Brewers look good thanks to Sabathia

Brewers look good thanks to Sabathia

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:01 pm
By: By The Associated Press

That trade Milwaukee made for CC Sabathia just keeps looking better and better. Every time the Brewers’ new ace takes the mound, he gets them closer to October.
The big lefty won his fourth straight start with Milwaukee, allowing just three hits in his third straight complete game to lead Milwaukee over the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 Wednesday night.
Ryan Braun had four hits, missing the cycle by a double, and J.J. Hardy hit his 14th homer for the Brewers, who have homered in 19 straight games, tying the franchise record set in 1996. Not that they’ve needed to do much at the plate with Sabathia starting.
“You feel good if you can get CC one or two,” manager Ned Yost said. “Just give him a little bit of breathing room and work from there, it’s a good thing.”
Sabathia (4-0) followed up a four-hitter over Cincinnati and an eight-hitter over San Francisco with another gem and his 22nd complete game. Sabathia has won all four starts since the Brewers acquired him from Cleveland.
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound reigning AL Cy Young winner has won seven straight decisions overall in his last nine starts.
In Wednesday night’s other NL games, it was: the New York Mets 6, Philadelphia 3; Cincinnati 9, San Diego 5; Pittsburgh 8, Houston 7; Colorado 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers 3; Atlanta 9, Florida 4; the Chicago Cubs 10, Arizona 6, and San Francisco 6, Washington 4.
Cardinals starter Braden Looper (9-8) lasted five innings, allowing a run and seven hits. It wasn’t enough against Sabathia and the Brewers, who are one win away from a perfect 7-0 trip and a sweep of their division rivals.
Sabathia walked Brendan Ryan on five pitches to start the first, then retired 17 consecutive batters before Ryan’s line-drive single just to the right of first baseman Prince Fielder with two outs in the sixth.
Ryan Ludwick followed with an infield hit down the third-base line that Bill Hall could only knock down, but Sabathia dealt with his only bit of trouble by getting Albert Pujols on a fly out to center.
To start the ninth, Sabathia got the last two of his seven strikeouts, fanning Ludwick and Pujols to show he had enough to finish the job.
“That was as well a pitched game as we’ve had against us all year,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, “from the first pitch to the last.”
Cubs 10, Diamondbacks 6
At Phoenix, Reed Johnson had three hits, including a grand slam in the eighth, for Chicago.
Ted Lilly (10-6) drove in the tying run and threw six uneven innings to help the Cubs get their second win in six games since the All-Star break and remain one game in front of Milwaukee in the NL Central.
The Cubs broke open a tight game with a six-run eighth after scoring a total of two runs while losing the first two games of the series.
Braves 9, Marlins 4
In Miami, Atlanta won despite Chipper Jones straining his left hamstring and starter Tim Hudson departing with tightness in his right elbow.
Jones, the major league’s batting leader at .369, was hurt running out a groundout in the fourth and immediately left the game.
Hudson (11-7) allowed three hits and walked one, but departed after throwing just 68 pitches in six shutout innings.
Hudson singled and scored the game’s first run. Gregor Blanco had four hits and drove in three, and Yunel Escobar had two doubles and three RBI.
Mets 6, Phillies 3
In New York, Jose Reyes’ three-run homer snapped a sixth-inning tie and New York, with closer Billy Wagner back, rebounded from a demoralizing defeat.
John Maine (9-7) pitched seven innings and New York took advantage of a wild Brett Myers in his return from the minors to again tie the Phillies for first place in the NL East.
The Mets’ makeshift bullpen was missing an ailing Wagner when it blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 8-6 loss. This time the All-Star closer got three outs for his 25th save.
Reds 9, Padres 5
In Cincinnati, Adam Dunn hit Cincinnati’s first grand slam of the season, and the Reds kept Greg Maddux in the longest winless streak of his sterling career by beating the San Diego Padres 9-5 on Wednesday.
The 42-year-old Maddux hasn’t won since May 10, going 14 starts without a victory. He was thwarted again Wednesday with an assist by the Padres’ defense and bullpen.
Maddux left the game with a 3-2 lead in the sixth after giving up an unearned run. Edwin Encarnacion hit the first pitch by Cla Meredith (0-3) for a two-run homer that put the Reds ahead, dooming Maddux to his fifth loss with nine no-decisions since his last victory.
Pirates 8, Astros 7
In Houston, Jason Bay hit a two-run homer to help the Pirates earn their first road sweep of the season and first three-game win streak since May 6-12.
Doug Mientkiewicz drove in two runs, starter Ian Snell had an RBI single and the Pirates finished off their first sweep since taking three from San Francisco at PNC Park from May 6-8.
Rockies 5, Dodgers 3
In Denver, Matt Holliday drove in two runs, including one on a double that bounced off the pitcher’s glove.
Brad Hawpe, Ian Stewart and Garrett Atkins also drove in a run apiece for the defending NL champions, who closed out a seven-game homestand with a 6-1 mark.
Giants 6, Nationals 4
At San Francisco, Rich Aurilia lined a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth to cap the Giants’ rally.
Omar Vizquel gave the Giants an insurance run with an RBI double off Luis Ayala (1-6) on the heels of Aurilia’s hit. It was his third three-hit game this season.
Geno Espineli (1-0) recorded two outs in the eighth for his first major league victory and the Giants won consecutive home games for the first time since June 1-2 against the New York Mets. Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his NL-leading 27th save.

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