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National League Game Capsules (Saturday, September 17th)
Final Score: Chicago 2, Houston 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - It took escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning, but the Chicago Cubs edged Houston, 2-1, in their landmark 4,000th regular season victory at Wrigley Field. Rodrigo Lopez pitched six strong innings and Sean Marshall got out of trouble in the final frame, as the Cubs nipped the Astros by a run for the second time in this weekend series to hand Houston its 100th loss for the first time in franchise history. Bryan LaHair smacked a solo homer in the fourth inning and the Cubs held on in a battle of poor situational hitting. The teams combined to go 0-for-22 with men in scoring position and left 22 men on base. Houston was hitless in 14 tries with RISP and stranded 13 in its third consecutive defeat. The Cubs became just the third franchise in major league history to win at least 4,000 regular season contests in one ballpark, joining the Red Sox and Yankees. Lopez (6-6) allowed four hits and an unearned run while fanning seven to win his second straight start. Bryan LaHair homered to center leading off the bottom of the fourth off Henry Sosa (2-5), who lasted six frames.
Final Score: Atlanta 1, New York 0
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Chipper Jones' RBI single in the bottom of the eighth gave the Braves a 1-0 victory over the Mets in the second test of a three-game set. Tim Hudson (15-10) tossed eight scoreless innings for the win. He allowed four hits and walked two while striking out 10 batters. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 45th save of the year. The Braves were eliminated from the NL East title on Saturday as the Phillies took a 9-2 victory over the Cardinals, but Atlanta still holds a 4 1/2 game advantage over St. Louis for the NL Wild Card. Martin Prado was the only batter besides Jones to record a hit for the Braves, winners in three of their last four games. R.A. Dickey (8-13) allowed the game's lone run on three hits and six walks through 7 2/3 innings for the loss. Ruben Tejada had two of the Mets' four hits as New York dropped its ninth game in its last 11 tries.
Final Score: Philadelphia 9, St. Louis 2
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Shane Victorino finished 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, and Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam to cap a six-run eighth inning, as the Philadelphia Phillies recorded a division-clinching 9-2 victory over St. Louis in the second edition of a four-game set. Roy Oswalt (8-9) notched his first scoreless outing since August 19 at Washington, scattering five hits and striking out seven over seven innings. He departed with a seemingly safe 3-0 advantage. In the eighth, Michael Stutes served up four straight two-out hits -- the last two to Lance Berkman and David Freese which brought the Cards within 3-2. Brad Lidge came on to retire Allen Craig on a grounder to second. In the home half, Victorino provided the Phils an insurance run with a one-out RBI single. Chase Utley was plunked to load the bases, and after Ryan Howard struck out, Hunter Pence beat out a grounder to shortstop to make it 5-2. Ibanez followed with a shot to right and a seven-run advantage. Ryan Madson turned in a scoreless ninth and Philadelphia's fifth consecutive NL East crown was assured.
Final Score: Florida 4, Washington 1 (13 innings)
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - All eyes were on Stephen Strasburg as he made his third start since coming off of Tommy John surgery last September, but it was Donnie Murphy who spoiled the phenoms night by hitting a go-ahead two-run home run in the 13th inning. Mike Stanton added an RBI double in the 13th for the Marlins, who edged the Nationals, 4-1, in the second test of a three-game set. Strasburg tossed six solid innings, allowing one run on four hits, while fanning three. He threw 61 pitches, 45 for strikes, in a no- decision. Clay Hensley (5-6) came on in the 12th and struck out the side to pick up the victory. Collin Balester (1-4) pitched well in two frames of work in extra frames, but struggled in his third inning of duty. He allowed three Marlins to cross the plate in the 13th to take the loss.
Final Score: Milwaukee 10, Cincinnati 1
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Ryan Braun finished 3-for-5 with a three- run homer and four RBI, while Mark Kotsay ripped a three-run double as the Milwaukee Brewers thumped the Cincinnati Reds, 10-1 in the second test of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Yuniesky Betancourt also cracked a solo home run for the Brewers, winners in four of their last five games. Yovani Gallardo (17-10) worked six spectacular innings, giving up one run on two hits, while fanning a career-high 13 batters. The win, coupled with a loss by the St. Louis Cardinals, gave Milwaukee a 6 1/2 game lead in the race for the National League Central crown. Yonder Alonso smashed a solo home run for the Reds, losers of two straight and six of 10. Edinson Volquez (5-6) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.
Final Score: San Francisco 6, Colorado 5
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Brett Pill hit a pair of triples, including a go-ahead two-run triple in the eighth to give San Francisco a 6-5 win over Colorado in the third of a four-game set. The win cut San Francisco's deficit in the NL West to five games back of Arizona, which lost to San Diego on Saturday. Carlos Beltran went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for the Giants, who have won seven straight to get back into the playoff chase. Eric Surkamp started on the mound, but was pulled after 4 2/3 innings as he had walked six and given up a run on three hits with four strikeouts. Waldis Joaquin (1-0) earned the first win of his career for getting the final two outs of the seventh inning. Santiago Casilla worked a shaky ninth inning for his fifth save of the season. Dexter Fowler drove in two and scored once while Jordan Pacheco, Mark Ellis and Wilin Rosario each drove in a run for the Rockies, who have lost four of five.
Final Score: San Diego 3, Arizona 1
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Orlando Hudson hit the go-ahead homer in the fourth inning as San Diego got past Arizona, 3-1, in the second of a three- game set. Jeremy Hermida added a solo shot and Andy Parrino hit an RBI single for the Padres, who have taken the first two games in the series after suffering a three-game sweep in San Francisco. Wade LeBlanc (4-5) scattered four hits and one run over six strong innings for the win. Aaron Hill's first- inning homer was the lone offense for the D-Backs, who have dropped three straight. Coupled with the Giants' win at Colorado, Arizona's lead in the NL West was reduced to five games. Josh Collmenter (9-10) took the loss, charged with eight hits and three runs over seven full frames.
Final Score: Los Angeles 6, Pittsburgh 1
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - James Loney smashed a three-run homer and Juan Rivera clubbed a two-run shot, as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-1. Jerry Sands collected three hits for Los Angeles, which has won three of its last four games. Ted Lilly (10-14) gave up one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over seven innings to reach double digits in wins for the ninth straight season. Josh Harrison knocked in the lone run for the Pirates, who have dropped seven of nine. James McDonald (9-9) surrendered the home runs to Loney and Rivera among seven hits in three frames.