Rallying Brewers sweep Redbirds
Posted: Friday, July 25, 2008 8:59 pm
By: By The Associated Press
No team in baseball is playing as well as the Milwaukee Brewers and no hitter is on a tear like Ryan Braun.
The left fielder hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to cap his second straight four-hit game and Milwaukee won its eighth straight, 4-3 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
The latest win completed a 7-0 road trip that included a four-game sweep of the Cardinals.
The run, which has coincided with the acquisition of starter CC Sabathia from Cleveland, has the Brewers within one game of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
“Clutch hitting, great pitching, this was a great road trip,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve got a lot of clutch players, a lot of guys who really want to win and it shows.”
In other NL games Thursday, it was: New York 3, Philadelphia 1; Chicago 6, Florida 3; Pittsburgh 9, San Diego 1; and San Francisco 1, Washington 0.
Braun, who has reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances, went 14-for-29 on the trip with three homers.
He said the home run off closer Ryan Franklin (3-4) that gave Milwaukee a 4-3 lead, provided him with a huge thrill.
The Brewers have hit at least one home run in each of their last 20 games, a franchise record.
J.J. Hardy had three hits and Prince Fielder added two for the Brewers as their Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters went 9-for-12 on a night Milwaukee had 10 hits.
Eric Gagne (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Salomon Torres recorded his 19th save.
Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets allowed two earned runs and struck out four in seven innings of work.
St. Louis scored in the first and third innings and carried a 3-2 lead into the ninth.
Hardy started the winning rally with a one-out single.
Braun then ripped an 0-1 offering from Franklin into the bleachers in left-center.
Cubs 6, Marlins 3
Carlos Zambrano pitched seven solid innings and the host Cubs got home runs from Henry Blanco and Ronny Cedeno to snap a 10-game losing streak to Florida.
Aramis Ramirez had a two-run double for the Cubs who were coming off a 2-4 road trip.
Zambrano (11-4) held the Marlins to two runs and five hits, striking out six and hitting a batter.
Carlos Marmol, subbing for closer Kerry Wood who was placed on the 15-day disabled before the game, got four outs for his fourth save.
Mets 3, Phillies 1
Carlos Delgado hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning and host New York took over sole possession of first place in the NL East for the first time since April 19.
Oliver Perez struck out 12 in 7 2-3 innings, and Billy Wagner got three outs for his second save in as many days. The Mets took two of three in the series after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning of the opener.
Delgado hit a two-strike pitch from J.C. Romero (4-3) with two outs in the eighth to break the 1-1 tie.
Perez left after hitting Ryan Howard with a pitch to load the bases with two outs in the eighth. Aaron Heilman (1-3) came in and got Jayson Werth to fly out to center.
Pirates 9, Padres 1
Yoslan Herrera pitched six shutout innings for his first major league win, and host Pittsburgh got back-to-back homers from Jason Bay and Xavier Nady.
Nate McLouth homered and had three RBIs for the Pirates, who have won four straight. They stopped a six-game skid against the Padres, who have lost nine of 10 overall.
Herrera (1-1), making his third big league start since being called up from Double-A Altoona on July 12, allowed six singles and one walk while striking out four.
Giants 1, Nationals 0
Matt Cain pitched a four-hitter and Dave Roberts singled home a run in the eighth inning as San Francisco completed its first three-game home sweep of the season.
Cain (6-8) retired his first 11 batters and didn’t issue a walk for the first time this year. He struck out four to boost his total to 130.
This was the Giants’ seventh shutout this year and the 13th time Washington has been blanked, a major league high.
Washington’s Cristian Guzman doubled with one out in the ninth to put runners on second and third. Cain got Ryan Zimmerman and Austin Kearns to fly out to end the game.
Tim Redding (7-5) allowed seven hits in eight innings.