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Zambrano's win streak reaches six as Cubs clip Cardinals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Dusty Baker complimented Chris Carpenter last week, then cursed at him Sunday.

The Cubs manager and Cardinals ace got into a shouting match during Chicago's 7-4 victory, adding more friction to one of baseball's most bitter rivalries.

In the second inning, Carpenter walked from home plate toward the dugout to confront Baker, and an argument followed. Baker thought it stemmed from a series in St. Louis this month, when a Cardinals hitter told one of the Cubs that a Chicago pitcher stared him down whenever he got a hit -- and he didn't like it.

"Then Carpenter was doing the same thing to Nomar (Garciaparra) after he got that hit and after he punched out (Matt) Murton. So I asked him, 'What are you looking at? Why are you staring at the guy?"' Baker said. "Then when he went to back up home plate and he came over to our dugout and said, 'If you got something to say to me, then, you know, come to the mound.' That's when I got a little (teed) off and that's when I cursed.

"Maybe I shouldn't have cursed. I had just given him the highest compliment last week when I said he's one of the pitchers I respect most in the league, because he doesn't clown, he doesn't showboat. He just pitches."

Carpenter declined to comment, as did St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who has had confrontations with Baker in the past.

After the argument, there was no further trouble between the teams.

Carlos Zambrano won his career-best sixth consecutive decision, allowing 10 hits in a complete game. Murton and Todd Walker homered for the Cubs.

Murton hit his fifth homer in the sixth to break a 4-all tie, leading off the inning against Anthony Reyes (1-1) with a shot to center. Walker led off the seventh against Cal Eldred with his 12th homer.

The Cubs scored four times in the second off Carpenter, a leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award who is tied for the major-league lead with 21 wins. The Cardinals already clinched the NL Central title, so the right-hander departed early after a four-inning tuneup.

"I think that I wasn't going to throw many pitches today," Carpenter said.

Zambrano (14-5) gave up two earned runs and threw 126 pitches in his sixth career complete game. He walked one and struck out one.

He was two outs from finishing it when Baker came to the mound with two runners on.

"He told me basically this is your ballgame and the ball is in your hand," Zambrano said.

Baker wasn't looking to pull his pitcher.

"He didn't talk me out of it," the manager said. "I really didn't have my mind made up when I went out there. I kind of wanted to see his expression, his face. He said he felt good, that he wanted to finish it and that is what you like to hear."

The right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.85 ERA in eight starts since losing 6-1 to the New York Mets on Aug. 7. He left that game after three innings because of tightness in his lower back.

Zambrano's other complete game this year was a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia on May 8. He has dominated the Cardinals all season, going 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA.

"I really wasn't looking to strike people out," Zambrano said. "I was looking to get groundballs."

Zambrano also went 2-for-4 at the plate with his sixth double of the season, raising his batting average to .303.

Down 4-1, the Cardinals scored three runs in the fifth. Yadier Molina had an RBI single and Skip Schumaker reached on Garciaparra's error at third base. Molina scored on David Eckstein's grounder, and So Taguchi added an RBI double.

The Cubs scored four runs in the second to take the lead. Carpenter gave up only three runs to Chicago in three previous starts this season.

Carpenter gave up a single to Garciaparra and hit Jeromy Burnitz with a pitch. Carpenter struck out Murton, but after Corey Patterson's RBI double scored Garciaparra, things got testy between Baker and Carpenter. Umpires and teammates led Carpenter away. He wasn't the same afterward, immediately giving up a two-run single to Henry Blanco and a single to Zambrano. Neifi Perez added a sacrifice fly.

"I didn't make very many good pitches in the second inning," Carpenter said.

He gave up four runs and four hits, throwing only 60 pitches.

John Rodriguez hit his fifth homer leading off the second for St. Louis.

Burnitz had a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Notes

The Cardinals made two lineup changes just before the game, starting Taguchi over Jim Edmonds in center field and John Mabry over Larry Walker in right. Rodriguez started in left. ... The Cubs won the season series 10-6, going 5-3 at each park and winning each series for the first time since 1995.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Chicago

C. Zambrano
IP 9.0
H 10
ER 2
BB 1
K 1
Chicago

M. Murton
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS2011000 .288
    Anthony Reyes, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Duncan, PH1000001 .000
    Cal Eldred, P0000000 .000
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
   b- Einar Diaz, PH1000002 .209
So Taguchi, CF4011002 .291
Albert Pujols, 1B4020002 .336
    Scott Seabol, PR-3B0000000 .200
John Mabry, RF-3B^1B4000003 .247
John Rodriguez, LF3111101 .298
Abraham Nunez, 3B-SS4110010 .290
Yadier Molina, C2011000 .261
    Mike Mahoney, PR-C1100001 .159
   c- John Gall, PH1010000 .250
Hector Luna, 2B4010001 .273
Chris Carpenter, P1000000 .041
   d- Skip Schumaker, PH-RF3110001 .250
Totals3541041114 
a-grounded into a double play for An. Reyes in the 7th
b-grounded out for Flores in the 9th
c-singled for Mahoney in the 9th
d-grounded out for Carpenter in the 5th
Batting
2B - So Taguchi (20, Zambrano), Abraham Nunez (13, Zambrano)
HR - John Rodriguez (5, Zambrano)
RBI - David Eckstein (56), So Taguchi (48), John Rodriguez (23), Yadier Molina (47)
2-OUT RBI - So Taguchi (15)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Pujols
E - John Mabry (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter 4444120 2.42
Anthony Reyes (L,1-1) 2211241 3.24
Cal Eldred 0.1222001 2.10
Ray King 0.2000010 2.75
Randy Flores 1100000 3.72
IBB - Lee by Anthony Reyes
HBP - Burnitz (by Chris Carpenter)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 60-38, Cal Eldred 16-10, Ray King 7-5, Randy Flores 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 4-5, Anthony Reyes 2-1, Randy Flores 3-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 17, Anthony Reyes 11, Cal Eldred 3, Ray King 2, Randy Flores 4
Chicago Cubs
Neifi Perez, SS4001002 .275
Todd Walker, 2B4111002 .303
Derrek Lee, 1B2110200 .341
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B4110015 .269
Jeromy Burnitz, RF2101014 .265
Matt Murton, LF4111022 .333
Corey Patterson, CF3121100 .220
Henry Blanco, C3112021 .247
Carlos Zambrano, P4020012 .303
Totals307973718 
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (47, Eldred), Corey Patterson 2 (13, Carpenter, Flores), Carlos Zambrano (6, An. Reyes)
HR - Todd Walker (12, Eldred), Matt Murton (5, An. Reyes)
SF - Neifi Perez (4), Jeromy Burnitz (5)
SH - Henry Blanco (4)
RBI - Neifi Perez (52), Todd Walker (38), Jeromy Burnitz (83), Matt Murton (10), Corey Patterson (31), Henry Blanco 2 (25)
SB - Corey Patterson (15, 2nd base off An. Reyes/Mahoney)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Walker-Perez-Lee, Perez-Walker-Lee, Zambrano-Perez-Lee
E - Nomar Garciaparra (11, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (W,14-5) 91042111 3.17
HBP - Eckstein (by Carlos Zambrano)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 95-64
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 18-6
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 37
Game Information
Attendance - 38182
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Larry Vanover