Braves stop skid, beat the Cubs 2-1

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Tuesday July 7, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Vazquez allowed a run and five hits in seven strong innings and Brian McCann had two two-out RBIs as the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Vazquez (6-7), backed by some fine infield play from shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Brooks Conrad, outpitched Carlos Zambrano. In his last nine starts, Vazquez has two wins — both against the Cubs. He walked none and struck out six.

Mike Gonzalez worked the eighth, surviving a double by Ryan Theriot, and Rafael Soriano got his ninth save in 10 chances by pitching the ninth.

Zambrano was pitching on three days' rest, starting in place of Ryan Dempster, who went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a fractured right toe. Dempster was injured when he hopped over a dugout railing to get on the field and celebrate a Cubs' victory Sunday.

Zambrano (4-4) allowed five hits and two runs in six innings. He hasn't won since June 6 — a stretch of six starts.

Nate McLouth walked to lead off the game, moved up on a sacrifice and after he was nearly picked off second, made third on a grounder. McCann then delivered a two-out RBI single. Chicago tied it in the second when Koyie Hill hit a two-out RBI single, the Cubs' third hit of the inning.

McCann delivered again in the third with a slicing two-out double to score Martin Prado, who singled.

NOTES: Braves 3B Chipper Jones sat out with a groin strain, an injury he got Monday night in the series opener. INF Greg Norton was recalled from his rehab stint and will rejoin the Braves in Colorado to work out but will not be activated from the DL. ... RHP Tim Hudson threw live batting practice and a 5-minute bullpen session for a second straight day and said he felt better Tuesday. He's trying to come back from Tommy John surgery and is on target for a late July minor league rehab stint. ... RHP Kevin Hart never left town after he was sent to the minors Monday and was back on the big league team much sooner than expected. He got a call to stick around after Dempster was put on the DL. Hart, who has made four relief appearances for the Cubs this season, will make his first major league start Wednesday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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