CHICAGO – Todd Walker led the Chicago Cubs to another victory over his former team.

Walker and Todd Hollandsworth had three hits apiece, and the Cubs overcame an injury to Carlos Zambrano and a four-run deficit for a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

Chicago has won both games in the first series between the teams since the 1918 World Series.

“They know what I can do and I’m not really overanxious to beat them and do more than I can,” said Walker, who spent the 2003 season with the Red Sox.

“It’s nice to do well and win. I have to bite my tongue in certain situations because you don’t what to give up too much information in a casual conversation. You might say something and (Jason) Varitek) will go, “All right’ and go back and use it.”

So far, the Red Sox haven’t figured out a way to stop the Cubs, who had 20 hits in Friday’s opener and collected 12 more Saturday.

“We talk about being just good enough to win. I agree that right now we’re just good enough to lose and that’s not good,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Consistency at this level is so big and we’re having a heck of a time finding it.”

Walker singled off Wade Miller (2-2) in the sixth inning for his third hit, raced to third on Hollandsworth’s double past third and scored on Blanco’s sacrifice fly for a 5-4 lead.

Hollandsworth added an RBI single in the eighth and finished with three RBIs.

Todd Wellemeyer (2-1) pitched one inning for the win. He replaced Zambrano, who left suddenly after warming up to start the sixth because of a sprained left big toe.

Zambrano, who made an awkward slide into second in the bottom of the fifth, walked off the mound after warming up and then off the field, accompanied by a trainer.

X-rays were negative and Zambrano should be ready for his next start, trainer Mark O’Neal said.

“He was looking back and lost sight of where the base was, so it was an ugly slide,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “It could have been a lot worse than that.

“We were hoping he could give us another inning, but he couldn’t push off on that toe.”

Ryan Dempster allowed Edgar Renteria’s run-scoring single and an RBI double by Manny Ramirez in the ninth before getting Trot Nixon to foul out to third for his eighth save in nine chances.

Zambrano departed with the game tied at 4 after the Red Sox had jumped to an early 4-0 lead on homers by Nixon and Bill Mueller.

Nixon, in a 1-for-13 slump, hit a 2-2 pitch to left center and it carried over the wall to give the Red Sox a 3-0 first-inning lead after Zambrano had walked Johnny Damon and David Ortiz.

The homer brought a large and loud Red Sox fan contingent to its feet at Wrigley Field. Cheers of “Let’s go Red Sox!” could be heard throughout the game before they were overwhelmed by boos.

“Fans are into it. Quite frankly I wish we had this excitement almost every day because it picks us up,” Baker said.

Zambrano, who had not given up an earned run in his two previous starts over 15 innings, allowed five hits and four runs in his five innings with eight strikeouts, throwing 98 pitches on a humid 84-degree day.

Miller gave up nine hits and five runs in seven innings. He was 4-0 in five previous starts at Wrigley Field with the Astros, including a two-hitter on May 30, 2003.

But with a 4-0 lead, he gave up five straight singles to open the bottom of the second.

“A couple of hits came off of decent pitches. They were able to get wood on it,” Miller said.

“It’s frustrating. I’m not pleased. I was able to settle down, but the damage was done after that inning.”

Jeromy Burnitz, Aramis Ramirez, Walker, Hollandsworth and Blanco singled in succession to cut the Boston lead to 4-2. Zambrano then hit into a double play with the bases loaded as the third run scored.

“We got ourselves right back in the game without the long ball. We strung together a bunch of base hits and first-and-thirds,” Hollandsworth said.

Chicago tied it in the fourth when Walker’s liner into the right field corner went off Nixon’s glove for a triple. After fouling a ball off his leg, Hollandsworth followed with an RBI grounder that was hit soft enough to score Walker, even with Boston’s infield playing in.

Burnitz went to the ivy in right field to catch Mark Bellhorn’s long drive in the eighth with the tying run on second.

Yankees 5, Cardinals 0

ST. LOUIS – Randy Johnson and the New York Yankees responded to Joe Torre’s tongue-lashing with a performance worthy of a $200 million team.

Johnson outpitched Mark Mulder in a matchup of two of the game’s best left-handers, and Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez each had two RBIs in a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

The victory was only the third in 11 games on a season-long 12-game trip for the Yankees, whose sloppy three-error performance in an 8-1 loss Friday night prompted the angry New York manager to call a closed-door meeting.

It was a much better day all-around for Torre, who received a standing ovation when he removed a number from the right-field wall as part of the countdown for the final year of Busch Stadium.

Torre played for six seasons in St. Louis, winning the MVP and a batting title in 1971, and managed the Cardinals from 1990-95. He received what amounted to a victory lap around the warning track after the ceremony with team mascot Fredbird piloting a miniature car.

Braves 5, Athletics 3

ATLANTA – John Smoltz pitched his first complete game in six years and Andruw Jones hit a pair of two-run homers, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Brian McCann, 21, added his first major league homer for the Braves, who started four rookies. The 28-year-old Jones was the oldest everyday player in the lineup.

Smoltz (5-5) gave up five hits in his 48th career complete game and first since April 30, 1999, against Cincinnati. He struck out four, walked three and threw 106 pitches.

Astros 6, Blue Jays 3

HOUSTON – Morgan Ensberg hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday, leading the Houston Astros over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 for their fourth straight victory.

The Houston bullpen wasted another strong start by Roger Clemens, but Ensberg’s 14th homer gave the Astros 10 wins in 15 games, as well as their first four-game winning streak since the first week of the season.

Chris Burke hit a one-out single in the ninth and stole second. After Scott Schoeneweis (2-2) intentionally walked Craig Biggio, Miguel Batista came in and got Lance Berkman on a fly to center field before Ensberg’s homer.

Clemens allowed three hits in seven innings, and the Astros took a 3-1 lead to the ninth. But closer Brad Lidge blew a save for the first time since May 24, costing Clemens his 333rd victory.

Nationals 2, Mariners 1

WASHINGTON – Jose Guillen’s bases-loaded single snapped a seventh-inning tie and propelled the Washington Nationals to their ninth straight win, 2-1 over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

The Nationals’ winning streak is the franchise’s longest since the Montreal Expos won 10 straight from June 6-16, 1997. Washington improved to 12-1 on a 14-game homestand that concludes Sunday. The Nationals have won seven straight home series and 13 of 14 home games. John Patterson (3-1) allowed a run on six hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out five to win for the first time in six starts since April 26.

Reds 10, Orioles 1

CINCINNATI – Felipe Lopez hit his second career grand slam, jolting Cincinnati out of its bases-loaded slump, and singled home two more runs Saturday night, leading the Reds to a 10-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Given a big early lead, Brandon Claussen (3-3) held the AL’s top hitting lineup to three hits over a career-high eight innings. The left-hander lost his shutout when Sal Fasano homered with two outs in the eighth.

Adam Dunn added a two-run shot for the Reds, who have homered 15 times in the last five games against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Lopez’s two-run single gave him a career-high six RBIs.

Marlins 6, Rangers 5

MIAMI – Alex Gonzalez led off the seventh with a go-ahead home run, and Kenny Rogers failed to win for the first time in nine starts as the Florida Marlins defeated the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Saturday night.

Gonzalez homered to left on a 2-1 pitch off reliever Juan Dominguez (0-1), capping the Marlins’ comeback from a 5-0 deficit. It was Gonzalez’s fourth homer of the season.

The Rangers have lost a season-high five straight games.

John Riedling (3-1), the fourth of six Florida pitchers, got the win. Todd Jones struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

Phillies 7, Brewers 5

PHILADELPHIA – Pat Burrell’s three-run homer in the seventh inning led the surging Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

Bobby Abreu added a two-run homer for the Phillies, who have won 14 of 16 and are a season-best seven games over .500 (35-28).

Wes Helms hit a two-run homer and J.J. Hardy had a solo shot for Milwaukee, which has lost 10 of 14.

Pirates 18, Devil Rays 2

PITTSBURGH – Jose Castillo homered and drove in five runs to support Oliver Perez’s seven effective innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates reached .500 after June 1 for the first time since 1999 by beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 18-2 Saturday night.

Pittsburgh, winning a season-high fourth in a row, opened a 3-0 lead in the first against Scott Kazmir to back Perez (5-4) in his fourth consecutive victory.

Perez struck out 10 and retired 13 in a row at one point while limiting Tampa Bay to five hits and one run over seven innings.

The Pirates won their ninth in 12 games on a homestand that wraps up Sunday and are 30-30 – the latest in a season they’ve been at .500 since September 1999. They are 22-14 since falling a season-worst eight games under .500 at 8-16 on May 2.

Tigers 6, Rockies 4

DENVER – Brandon Inge hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning, Rondell White had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Saturday night.

The Rockies beat the Tigers 2-0 on Friday in cold and damp conditions to match the lowest-scoring game in Coors Field history. With the air warmer and much drier, the balls started flying around again – at least for a little while.


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