Extra MustardSI On CampusFantasyPhoto GalleriesSwimsuitVideoFanNationSI KidsTNT
Updated: Monday, July 14, 2003 12:58 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Atlanta Braves
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 13 1
Chicago Cubs
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 10 1
W Reynolds (7-4)
L Zambrano (6-8)
Recap | Box Score | Lineup | ScoreCast | Game Log | How They Scored | Today's Scoreboard
ATLANTA 7, CHICAGO CUBS 2
 

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Rafael Furcal and the Atlanta Braves are entering the All-Star Break in fine form.

Furcal, who will be playing in his first All-Star Game, capped a five-run sixth inning with a two-run single as the Braves cruised past the Chicago Cubs , 7-2, for their ninth victory in 10 games.

Robert Fick added a two-run double in the sixth for Atlanta, which avoided consecutive defeats for the first time since June 25-26.

The Braves enter the break with the best record in baseball (61-32).

"Good trip, good first half, great way to end it, good-pitched game and a lot of good hitting," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Shane Reynolds (7-4) yielded one unearned run and seven hits in six innings to improve to 15-6 in 29 lifetime games against the Cubs.

"The last couple of starts my split has been there," Reynolds said of his split-fingered fastball. "I think we found a little mechanical thing and got it worked out."

"That's three in a row he has gone really well," Cox said. "He's doing a great job of keeping them off-balance."

Atlanta led, 2-1, before Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones began the sixth with consecutive walks against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano (6-8).

Fick plated both with a double to deep right-center field, advanced to third on a hit by Javy Lopez and scored on a single by Vinny Castilla that chased Zambrano.

After Dave Veres came on, Reynolds sacrificed Castilla to second before Furcal staked his starter to a 7-1 advantage with single to left that knocked in both runners.

"The Braves are a great team but that's not an excuse," Zambrano said. "I just didn't make make pitches in the inning."

Castilla went 3-for-4 and finished the series 11-for-15.

"I'm seeing the ball well and I'm in a groove," Castilla said. "I'm hoping to keep swinging the bat like this in the second half."

The four-game series drew 157,902 fans to Wrigley Field, breaking the record of 156,590 against Colorado from July 2-5, 1993.

Zambrano surrendered seven runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He had been 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two prior games against the Braves.

Chicago lost for the 13th time in 19 games to slip to .500 (47-47).

"The break comes at a good time for us," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We've just played 20 in a row. Hopefully our guys come out refreshed in the second half."

"We know we are better than a .500 team, we just ran into a buzzsaw in this Braves team," Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez said. "Everyone in this room thinks we can win, we just have to prove it."

Cubs superstar Sammy Sosa , who had homered five times in his previous six games, went 2-for-5 with an RBI single in the third inning.

"Of course we need some help, but we can't worry about that," Sosa said. "We have enough players here to win, we just need to be more consistent in the second half."

Atlanta took the lead for good in the fourth, when Andruw Jones hit a game-tying sacrifice fly and Castilla hit an RBI single three batters later.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
Search