|Chi. Cubs «||0||0||0||0||2||2||1||0||0||5||11||0|
The Cubs know if they keep winning games, this club will make an impact on the postseason even if Chicago will not be taking part.
"We're playing great baseball," Lee said. "We've got to continue it. It seems like we've done it before and fallen back. We've just got to push to the end of the season. I think we've been playing better when we've taken the focus off (the race) and focused on that day's game."
Jeromy Burnitz had a two-run single to end an 0-for-9 stretch and Lee hit a pair of doubles and drove in a run as the Cubs bounced back with their bats a day after managing just two hits against 20-year-old Matt Cain.
Prior (11-5) had his problems early, but recovered to pitch well in the middle innings -- he didn't allow a hit after the third -- and then received the run support he needed. He has won four of his last five decisions.
"He started out not very sharp," manager Dusty Baker said. "I was debating whether to start him out in the seventh. He ended the game strong."
Batting in the eighth spot in the order, Blanco connected off starter Brad Hennessey (4-7) for a drive over the left-field wall, just inside the foul pole. It was just his second homer since July 29.
Blanco's homer gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead, then Lee doubled in a run in the seventh that chased Hennessey. Ryan Dempster worked the ninth to convert his 12th straight save and 26th in 28 chances overall.
Bonds took a day off from baseball activity after five straight days of on-field workouts, and likely will resume his chase of Hank Aaron's home run record when the team opens a three-game series against first-place San Diego on Monday night.
The seven-time NL MVP, recovering from three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31, was scheduled to speak to Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' team orthopedist, on Saturday afternoon before San Francisco decided when to activate him from the disabled list to play for the first time this year.
"I saw it on the scoreboard," manager Felipe Alou said of hearing about Bonds' status. "I didn't have a lot of time to think about it because I was managing the last two innings. Tomorrow is the big day to make plans. He's been practicing and running around. That's good enough for me, of course."
The Cubs tied the game in the fifth on three straight two-out hits. Jerry Hairston singled, Lee doubled and Burnitz's single scored two.
Prior, making his first start against San Francisco since 2003, needed 37 pitches to get through the first and fell behind 2-0 before finding his groove.
"I was just struggling with my control," Prior said. "I was nibbling on the corners, especially with lefties. I was fortunate I was able to hang around. ... I shouldn't be throwing this many pitches."
After Moises Alou started the third with a single, Prior retired 13 of the final 16 batters he faced and didn't allow another hit. He allowed five hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked three. But he threw 122 pitches.
Hennessey's winless stretch reached eight starts, and he is 0-4 since a 3-0 win at Milwaukee on July 28. The right-hander was tagged for five runs and nine hits, and he gave way to Jack Taschner in the seventh.
"I was missing pitches after the third inning and I don't have the velocity to miss," Hennessey said.
Neifi Perez took over at shortstop for Chicago in the second after starter Ronny Cedeno was hit in the left hand by a pitch in the top half of the inning. Cedeno stayed in the game but had a hard time fielding and came out.
X-rays were inconclusive, but trainer Mark O'Neal said Cedeno could have a small non-displaced fracture in the hand. He will see a hand specialist once the team returns to Chicago.
|Mark Prior yields two runs and strikes out seven over 6 2/3. He improves to 11-5. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Corey Patterson, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.219|
|Jerry Jr. Hairston, LF||4||2||2||0||0||0||2||.265|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||5||1||2||1||0||1||1||.343|
|Jeromy Burnitz, RF||4||0||1||2||1||1||1||.264|
|Scott McClain, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||0||4||.167|
|Todd Walker, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.299|
|Will Ohman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Roberto Novoa, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Dempster, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.071|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.300|
|Neifi Perez, SS||3||1||1||0||0||0||1||.282|
|Henry Blanco, C||4||1||3||2||0||0||1||.265|
|Mark Prior, P||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.182|
|Jose Macias, 2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.273|
|2B - Derrek Lee 2 (45, Hennessey, Hennessey)|
|HR - Henry Blanco (6, Hennessey)|
|RBI - Derrek Lee (99), Jeromy Burnitz 2 (76), Henry Blanco 2 (23)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeromy Burnitz 2 (36)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Perez-Lee|
|Mark Prior (W,11-5)||6.2||5||2||2||3||7||0||3.64|
|Will Ohman (H,13)||0.2||0||0||0||1||0||0||2.37|
|Roberto Novoa (H,12)||0.2||1||0||0||1||2||0||3.89|
|Ryan Dempster (S,26)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.48|
|HBP - Niekro (by Mark Prior)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Prior 122-75, Will Ohman 14-7, Roberto Novoa 17-9, Ryan Dempster 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Prior 2-9, Will Ohman 2-0, Ryan Dempster 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Mark Prior 27, Will Ohman 3, Roberto Novoa 4, Ryan Dempster 3|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Randy Winn, CF||4||1||2||0||1||2||0||.289|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.275|
|J.T. Snow, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.278|
|Moises Alou, LF||3||0||2||0||1||0||0||.313|
|Ray Durham, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.301|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||2||0||0||1||1||0||0||.260|
|Daniel Ortmeier, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.222|
|Yamid Haad, C||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.048|
|a- Lance Niekro, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.263|
|Justin Knoedler, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Hennessey, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.188|
|Jack Taschner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Todd Linden, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.226|
|Jeremy Accardo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tyler Walker, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Edgardo Alfonzo, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.279|
|a-hit by pitch for Haad in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Taschner in the 7th|
|c-grounded out for T. Walker in the 9th|
|2B - Randy Winn (40, Prior), J.T. Snow (16, Prior)|
|SF - Pedro Feliz (6)|
|RBI - J.T. Snow (36), Pedro Feliz (76)|
|CS - Omar Vizquel (10, 2nd base by Prior/Blanco)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Yamid Haad (3, Wild throw)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Brad Hennessey (L,4-7)||6||9||5||5||1||1||1||5.12|
|HBP - Hairston (by Brad Hennessey), Cedeno (by Brad Hennessey)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brad Hennessey 91-58, Jack Taschner 13-9, Jeremy Accardo 17-12, Tyler Walker 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Hennessey 10-7, Jeremy Accardo 1-1, Tyler Walker 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brad Hennessey 30, Jack Taschner 3, Jeremy Accardo 5, Tyler Walker 3|
|Attendance - 42013|
|Game Time - 3:01|
|Temperature - 66|
|Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Angel A. Hernandez, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Brian Knight|