Cubs waste no time in igniting new fire

Cubs waste no time in igniting new fire

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:03 pm
By: By The Associated Press0

Geovany Soto drove in three runs, Jim Edmonds homered and the Chicago Cubs jumped on spot starter Matt Albers early and went on to beat Baltimore Orioles 7-4.
Jay Payton hit a pair of two-run homers off Cubs starter Ted Lilly (8-5) to lead the Orioles, who snapped Chicago’s 14-game home winning streak Tuesday night.
Lilly went seven innings and gave up four runs. Kerry Wood struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Albers (3-3) started when Brian Burres was scratched about 21/2 hours before the game because of illness.
But Albers’ outing was a painfully short one. He threw only 21 pitches and faced five batters in the first before leaving with discomfort in his right shoulder. Albers was charged with four runs and got only one out.
Meanwhile, Minnesota and Kansas City keep beating up on National League opponents, one reason the Cleveland Indians are in a strange spot: last place.
The Houston Astros keep slipping in the standings, too, and now they’ve apparently started fighting among themselves.
Before the Astros took on Texas, pitcher Shawn Chacon was suspended indefinitely by the team Wednesday after he reportedly grabbed general manager Ed Wade by the neck and threw him to the ground.
Chacon, upset after being demoted to the bullpen last weekend, was disciplined by the club for insubordination. He was quoted in a story posted on the Houston Chronicle’s Web site as saying he got into a confrontation with Wade before the game.
“He is suspended pending final resolution of whatever move we end up making with him,” Wade said, declining to provide additional details.
Barry Zito had a much smoother night, ending his long interleague losing streak by pitching the San Francisco Giants to a 4-1 victory at Cleveland.
That loss by the struggling Indians, combined with Kansas City’s 4-2 win over visiting Colorado, dropped Cleveland into last place this deep in a season for the first time since the AL Central was formed in 1994. The Indians hadn’t been last this late in a year since they were in seventh place in the AL East on June 25, 1993.
As for the Royals, they got a career-best eight innings from Luke Hochevar (5-5) to sweep the Rockies and win their fifth straight. Kansas City improved baseball’s best interleague record to 12-3 by winning for the 10th time in 11 games, all against NL teams.
The Twins, second in the AL Central, beat 350-game winner Greg Maddux 9-3 in San Diego for their eighth consecutive victory — all against NL foes as well.
Maddux’s winless streak reached nine starts, the second-longest drought of his brilliant career.
In other interleague games, it was: Boston 5, Arizona 0; the New York Yankees 10, Pittsburgh 0; Detroit 8, St. Louis 7; Cincinnati 6, Toronto 5 in 10 innings; the New York Mets 8, Seattle 2; Tampa Bay 15, Florida 3; Washington 5, the Los Angeles Angels 4; Texas 3, Houston 2; Philadelphia 4, Oakland 0; and the Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Chicago White Sox 0.
In the only National League game, Atlanta beat Milwaukee 4-2.
Zito (3-11) allowed four hits in 62/3 innings, striking out four without a walk in his best start of the year. He bounced back from one of the shortest outings of his career last Wednesday when he lasted only two innings in a 7-2 loss to Detroit.
“I looked at my record and stats and figured things couldn’t get any worse,” Zito said. “So then why not just go out, trust my stuff and don’t worry?”
The left-hander came in 0-6 with a 9.32 ERA in interleague play since signing a $126 million, seven-year contract with the Giants before last season. He had gone 0-8 since his previous interleague win, June 16, 2006, against the Los Angeles Dodgers with Oakland.
“I was just letting it fly and trusting myself, which is the hardest thing to do in baseball,” Zito said. “I definitely feel like I’m back.”
Brian Wilson got his NL-leading 21st save in 23 chances.
Tigers 8, Cardinals 7
At Detroit, Gary Sheffield’s RBI single in the ninth ended a game that included a rain delay of nearly 21/2 hours. Sheffield, who came off the disabled list Tuesday, and Carlos Guillen each had four hits for the Tigers. Rick Ankiel hit two homers and drove in three runs for St. Louis.
Braves 4, Brewers 2
At Atlanta, Kelly Johnson drove in three runs to back Jorge Campillo (3-2), and the banged-up Braves avoided a three-game sweep. Mike Gonzalez got his second save since coming off the disabled list.
Yankees 10, Pirates 0
At Pittsburgh, Joba Cham-berlain (2-2) dominated for 62/3 innings in his first major league win as a starter. Derek Jeter went 3-for-3 and scored three runs, Bobby Abreu had a three-run homer among his three hits and Robinson Cano added a solo shot as the Yankees won their ninth in 12 games.
Red Sox 5, D’backs 0
At Boston, in a matchup for the aged, 41-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (5-5) outpitched 44-year-old Randy Johnson (4-6), who has lost his past five starts. Jonathan Papelbon earned his 23rd save.
Dodgers 5, White Sox 0
At Los Angeles, Eric Stults (2-0) pitched a four-hitter for his first career complete game and capped a three-run fourth with a sacrifice fly against Gavin Floyd (8-4).
Mets 8, Mariners 2
At New York, David Wright homered in his first two at-bats a night after getting his first day off this season, helping John Maine (8-5) and the Mets rebound from two lackluster losses to lowly Seattle. Jose Reyes added a three-run homer and New York took the lead.
of five early walks by Miguel Batista (3-10) to give interim manager Jerry Manuel his first win at home.
Rangers 3, Astros 2
At Houston, Max Ramirez got his first two major league hits, and the second one was a two-run homer off Roy Oswalt (6-8). Miguel Tejada grounded out with the bases loaded to end it, giving C.J. Wilson his 16th save. The Rangers played without both Milton Bradley (strained left quadriceps) and Josh Hamilton (knee inflammation) for the first time this season, but still managed to beat the fifth-place Astros (36-42).
Reds 6, Blue Jays 5, (10)
At Toronto, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 602nd homer in the first inning off Roy Halladay, and Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th. Francisco Cordero earned his 15th save.

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