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Chicago at Atlanta

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Cormier pitches seven strong, Braves send Cubs to another loss

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Lance Cormier never expected to strike out so many batters.

Cormier pitched seven solid innings and struck out a career-high 10, and Brian McCann doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth to help the Atlanta Braves beat Chicago 2-1 on Sunday, the Cubs' ninth straight road loss.

"It was weird. I'm definitely not a strikeout guy," Cormier said. "The cutter got me most of my strikeouts."

The Braves, who have won the first three games of the four-game set, began the day five games behind NL wild-card leader San Diego.

Atlanta is 6-0 against the Cubs this season. Going back even further, the Braves have won 12 of 13 against Chicago, which hasn't won at Turner Field since April 11, 2004, dropping six in a row.

In addition, it was Chicago's fourth straight loss overall. The Cubs have dropped 18 of 21.

Cormier (3-4) allowed eight hits and didn't walk anyone. The only run off the right-hander came on a homer by Freddie Bynum leading off the sixth.

"The cutter wasn't perfect," Cormier said. "Freddie Bynum figured it out, but overall it was a good cutter day."

Cormier also matched his career best with the seven innings pitched and got his first major league hit, a single in the fifth. He had been 0-for-7.

"It was definitely my best as far as strikeouts go, but I pitched pretty good last week against Philadelphia, too," Cormier said.

Against the Phillies, he allowed only three hits and one run in seven innings, but got a no-decision in Atlanta's 3-1 victory.

This time, Cormier came away with a victory.

"He had some good stuff. He spotted his pitches well and kept us off balance," Bynum said.

Braves pitchers struck out 15 overall.

Tyler Yates pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out three. Bob Wickman fanned two in the ninth for his 13th save in 14 attempts.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third on a leadoff double by Ryan Langerhans, Cormier's sacrifice and an RBI grounder by Willy Aybar against Juan Mateo (1-3).

Adam LaRoche doubled with two outs in the sixth. McCann, who struck out in his two previous at-bats, followed with his run-scoring double to left-center off Mateo.

"I was thinking, just don't strike out a third time. I went back to the basics and hit the ball the other way. That's the key to hitting in the majors," said McCann, who is batting .332.

He also had his left hand wrapped after getting hit on his glove hand when Mateo struck out in the fifth.

"It's just a bruise," McCann said.

X-rays were negative and he isn't expected to miss any time.

Mateo went six innings. The right-hander gave up five hits, walked two and struck out six.

"He threw a great game. He threw only one bad pitch. That was the slider he threw to McCann," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Cormier pitched out of a seventh-inning jam after Henry Blanco led off with a triple to right. Jeff Francoeur attempted a diving catch, but missed the ball and it went to the wall.

Cormier, however, struck out Ronny Cedeno, got pinch-hitter Scott Moore on a bouncer to second and struck out Juan Pierre, who had two hits off Cormier.

"Pierre was a tough guy all day and tough to strike out. I was not thinking strikeout. I threw a couple of pitches away and he swung, and got him on a cutter inside," Cormier said.

Notes

Cormier's previous career high for strikeouts was six at Florida on Aug. 20. Cormier surpassed that in the third inning when he fanned Mateo, his fourth straight strikeout. ... Braves SS Edgar Renteria started and batted third. He didn't play Saturday night because of a fever. ... Pierre singled in the first and third, giving him a league-leading 178 hits. ... Francoeur has started all 142 games this season.

 
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
Atlanta

L. Cormier
IP 7.0
H 8
ER 1
BB 0
K 10
Chicago

J. Mateo
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 6
 
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4020012
Freddie Bynum, 2B4111022
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4020001
Jacque Jones, RF4000032
Matt Murton, LF4020011
John Mabry, 1B4000023
Henry Blanco, C4010011
Ronny Cedeno, SS3010021
   a- Angel Pagan, PH1000010
Juan Mateo, P2000021
   b- Scott Moore, PH1000001
    David Aardsma, P0000000
Totals3519101515 
a-struck out for Cedeno in the 9th
b-grounded out for Mateo in the 7th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (, Yates), Matt Murton (, Cormier), Ronny Cedeno (, Cormier)
3B - Henry Blanco (, Cormier)
HR - Freddie Bynum (, Cormier)
RBI - Freddie Bynum ()
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Bynum-Cedeno-Mabry
Chicago Cubs
Juan Mateo (L,-) 6522260
David Aardsma 2000040
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Mateo 97-64, David Aardsma 24-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Mateo 8-3
Batters Faced - Juan Mateo 24, David Aardsma 6
Atlanta Braves
Willy Aybar, 3B4001002
Marcus Giles, 2B4010010
Edgar Renteria, SS4000011
Adam LaRoche, 1B2110110
Brian McCann, C3011021
Jeff Francoeur, RF3000012
Matt Diaz, LF2000111
Ryan Langerhans, CF3110021
Lance Cormier, P1010000
   a- Scott Thorman, PH1000010
    Tyler Yates, P0000000
    Bob Wickman, P0000000
Totals272522108 
a-struck out for Cormier in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adam LaRoche (, Mateo), Brian McCann (, Mateo), Ryan Langerhans (, Mateo)
SH - Lance Cormier ()
RBI - Willy Aybar (), Brian McCann ()
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann ()
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
Lance Cormier (W,-) 78110101
Tyler Yates (H,) 1100030
Bob Wickman (S,) 1000020
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Cormier 98-69, Tyler Yates 16-11, Bob Wickman 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Cormier 5-5, Bob Wickman 1-0
Batters Faced - Lance Cormier 28, Tyler Yates 4, Bob Wickman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28212
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Mike Reilly