CHICAGO (Ticker) --
pitched eight effective innings and the well rested
belted five homers in a 9-1 victory over the
Zambrano (13-8) allowed only one run and four hits while striking out five for the Cubs, who had not played since a 2-1 win Wednesday in Montreal. Chicago's weekend series with the Marlins was postponed due to Hurricane Frances.
"Anytime when you have a lot of innings, especially late in the season, and you are able to get a few days off that makes you stronger," Zambrano said.
hit a pair of two-run homers as the Cubs scored seven times in the first three innings. Ramirez hit his first homer in Chicago's three-run first and added a two-run shot to highlight a three-run third.
"We took some time off but at the same time we worked out a couple days, just to stay on top of the game," Ramirez said. My approach today was just to put the ball in play and things did happen."
added homers for the Cubs, who pulled a half game ahead of the idle
San Francisco Giants
in the National League wild card chase.
"I think the practice on Friday and Saturday helped us," Cubs manager
said. "We gave them yesterday off and I think that made a few people a little bit healthier, especially Ramirez. He looked stronger and you saw his output. D-Lee too. He got a home run and it was his 29th on his 29th birthday. You don't see that too often."
Tony Armas Jr. (2-4) had a rough outing, allowing seven hits - including four homers - and seven runs in three innings.
"I left my fastball up today, that's what killed me," Armas said. "You can't do that here when the wind was blowing out like it was."