Cubs end Phils' 10-game winning streak

July 22, 2009 3:54:35 PM PDT
Aramis Ramirez and Jeff Baker each had a two-run double and the Chicago Cubs beat Philadelphia 10-5 on Wednesday to snap the Phillies' 10-game winning streak. Carlos Zambrano (7-4) won his third straight start for the Cubs, who avoided their first three-game sweep in Philadelphia since 1999.

The NL East-leading Phillies lost for only the second time in 16 games and fell to .500 at home (24-24), failing to extend their longest winning streak in 18 years.

Philadelphia loaded the bases with two out in the eighth but Kevin Gregg got Ryan Howard to ground out to first to preserve the Cubs' 8-5 lead. Gregg also worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

Coming off his strongest outing of the season, 46-year-old Jamie Moyer (9-7) was tagged for five runs in five innings as his ERA jumped to 5.65.

Moyer has put together a few strong starts in a season filled with erratic performances. The left-hander has allowed five or more runs six times this year. This one led to his first loss to the Cubs, the organization he made his major league debut with in 1986, in four career decisions.

Sean Marshall replaced Zambrano with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, and promptly surrendered a two-run single to Greg Dobbs that cut Chicago's lead to 8-5. Angel Guzman then came in and retired Pedro Feliz on a fly ball to left, another missed shot for Philadelphia at preserving its longest winning streak since it won 13 in a row from July 30 to Aug. 12, 1991.

It was the longest winning streak by a defending World Series champion since Baltimore won 11 straight in 1971, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Zambrano gave up five runs, four earned, and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings.

The Phillies had a chance to get to Zambrano an inning earlier and possibly tie the game. Feliz's two-run single got Philly within two, but two runners were left on and manager Charlie Manuel was tossed for arguing a third strike foul tip that appeared to hit the dirt, his third ejection of the season.

Chicago backed Zambrano with a four-run fourth. Alfonso Soriano hit the last of four consecutive singles to open the inning, driving in Derrek Lee to make it 1-0. Baker followed with a double to center, and a mishandled throw by All-Star second baseman Chase Utley allowed another runner to score.

Milton Bradley, back in the lineup after taking a few days off to work on his hitting, had an RBI single in the fifth. Ramirez came up with his big hit in the seventh and Jake Fox added a sacrifice fly that stretched Chicago's lead to 8-3.

The Cubs scored twice in the ninth against Brad Lidge.

Manuel decided not to start All-Star outfielder Raul Ibanez (.310, 25 home runs, 68 RBIs) in a game that began only hours after the Phillies won in 13 innings. Ibanez grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.

NOTES: Cubs SS Ryan Theriot had a career-high three stolen bases. ... The Cubs finished 5-2 on their seven-game road trip. ... The Phillies last swept the Cubs in a three-game series July 2-4, 1999 at Veterans Stadium.

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