Edmonds is the big deal that helps Cubs finish off Brewers
Posted: Saturday, August 2, 2008 12:00 am
By: By The Associated Press
The Chicago Cubs surely figured Rich Harden would be the big acquisition that helped them to a division title. Maybe even that long-awaited world championship.
But Jim Edmonds? Really?
Released just two months ago by one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, Edmonds hit two homers, including a grand slam, and the Cubs finished off a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers with an 11-4 rout to extend their lead in the NL East.
“I just got it started,” said Edmonds, who struggled early in the season with San Diego. “Nice to win, nice series.”
Five days ago, the Cubs and Brewers were tied atop the division after Milwaukee made up five games in nine days.
After the sweep, the Brewers have lost five straight and are five back.
The St. Louis Cardinals began the day four games behind Chicago.
Harden (1-1) picked up his first NL win, giving up a run and six hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts. He has yet to allow more than one run in any of his four starts since being traded to the Cubs.
“I felt as strong as I’ve been,” Harden said.
The biggest news on Thursday came out west, where the Los Angeles Dodgers landed Manny Ramirez in a three-team trade just before the non-waiver deadline.
Boston picked up Pittsburgh outfielder Jason Bay, and the Pirates got two young players each from the Dodgers and Red Sox.
The Dodgers could have used Ramirez’s big bat, too. They lost 2-1 to the Diamondbacks.
In the other NL games, it was Philadelphia 8, Washington 4; Atlanta 9, St. Louis 4; and Florida 12, Colorado 2.
Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome each homered for the Cubs, who swept four games from the Brewers for the first time since 2003.
“No one is happy after a game like this,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “We don’t like the fact that we allowed their fans to come into our park and have a four-day party.”
Chicago scored first in each game of the series, and outscored Milwaukee 31-11 in the series, all while stranding 35 runners on base. The Cubs improved to 8-2 at Milwaukee in the past two seasons.
Brewers starter Dave Bush (5-9) retired the first two batters in the fourth, but Aramis Ramirez walked, Fukudome doubled and Bush hit Mark DeRosa with an 0-2 pitch to bring up Edmonds.
The 38-year-old center fielder, who joined Chicago in May, hit an opposite-field grand slam to left to make it 5-0. It was the seventh grand slam of his career and the 27th time he’s hit two homers in a game.
The game nearly turned ugly in the ninth when Eric Gagne threw behind Edmonds on a 3-0 pitch and was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Doug Eddings.
“The umpire told me I can’t go inside,” Gagne said.
Edmonds took his base instead of escalating the situation.
“I really believe that you go out there, set that kind of example day in and day out and keep it together,” he said. “Not to say that they were wrong or anything, it’s just that that’s the way the game is, you can’t ride the ups and downs with this game or it will kill you.”
Did Edmonds think it was intentional?
“I don’t make anything of it, I know where it came from,” Edmonds said. “I’ve played this game a long time, I know what’s going on.”
Braves 9, Cardinals 4
At Atlanta, rookie Clint Sammons homered and drove in three runs to help the Braves snap a five-game losing streak.
Reliever Jeff Bennett (2-4) picked up the win with two scoreless innings.
St. Louis starter Joel Pineiro (3-5) gave up 10 hits and six runs in six innings.
D’backs 2, Dodgers 1
At Los Angeles, Brandon Webb allowed six hits in eight innings to win his big league-leading 15th game, and the Diamondbacks extended their lead over LA to two games in the NL West.
Webb (15-4) walked one and struck out six in outpitching Derek Lowe and continuing his domination of the Dodgers. The 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner is 8-0 in his past nine starts against Los Angeles, allowing nine runs in 71 innings.
Brandon Lyon blanked the Dodgers in the ninth to earn his 23rd save in 28 chances.
The win was the sixth in seven games for the Diamondbacks while the Dodgers lost for just the second time in seven games.
Phillies 8, Nationals 4
At Washington, Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth homered, and Philadelphia stretched its winning streak to five games by completing a sweep of the injury-riddled Nationals.
Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell added RBI singles in a three-run sixth that gave the Phillies an 8-2 lead. Washington helped by making three errors, two of which led to runs off starter John Lannan (6-11).
Kyle Kendrick (9-5) earned his first win since July 1, giving up two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Marlins 12, Rockies 2
At Miami, Anibal Sanchez won his first start in 15 months, and Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu hit home runs for Florida.
Sanchez allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. A shoulder injury that required surgery last June sidelined him for most of last season, after he won 10 games in 2006.
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (5-6) retired just five batters, his shortest outing of the season. He left after allowing six runs in the second, including two on bases-loaded walks.