Atlanta at Chicago

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Atlanta (39-43)000110000290
Chi. Cubs (41-39) «22000000x491

Wells, Cubs beat Braves; Ramirez 0 for 4 in first game back from DL

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Randy Wells was a 38th-round draft pick pick in 2002 and spent most of the next six years in the minor leagues, waiting for that chance every player craves.

It came when he was called up by the Chicago Cubs in May. And the way he has been pitching, there won't be a return trip to Triple-A.

"I can't really put in words, even if I try, to be in the position I'm in when they told me I was going to make a couple of starts early in May," Wells said Monday night after beating the Atlanta Braves 4-2 for his fourth consecutive victory.

"It's rewarding for me," he added. "It's been a long journey. I couldn't ask for anything more."

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Wells (4-3) gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings, including a homer to Nate McLouth. He got early support when the Cubs scored four runs in the first two innings, including a two-run homer by Derrek Lee off Jair Jurrjens in the first.

Wells nearly made the Cubs' roster out of spring training as a reliever. But being sent back to Triple-A Iowa allowed him to stretch out as a starter and work on his pitches. Now the rookie has become a key member of the Cubs' rotation.

"Sitting in Iowa for three or four years, whatever it was, you are on the cusp," Wells said. "All you can ask for is the shot, get an opportunity to show you can play."

Jurrjens (6-7), who held the Phillies hitless for 6 2/3 innings in his previous start, gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings, including Lee's 16th home run.

"He's been hot a couple weeks, and when you hang a pitch like that you're going to pay," Jurrjens said.

"I wish I could take those two innings back, especially the pitch to Lee."

Lee's been swinging a strong bat since mid-May, helping the Cubs make up for the absence of Aramis Ramirez, who returned Monday after two months on the DL with a dislocated shoulder.

"Basically he's been carrying us," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Lee, who has four homers in the last five games.

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"You feel like if you get a good pitch to hit, you're going to hit it hard," Lee said. "It's definitely a lot more fun than grounding out to the shortstop every at-bat and running back to the dugout."

Ramirez got a loud ovation in his first at-bat. He went 0 for 4.

"I want to go out there and play. That's what I get paid to do and finally I'm doing it," said Ramirez, who was admittedly rusty. "Of course, I haven't played in two months. I went down to the minors and get nine at-bats, but it's not the same."

Jurrjens had given up only six homers all year before Lee drove a pitch deep into the left-field bleachers in the first -- one out after a leadoff single by Kosuke Fukudome -- to give the Cubs an early cushion.

The Cubs tacked on two more in the second with four straight two-out hits. Mike Fontenot and Wells singled, Fukudome lined an RBI double into the right-field corner and Ryan Theriot beat an out an infield single to short as Wells scored for a 4-0 lead.

"JJ was fine, just made a real bad pitch to Derrek," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "The other one, he had two outs with Fontenot and the pitcher and they ended up getting two more. After that, they got nothing."

Atlanta had three singles off Wells in the fourth, including an RBI liner to center by Yunel Escobar that cut the lead to 4-1. And when Wells' fumbled Casey Kotchman's dribbler to the left of the mound for an error, the Braves had the bases loaded. Wells escaped by striking out Matt Diaz and getting Jurrjens to hit into a forceout.

McClouth led off the fifth with his 14th home run -- fifth since joining the Braves -- to cut the lead in half.

Kevin Gregg worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances.

Notes

  • Wells is the first Cubs rookie to win four straight starts since Kerry Wood in 1998, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
  • Jeff Francoeur was out of Atlanta's starting lineup for a third consecutive day Monday, benched in favor of hot-hitting outfielder Matt Diaz. Francoeur pinch hit in the seventh and had an infield single.
 
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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Aramis Ramirez goes hitless in his return to the lineup after missing two months with a shoulder injury.  (AP)
Aramis Ramirez goes hitless in his return to the lineup after missing two months with a shoulder injury. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

N. McLouth
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF5131011 .270
Martin Prado, 2B5000003 .319
Chipper Jones, 3B3110100 .292
Brian McCann, C4010003 .303
Garret Anderson, LF4000021 .279
Yunel Escobar, SS3021100 .297
Casey Kotchman, 1B4010002 .272
Matt Diaz, RF4000025 .311
Jair Jurrjens, P2000013 .147
   a- Gregor Blanco, PH0000000 .195
   b- Jeff Francoeur, PH1010000 .247
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
   c- Brooks Conrad, PH1000000 .286
Totals3629226  
a-announced for Jurrjens in the 7th
b-singled for Blanco in the 7th
c-flied out for Acosta in the 9th
Batting
HR - Nate McLouth (14, R. Wells)
RBI - Nate McLouth (49), Yunel Escobar (43)
Team LOB - 9
Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens (L,6-7) 6744311 2.91
Peter Moylan 1100110 4.28
Manny Acosta 1100010 2.12
IBB - Bradley by Peter Moylan
Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 87-54, Peter Moylan 17-10, Manny Acosta 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 10-6, Peter Moylan 2-0, Manny Acosta 1-1
Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 27, Peter Moylan 5, Manny Acosta 4
Chicago Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome, CF3121100 .268
Ryan Theriot, SS3011010 .289
Derrek Lee, 1B4122002 .288
Milton Bradley, RF2000200 .242
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000003 .343
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010000 .227
Geovany Soto, C3010100 .230
Mike Fontenot, 2B4110024 .236
Randy Wells, P3110003 .190
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   a- Micah Hoffpauir, PH1000001 .243
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Totals3149443  
a-grounded out for Marmol in the 8th
Batting
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (17, Jurrjens), Derrek Lee (13, Moylan), Alfonso Soriano (18, Jurrjens), Geovany Soto (10, Acosta)
HR - Derrek Lee (16, Jurrjens)
SH - Ryan Theriot (6)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (26), Ryan Theriot (30), Derrek Lee 2 (53)
2-OUT RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (13), Ryan Theriot (15)
CS - Kosuke Fukudome (6, 2nd base by Jurrjens/McCann)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Fontenot-Theriot-Lee
E - Randy Wells (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Randy Wells (W,4-3) 6722041 2.48
Sean Marshall (H,3) 1100100 4.29
Carlos Marmol (H,18) 1000110 3.57
Kevin Gregg (S,15) 1100010 3.52
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wells 87-56, Sean Marshall 22-12, Carlos Marmol 16-9, Kevin Gregg 24-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wells 7-8, Sean Marshall 2-1, Carlos Marmol 1-0, Kevin Gregg 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wells 26, Sean Marshall 5, Carlos Marmol 3, Kevin Gregg 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40042
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Bill Miller