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Lilly follows Big Z with near no-no

Lilly follows Big Z with near no-no

Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 2:40 pm
By: By The Associated Press

Ted Lilly came close to following Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter with one of his own in Milwaukee.
Lilly pitched no-hit ball until Mark Loretta’s seventh-inning single, and the Cubs beat the Astros 6-1 to sweep a two-game series moved from Houston by Hurricane Ike.
Hard-charging Houston had won 14 of 15 coming into the series, but the Cubs left the Astros 21/2 games back of Milwaukee and Philadelphia, which share the NL wild-card lead.
Aramis Ramirez’s first-inning sacrifice fly and Jim Edmonds’ homer off Brian Moehler (11-7) in the fifth built a 2-0 lead, and Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto hit two-run homers in the sixth.
Lilly (15-9) faced the minimum through six innings, allowing only a leadoff walk in the second to Lance Berkman, who was caught leaning off first and thrown out at second.
Meanwhile, Washington was a big part of the New York Mets’ historic collapse late last season. The Nationals are doing their best to bury the Mets again in 2008.
The Nationals beat New York 7-2 on Monday night and cut the Mets’ lead in the NL East to a half-game over idle Philadelphia.
“We didn’t hit. We didn’t pitch, as well. We didn’t relieve. When we were coming back, we hit into a double play,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel. “It was just a lot of different things. It was just a bad game, period, for us, at this stage.”
Manuel was New York’s bench coach in September 2007, so he knows full well what this team went through then. Last season the Mets lost five of six to the lowly Nats in the final two weeks of the season, as their seven-game lead evaporated.
“We come in and need a game and don’t play well,” Manuel said. “That can happen, but it shouldn’t happen at this time of the year.”
Everywhere Manuel looked, he saw bad news, and it added up to his team’s third loss in its past four games, eating into what was a 31/2-game cushion over the Phillies as recently as last Wednesday.
New York has 13 games left, Philadelphia has 12.
In other NL games Sunday, it was the Los Angeles Dodgers 8, Pittsburgh 2; Arizona 3, San Francisco 1; and San Diego 11, Colorado 5.
Dodgers 8, Pirates 2
At Pittsburgh, Hiroki Kuroda allowed three hits over seven shutout innings for his first road win in more than two months, and Manny Ramirez had three more hits to lead surging Los Angeles past Pittsburgh.
With Juan Pierre homering for the first time in nearly two years, the Dodgers rebounded from a 1-0, 10-inning loss at Colorado on Sunday for their 13th victory in 15 games — a surge that has given them a 41/2-game lead in the NL West over Arizona.
D’backs 3, Giants 1
At Phoenix, Adam Dunn homered with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead Arizona past San Francisco.
Justin Upton added his 13th home run for the Diamondbacks, who won for just the second time in 10 games to remain 41/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Padres 11, Rockies 5
At Denver, Adrian Gonzalez homered and drove in four runs, Wade LeBlanc earned his first career win in his third start and San Diego beat Colorado.

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