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Zambrano belts sixth homer, matches career high in wins as Cubs roll

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Carlos Zambrano even talks like a hitter.

Zambrano's sixth homer tied a Cubs record for pitchers, and Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run shot Saturday night that sparked Chicago to an 11-4 victory over the bumbling Cincinnati Reds.

"I don't try to hit home runs at all," Zambrano said, reciting the power hitter's mantra.

They keep coming, though, just like the Reds' ugly losses.

The Cubs took advantage of six errors by the Reds, their worst defensive game in 35 years. Cincinnati led the NL wild-card race for 46 consecutive days before unraveling in the last month.

"It was ugly all around," said Kyle Lohse, who gave up the Cubs' two homers.

Ramirez hit a two-run drive in the first inning that was his 36th of the season, matching his career high. Ramirez also has driven in a career-high 113 runs.

Zambrano (16-6) gave up four runs in seven innings while matching his career high for victories. The hard-swinging pitcher also started a five-run rally in the fourth with a notable homer that came off a good guess.

His 420-foot shot off Lohse matched Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins' team record of six homers in 1971. Zambrano's last two hits have been homers off the Reds -- he hit one against Sun-Woo Kim on Sept. 17 at Wrigley Field.

This time, Zambrano fell behind in the count 1-2, then correctly predicted that Lohse would try to put him away with an off-speed pitch.

"Two things can happen," Zambrano said. "He can try to strike me out on a fastball, or I can sit on a changeup. That's what happened. I was looking for a changeup and I got it. I got lucky."

John Mabry's two-run single highlighted the 10-batter rally, which was aided by a pair of errors and Bill Bray's bases-loaded walk to Matt Murton that drew catcalls from the crowd of 28,264.

Lohse (2-5) was out of the game after giving up Zambrano's leadoff homer in the fourth. The right-hander was out of sync from the outset - he thought the game was going to start later because of rain, but it let up.

"I didn't get it going," Lohse said. "You've still got to be ready to go out there. I just didn't have the feel."

Neither did his fielders. The Reds hadn't committed six errors in a game since April 5, 1971, against Atlanta. Third baseman Woody Woodward had three of the six that day.

The Cubs started the season with a $94.8 million payroll -- third-largest in the National League -- and hopes of contending in the weakened NL Central. They won the season opener in Cincinnati 16-7, a good start for everyone except Zambrano.

The emotional pitcher lasted only 4 2/3 innings in the opener, struggling despite a 5-0 lead. Pitching in the same ballpark five months later, he had to regain his focus to get win No. 16.

Zambrano was upset after giving up Brandon Phillips' three-run homer in the second inning on a pitch down the middle. Phillips had been in a 1-for-20 slump.

"I made one mistake," Zambrano said. "I said, 'That's enough."'

Between innings, Zambrano paced in the dugout, pointing to the left side of his forehead while talking to himself. The talk worked -- the right-hander gave up only two more hits the rest of the way.

"Other than that one inning, he was Mr. Everything," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Chicago remained at 92 losses for the season, its fifth 90-loss season in the last 10 years.

Besides the six errors, the Reds had a runner picked off second base in their sloppiest game of the season. They moved within a percentage point of first place in the NL Central on Aug. 24, but have gone 8-18 since to drop out of contention.

Notes

The game started 9 minutes late because of rain. ... Zambrano has 201 strikeouts, one shy of his career high set last season. ... Mabry's RBI single in the fourth snapped an 0-for-12 slump. ... The Reds made five errors against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, their previous season high. ... Lohse is 2-5 in 10 starts for the Reds with a 4.82 ERA. ... CF Ken Griffey Jr. has been out of the Reds' lineup for 16 games since dislocating a toe on his right foot.

 
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
Cincinnati

B. Phillips
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 5
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Juan Pierre, CF5121000 .290
Ryan Theriot, 2B5220002 .330
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5322001 .290
Matt Murton, LF4210110 .297
Angel Pagan, RF4111110 .256
John Mabry, 1B3023100 .212
Henry Blanco, C5001023 .261
Ronny Cedeno, SS5100013 .247
Carlos Zambrano, P4111023 .157
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Bob Howry, P00000001.000
   a- Buck Coats, PH1000000 .154
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
Totals41111193712 
a-grounded out for Howry in the 9th
Batting
2B - Juan Pierre 2 (32, Lohse, J. Johnson), Aramis Ramirez (36, Lohse)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (36, Lohse), Carlos Zambrano (6, Lohse)
SF - John Mabry (3)
RBI - Juan Pierre (38), Aramis Ramirez 2 (113), Angel Pagan (18), John Mabry 3 (20), Henry Blanco (30), Carlos Zambrano (11)
SB - Juan Pierre (55, 2nd base off Lohse/Valentin)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - John Mabry (1, )
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (W,16-6) 7644371 3.43
Scott Eyre 0.2100010 2.85
Bob Howry 0.1000000 3.22
Ryan Dempster 1100020 4.77
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 109-64, Scott Eyre 11-8, Bob Howry 1-1, Ryan Dempster 26-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 7-6, Scott Eyre 1-0, Bob Howry 1-0, Ryan Dempster 2-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 29, Scott Eyre 3, Bob Howry 1, Ryan Dempster 5
Cincinnati Reds
Dewayne Wise, CF5011000 .207
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4000103 .287
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3010110 .285
Adam Dunn, LF4120013 .239
Javier Valentin, C4000015 .267
Todd Hollandsworth, RF3110021 .245
   a- Norris Hopper, PH-RF1000001 .308
Brandon Phillips, SS4123020 .281
Ray Olmedo, 2B3100121 .216
Kyle Lohse, P1000000 .150
    Jason Standridge, P0000000 .000
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
   b- Brendan Harris, PH1000010 .231
    Jason Johnson, P0000000 .000
   c- Juan Castro, PH1000000 .246
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   d- Chris Denorfia, PH1010000 .243
Totals3548431014 
a-hit into fielder's choice for Hollandsworth in the 8th
b-struck out for Bray in the 4th
c-grounded out for J. Johnson in the 7th
d-doubled for Franklin in the 9th
Batting
2B - Dewayne Wise (2, Zambrano), Brandon Phillips (28, Zambrano), Chris Denorfia (3, Dempster)
HR - Brandon Phillips (17, Zambrano)
RBI - Dewayne Wise (1), Brandon Phillips 3 (74)
2-OUT RBI - Dewayne Wise (1)
PK - Brandon Phillips (2, Zambrano)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Edwin Encarnacion (25, ), Ray Olmedo 2 (3, ), Brandon Phillips (16, ), Javier Valentin (7, ), Dewayne Wise (1, )
Cincinnati Reds
Kyle Lohse (L,4-10) 3765132 6.04
Jason Standridge 0.1132100 4.82
Bill Bray 0.2111120 4.20
Jason Johnson 3210010 6.11
Gary Majewski 1000000 4.54
Ryan Franklin 1000010 4.74
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 65-45, Jason Standridge 20-10, Bill Bray 16-10, Jason Johnson 36-26, Gary Majewski 8-5, Ryan Franklin 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 4-3, Jason Standridge 1-1, Bill Bray 1-0, Jason Johnson 6-3, Gary Majewski 2-1, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 18, Jason Standridge 4, Bill Bray 5, Jason Johnson 12, Gary Majewski 3, Ryan Franklin 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28264
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Randy Marsh