Carlos Zambrano pitched 71/3 shutout innings to out-duel Oliver Perez and beat Pittsburgh for the fifth straight time this season, carrying the Chicago Cubs to a tense, 1-0 victory over the host Pirates last night.
Sammy Sosa preserved the Cubs' shutout with a sprawling, belly-flop catch of Ty Wigginton's bases-loaded, two-out line drive to right field in the eighth.
"I saw him closing and closing, then I saw it hit his glove, and I just hoped it stayed in his glove when he hit the ground," Manager Dusty Baker said. "That was a big play, that was a huge play."
Zambrano is the first to beat the Pirates five times in a season since the Mets' Tom Seaver went 5-1 in 1973.
The Cubs are 6-2 on a four-city, 12-game road trip that ends this weekend in New York.
* CARDINALS 3, BREWERS 2: Larry Walker hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, lifting St. Louis on the road. The Cardinals, the NL Central division champions, improved to 32-13 in their past 45 games. They are 47-27 on the road this season.
Today, St. Louis will try for its 100th win for the seventh time in franchise history. The Cardinals last achieved that mark in 1985, when they won 101 games en route to an NL East title and pennant.
* REDS 11, BRAVES 8: Javier Valentin hit a three-run homer to cap Cincinnati's five-run comeback in the ninth inning off closer John Smoltz in Atlanta. Chipper Jones's three-run homer in the seventh gave the Braves an 8-6 lead, but Smoltz (0-1) gave up four hits and five runs, walking a batter and throwing two wild pitches while recording only one out.
* PHILLIES 12, MARLINS 4: In Miami, Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer and Eric Milton won for the first time in more than a month to lead Philadelphia.
Mike Lieberthal, Jason Michaels and Placido Polanco each added two-run homers in the Phillies' second win in two nights at Florida after having lost 14 straight at Pro Player Stadium.
* METS 3, EXPOS 2: Mike Piazza hit a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning to help New York end a three-game losing skid with a win in Montreal. The Mets moved two games ahead of the Expos for fourth place in the NL East. Montreal has been in last place in the division since April 15.
Only 3,664 were on hand for the game, the second-smallest Olympic Stadium crowd of the season and the Expos' second straight crowd under 4,000.
* ROCKIES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Shawn Estes outpitched Randy Johnson and Jeromy Burnitz hit his 37th homer, lifting Colorado in Denver. Estes (15-7) didn't allow a base runner until walking Robbie Hammock to lead off the third inning, and didn't give up a hit until Alex Cintron beat out an infield single in the fourth.
* PADRES 4, DODGERS 0: Jake Peavy shut out Los Angeles for eight innings and Phil Nevin hit a two-run homer to lead San Diego at home. Peavy (13-6) allowed a leadoff single to Adrian Beltre in the second, then retired 12 of 13.
* GIANTS 5, ASTROS 1: Noah Lowry won his sixth straight decision and remained unbeaten in 13 major league starts, and Ray Durham hit a two-run double to lead host San Francisco, which won for the ninth time in 10 games.