Carlos Zambrano was dominant again, allowing two hits over eight innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Dodgers, 7-3, yesterday in Los Angeles to avoid being swept for the first time this season.
The Cubs capitalized on Hideo Nomo's lack of control by turning three consecutive walks and four hits into six runs in the second inning.
"I haven't seen Nomo wild like he was today," Cubs Manager Dusty Baker said. "We got to take advantage because it doesn't happen very often."
Zambrano (4-1) has given up just one unearned run in his last 24 innings. He pitched a two-hitter against Colorado last Friday.
The right-hander gave up an unearned run in the seventh inning and struck out 11, walked two and hit two batters. The Dodgers' hits came on Adrian Beltre's infield single in the second and Shawn Green's double with two outs in the sixth.
Los Angeles added two runs in the ninth off Joe Borowski before LaTroy Hawkins entered with runners on first and third with two outs and induced Cesar Izturis to fly to center for his second save.
Nomo (3-4) gave up six runs on three hits in 11/3 innings, walked three and struck out one.
* BRAVES 6, CARDINALS 5: J.D. Drew homered against his former team for the second straight day and Chipper Jones had three hits, helping visiting Atlanta beat St. Louis and avoid a three-game sweep. Marcus Giles, Johnny Estrada and starter John Thomson each drove in a run for the Braves, who won for only the second time in eight games.
* ROCKIES 7-2, PIRATES 5-11: Shawn Estes followed the worst start of his career with six-plus strong innings to lift host Colorado over Pittsburgh in the first game of a doubleheader.
Royce Clayton, Jeromy Burnitz and Luis Gonzalez homered for Colorado, which won for just the third time in eight games.
In the second game, the Pirates' Oliver Perez pitched his second complete game of the season and Pittsburgh had a season-high 21 hits to earn the split.
* MARLINS 3, ASTROS 2: A mental mistake by Gold Glove catcher Brad Ausmus allowed the go-ahead run to score in the ninth, and visiting Florida rallied past Houston.
After Juan Pierre tied it at 2 with an RBI triple off Octavio Dotel (0-2), the Marlins loaded the bases with none out for Miguel Cabrera.
He hit a grounder to third, and Jose Vizcaino stepped on the bag for a force out before throwing home. Ausmus took the throw at the plate and relayed to first, failing to realize he needed to tag the oncoming runner because of the force at third. After a long conference, umpires ruled Pierre was safe at home for a 3-2 Marlins lead.
* PHILLIES 4, GIANTS 3: Jason Michaels homered for the first time this season and Vicente Padilla pitched six-plus effective innings in visiting Philadelphia's victory.
* PADRES 8, REDS 2: Ryan Klesko drove in two runs and scored twice, and Jake Peavy escaped two early jams to lead host San Diego.
* BREWERS 7, EXPOS 4: Doug Davis threw eight strong innings and host Milwaukee posted its third straight come-from-behind win over Montreal.
* METS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 4: Vance Wilson hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot off Brandon Webb, to lead visiting New York.