail and Jose Valverde finished up the five-hitter with an inning each, with Valverde getting his 16th save. Kaz Matsui went 4-for-4 with a sacrifice and scored both Astros runs. Rodriguez (2-1) was out for five weeks with a strained left groin before returning to lose to St. Louis 6-1 last Wednesday. Pirates left-hander Phil Dumatrait (2-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. Rockies 3, Dodgers 0 At Los Angeles, Jeff Francis outpitched longtime Rockies nemesis Brad Penny and Colorado snapped an eight-game losing streak, beating the Dodgers in a game that was punctuated by a bench-clearing brawl. Francis (2-5) gave up four hits in seven innings. Penny (5-7) lost his fifth consecutive decision over six starts. Mets 9, Giants 6 At San Francisco, Pedro Martinez came off the disabled list and got a win over the Giants, more than two months after leaving his first start of the year April 1 with a hamstring injury. Martinez (1-0) even hit a pair of singles and drove in a run to help his cause and boost his line, which read: six innings, seven hits, three runs, three walks and three strikeouts on 109 pitches. Barry Zito (1-9), who began the season 0-8, lost for the first time in his three career starts versus New York.