Chicago at Atlanta

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Chi. Cubs (74-47) «20322020011140
Atlanta (55-66)0112003007141

Cubs ruin Kotsay's cycle, Glavine's return to sweep Braves for first time

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- The Chicago Cubs are proving they are more than just Wrigley Field winners.

The Cubs, who are tied for the most home wins in the majors, stretched their lead in the NL Central with their eighth straight road victory.

Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano hit home runs and the Cubs beat Atlanta 11-7 on Thursday night, giving Chicago a sweep of the season series for the first time since the rivalry between the franchises began in 1876.

The Cubs stretched their lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central to 4½ games.

The Cubs, who swept the Braves in a three-game series in Chicago June 10-12, were dominant in adding three straight wins in Atlanta. The Cubs outscored the Braves 29-9 and have their longest road winning streak since 12 straight wins away from Wrigley Field in 1945.

"I knew all along that for us to spurt, we needed to play better on the road," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "We needed to put more runs on the board, and that's exactly what we have done."

The Cubs overcame a brief benches-clearing skirmish and only the second cycle in Atlanta history.

Mark Kotsay went 5-for-5 and joined Albert Hall as the only Atlanta players to single, double, triple and homer in the same game.

Kotsay drove in a run with a second-inning triple, homered off Chicago starter Ted Lilly in the fourth and added singles in the sixth off Lilly and the ninth off Kerry Wood. Kotsay's seventh-inning double off reliever Bob Howry was his 1,500th career hit.

Kotsay said the sweep ended any thoughts of celebrating the personal highlight.

"It's a selfish accomplishment," Kotsay said. "Yeah, it feels good to accomplish something but you can tell by the atmosphere in the clubhouse, it's pretty numb in here."

The Cubs spoiled the return of Braves left-hander Tom Glavine (2-4), who gave up seven hits and seven runs in four innings in his first start since June 10. Glavine walked four batters and had three strikeouts in his return from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow.

"I'm not discouraged," Glavine said. "I'm not happy, obviously. Your expectations are high. What I was worried about in my two rehab stars, it came to fruition. I was worried about how sharp I really was and how much I was able to do what I wanted to do.

"Against a lesser lineup, maybe I get away with some of that stuff."

Lilly (12-6) lasted six innings, giving up eight hits and four runs.

It wasn't a save situation, but Wood gave up two hits in the ninth after manager Lou Piniella said earlier Thursday the right-hander is back in the closer's role.

Carlos Marmol pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings in his return to the set-up role.

Lilly hit Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar with a pitch in the sixth inning to start a brief altercation. Escobar was upset as he pointed and yelled at Lilly. Escobar had to be restrained by plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, but other players showed a little emotion as they walked onto the field from both benches and bullpens.

There were no punches and no ejections. Braves manager Bobby Cox said Escobar's elbow was swollen.

Lilly was thrown out of a game in Atlanta on June 10, 2007, after he hit Edgar Renteria with a pitch. He said he was glad he avoided another ejection.

"I definitely would have been upset if I had been thrown out of the game," Lilly said. "I was thrown out of one here last year for no good reason."

Braves rookie left-hander Francisley Bueno was suspended for three games on Thursday. Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for discipline, said Bueno intentionally threw a pitch near Soriano's head in Wednesday's first game of a doubleheader. Bueno was thrown out of the game.

Bueno's suspension and undisclosed fine came after he was optioned to Triple-A Richmond.

Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the third before leaving the game in the fifth with a bruised left hip.

Ramirez led off the fifth with a single and was on second base when Kotsay lost Geovany Soto's fly ball to center field. The ball dropped for a double, and Ramirez slid headfirst across the plate as second baseman Martin Prado's relay home sailed beyond catcher Clint Sammons' reach for an error.

Ramirez lay face-down near the plate for a few seconds before walking off the field. He did not take the field in the bottom of the fifth.

Ramirez said he expects to be able to play Friday at Florida.

"It's all right," Ramirez said. "I tried to avoid the tag. I tried to slide away from him. ... I couldn't breathe. It knocked the air out of me."

Soriano added a two-run homer in the fourth.

The Cubs jumped on Glavine for three hits and two runs in the first. Reed Johnson drove in a run with a bases-loaded single. Soto walked to force in another run.

Jeff Francoeur had three hits, including a three-run homer, for Atlanta. It was his first homer since July 9.

Notes

  • Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster's scheduled start on Saturday at Florida was pushed back to Sunday. Piniella said Dempster has to attend to a personal matter and won't arrive in Miami before late Saturday. LHP Sean Marshall will start Saturday's game.
  • Hall hit for the cycle on Sept. 23, 1987 against Houston.
 
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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Mark Kotsay homers in the fourth inning, his second hit while on his way to a rare cycle. (AP)
Mark Kotsay homers in the fourth inning, his second hit while on his way to a rare cycle. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Kotsay
AB 5
R 1
H 5
HR 1
RBI 2
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5112112 .297
Kosuke Fukudome, RF5220113 .270
Derrek Lee, 1B5220022 .291
Aramis Ramirez, 3B2223100 .285
    Mike Fontenot, 2B2000000 .287
Reed Johnson, CF5021000 .304
Geovany Soto, C2212300 .286
Mark DeRosa, 2B-3B5121002 .280
Ryan Theriot, SS3121202 .320
Ted Lilly, P1000011 .170
   a- Daryle Ward, PH0001000 .217
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   b- Ronny Cedeno, PH1000010 .277
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
Totals3611141186  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Lilly in the 7th
b-struck out for Marmol in the 9th
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (31, Glavine), Reed Johnson (18, Nunez), Geovany Soto (29, Carlyle), Mark DeRosa (22, Boyer)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (22, Glavine), Aramis Ramirez (20, Glavine)
SF - Daryle Ward (1)
SH - Ted Lilly 2 (8)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (59), Aramis Ramirez 3 (81), Reed Johnson (42), Geovany Soto 2 (69), Mark DeRosa (68), Ryan Theriot (33), Daryle Ward (10)
CS - Ryan Theriot (12, 2nd base by Glavine/Sammons)
Team LOB - 9
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,12-6) 6844281 4.32
Bob Howry 0.2433011 5.53
Carlos Marmol 1.1000020 2.89
Kerry Wood 1200010 2.77
HBP - Escobar (by Ted Lilly)
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 91-62, Bob Howry 21-16, Carlos Marmol 11-10, Kerry Wood 25-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 4-6, Carlos Marmol 1-1, Kerry Wood 2-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 29, Bob Howry 6, Carlos Marmol 4, Kerry Wood 5
Atlanta Braves
Yunel Escobar, SS3110013 .282
    Gregor Blanco, LF1000010 .260
Martin Prado, 2B5121022 .316
Chipper Jones, 3B5011021 .367
Omar Infante, LF-SS5110001 .306
Casey Kotchman, 1B5110011 .272
Jeff Francoeur, RF5233001 .229
Mark Kotsay, CF5152000 .300
Clint Sammons, C4000124 .250
Tom Glavine, P0000100 .105
   a- Ruben Gotay, PH1000010 .216
    Buddy Carlyle, P0000000 .250
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   b- Greg Norton, PH1000011 .253
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   c- Kelly Johnson, PH1000011 .266
    Vladimir Nunez, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
Totals417147212  
a-struck out for Glavine in the 4th
b-struck out for Tavarez in the 6th
c-struck out for Boyer in the 7th
Batting
2B - Martin Prado 2 (9, Lilly, Lilly), Mark Kotsay (15, Howry)
3B - Mark Kotsay (3, Lilly)
HR - Jeff Francoeur (10, Howry), Mark Kotsay (6, Lilly)
RBI - Martin Prado (18), Chipper Jones (59), Jeff Francoeur 3 (52), Mark Kotsay 2 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Martin Prado (8), Mark Kotsay (12)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Prado-Kotchman
E - Martin Prado (5, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Tom Glavine (L,2-4) 4777432 5.54
Buddy Carlyle 1422100 3.89
Julian Tavarez 1000010 5.18
Blaine Boyer 1222210 5.00
Vladimir Nunez 1100100 4.63
Will Ohman 1000010 2.52
IBB - Ramirez by Tom Glavine, Soriano by Buddy Carlyle
WP - Blaine Boyer (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Glavine 70-37, Buddy Carlyle 29-18, Julian Tavarez 13-7, Blaine Boyer 28-17, Vladimir Nunez 19-12, Will Ohman 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Glavine 4-3, Buddy Carlyle 3-0, Julian Tavarez 1-1, Blaine Boyer 1-1, Vladimir Nunez 1-2, Will Ohman 1-1
Batters Faced - Tom Glavine 21, Buddy Carlyle 8, Julian Tavarez 3, Blaine Boyer 7, Vladimir Nunez 5, Will Ohman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36365
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Ed Hickox