CHICAGO – Derrek Lee hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Michael Barrett hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh for the Cubs, who couldn’t get anything going against NL Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter. The right-hander struck out nine in six shutout innings, allowing four hits and one walk.
Lee, who homered on Friday in the Cubs’ home opener, greeted Cardinals reliever Brad Thompson (1-1) with a drive leading off the eighth. Lee’s homer left Wrigley Field and landed on Waveland Ave. despite the wind blowing in.
Giants 12, Braves 6
SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Giants didn’t need much from Barry Bonds to knock around Tim Hudson and Atlanta, getting four hits and five RBIs from Omar Vizquel and a two-run homer from Moises Alou to beat the Braves 12-6.
The Giants scored eight runs off Hudson to help Jamey Wright (1-0) win his San Francisco debut. Alou hit his 299th career homer in the first and Vizquel hit a three-run double in a five-run second against Hudson.
Bonds went 1-for-3 with two walks, remaining stuck on 708 career home runs. He is 2-for-10 with five walks and no RBIs through the Giants’ first five games this season, the longest he has gone into a season when healthy without a homer since 1998 when he didn’t go deep until San Francisco’s 13th game.
According to the new book “Game of Shadows,” Bonds began using steroids after that season, although he has denied ever using them.
The homerless start has slowed Bonds’ chase of the career home run record. He remains seven shy of passing Babe Ruth for second place and is 48 away from breaking Hank Aaron’s total of 755.
Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 4
MILWAUKEE – Carlos Lee’s ninth-inning single led the Brewers to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The win was the Brewers’ fifth straight comeback win. The Brewers are 5-0 for the first time since 1987 and the third time in franchise history.
Dan Kolb (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win. Luis Vizcaino (0-1) got the loss.
With one out, J.J. Hardy doubled down the left-field line – his third hit of the game. Geoff Jenkins was walked intentionally to put runners at first and second. On a 1-2 pitch, Lee lined the ball to center field and Hardy beat Eric Byrnes’ throw to the plate.
Reds 11, Pirates 9
CINCINNATI – Rich Aurilia hit a three-run homer, and the surging Cincinnati Reds took advantage of an inning full of Pirates slapstick for an 11-9 victory, extending Pittsburgh’s worst start in 32 years.
The Pirates are 0-6 for the first time since 1974. The franchise record for season-opening futility is an 0-8 mark in 1955.
Freddy Sanchez had a two-run single in Pittsburgh’s three-run ninth but Rick White got Jose Castillo to ground out with Sanchez on second for his first save since June 23.
Since opening the season with an embarrassing 16-7 loss to the Cubs after President Bush’s first pitch, Cincinnati has won four in a row, including the first three games of its series with Pittsburgh.
Aurilia broke an 0-for-12 slump with a three-run homer in the second off Oliver Perez (0-1), who had a rare off game against Cincinnati.
Nationals 12, Astros 8
HOUSTON – Jose Vidro hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs and Alfonso Soriano had four RBIs to help the Washington Nationals rally for a 12-8 victory over the Houston Astros.
Houston led 6-3 before the Nationals scored six runs in the seventh inning. Soriano hit a two-out double off Chad Qualls to drive in Marlon Byrd and Nick Johnson and give Washington an 8-6 lead. Ryan Zimmerman, who was 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts in his previous two games, drove in Soriano with a base hit.
Qualls (0-1) recorded just one out and allowed four hits and four runs before being replaced by Russ Springer.
Soriano also hit a two-run homer off Astros starter Roy Oswalt, who left with one out in the seventh.
Oswalt allowed seven hits, five runs and struck out three, after pitching a shutout in his first start this season.