Cubs' Lilly gives an encore effort
Day after no-hitter, lefty ties up Astros
Everyone from Cubs manager Lou Piniella to fellow starter Ryan Dempster needled Ted Lilly about having to follow up Carlos Zambrano's no-hitter.
Lilly then went out and made a bid for one of his own.
Lilly pitched no-hit ball until Mark Loretta's seventh-inning single, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Astros, 6-1, yesterday to sweep a two-game series moved from Houston to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.
"There were a couple of guys before the game that let me know I had a lot of work to do to try and follow up 'Z,' " said Lilly, who worked seven innings before giving way to three relievers who finished up the one-hitter.
"There's so many things that it takes to go into a no-hitter for it to take place and so my expectations were just to go out there and try and make good pitches and be aggressive."
With Milwaukee abuzz over the Brewers' decision to fire manager Ned Yost, the Cubs finished off the two-game stand at Miller Park, filled with Cubs fans who made the 90-mile trek from Chicago.
Hard-charging Houston had won 14 of 15 coming into the series, but the Cubs left the Astros 2 1/2 games back of Milwaukee and Philadelphia, which share the NL wild-card lead.
On Sunday, Zambrano pitched the Cubs' first no-hitter since Milt Pappas in 1972, leading Chicago to a 5-0 win. And until the seventh, Lilly appeared headed to a repeat.
"You don't know if you'll ever have that opportunity again, but I'll take tonight the way it was," Lilly said.
Aramis Ramirez's first-inning sacrifice fly and Jim Edmonds's homer off Brian Moehler (11-7) in the fifth built a 2-0 lead, and Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto hit two-run homers in the sixth.
Lilly (15-9) faced the minimum through six innings, giving up only a leadoff walk in the second to Lance Berkman, who was caught leaning off first and thrown out at second.
Reggie Abercrombie's hard grounder leading off the seventh was booted by third baseman Ramirez, who was charged with an error. Loretta followed with a clean single to right.
Yankees 4, White Sox 2 - New York's Mariano Rivera moved into second place on the career saves list, and the White Sox wasted six strong innings by Mark Buehrle. Rivera got three quick outs for his 36th save in 37 chances this season and No. 479 of his career, passing Lee Smith for second place.
Indians 3, Twins 1 - Scott Lewis pitched six shutout innings in his second career start to spark host Cleveland. Lewis (2-0) has yet to allow a run in 14 innings since being called up from the minors Sept. 7.
Nationals 7, Mets 2 - Washington's John Lannan limited New York to one hit over seven innings, Anderson Hernandez delivered a two-run single off Pedro Martínez, and the host Nationals beat the fading Mets. The Mets' lead over idle Philadelphia in the NL East fell to a half-game; New York held a 3 1/2-game cushion as recently as Wednesday.
Dodgers 8, Pirates 2 - Hiroki Kuroda gave up three hits over seven shutout innings for his first road win in more than two months and Manny Ramírez had three more hits, leading Los Angeles. It was the Dodgers' 13th win in 15 games.
Diamondbacks 3, Giants 1 - Adam Dunn homered with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to help Arizona remain 4 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.
Royals 3, Mariners 0 - Kyle Davies and Joakim Soria combined on a four-hitter to lift host Kansas City.
Rangers 11, Tigers 8 - Rookie Taylor Teagarden had his first career grand slam to spark host Texas.
Padres 11, Rockies 5 - Adrian Gonzalez drove in four runs for visiting San Diego and Wade LeBlanc earned his first career win.