Major League Baseball News
Zambrano loses no-hitter, game to Padres; Lee and Young brawl
Jun 16, 2007, 20:35 GMT
Chicago, IL - Russell Branyan hit a home run in the ninth inning as the San Diego Padres broke up Carlos Zambrano's no-hit bid with one out in the eighth inning and held on to defeat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 at Wrigley Field.
Zambrano (7-6), who gave up an infield single to Marcus Giles, was the hard luck loser, giving up just two hits, while striking out six and walking five. The Chicago ace was attempting to become the first Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Milt Pappas accomplished the feat on September 2, 1972 in an 8-0 win over the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.
Chris Young didn't allow a run or a hit over three innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked a pair, before being ejected in the fourth inning.
With both pitchers throwing well through three and a half innings, the game turned ugly. With Derrek Lee leading off the bottom of the fourth, Young hit the Cubs' first baseman with a high-inside pitch near his head and surgically repaired wrist. As Lee made his way to first, the two players met in the baseline with Lee throwing a punch that led to a bench-clearing brawl. Lee, Young, Padres pitcher Jake Peavy and Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry were all ejected. Justin Hampson then came in to replace Young.
'We had some dialogue, but it's between us,' Lee said. 'I don't get upset too often, but I don't like when the ball is thrown at my head.'
'I will say this. I didn't throw at him and that's as far as I'll go,' Young said. 'I didn't try to hit him and it has nothing to do with anything in the past. I just threw a pitch and it hit him.'
Heath Bell (1-2) earned the win, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings, while striking out three and not allowing a walk for the Padres, who have won three of their last four.
The Cubs managed only two hits, doubles by Mark DeRosa and Ryan Theriot. Chicago had its three game win streak snapped.
With Zambrano pitching a gem, the right-hander ran into some trouble in the fifth. After Khalil Greene lined out to start the inning, Hiram Bocachica reached first on an error by third baseman Theriot and Chase Headley and Rob Bowen walked to load the bases with one out, but Zambrano got Hampson to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning and keep hit no-hitter intact.
The Padres appeared to be mounting another threat in the sixth. Giles led off the frame when he reached second on an error before advancing to third on a ground out by Terrmel Sledge. After Adrian Gonzalez walked, Zambrano got Branyan to hit into a double play to get out of trouble and maintain the no- hitter.
'In the seventh, I knew I had a no-hitter going,' Zambrano, who threw 123 pitches said. 'I was feeling good.'
San Diego managed to put an end to Zambrano's no-hit bid in the eighth. Bowen led off with a walk and following a strikeout by Jose Cruz Jr., Giles hit a single to second baseman Mike Fontenot, putting runners on first and second with one out. The Cubs big right-hander however maintained his composure and got Sledge to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Branyan's home run to left-center field with one out in the top of the ninth gave the Padres the lead and closer Trevor Hoffman came in to put the Cubs down in order in the bottom half of the frame, recording his 19th save of the season.
'I was actually thinking home run,' Branyan said. 'The guy was dominant all day and I was hoping he made a mistake or something.'
Attendance was 41,632...Hampson, who relieved Young after the bench-clearing brawl, gave up two hits and struck out a pair over 3 1/3 innings of work.
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