CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker will take any
win he can get to keep his team's slim playoff hopes alive.
Todd Walker's long single with the bases loaded in the bottom of
the 10th inning gave the Cubs a far-from-perfect 4-3 victory over
the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.Trailing the Florida Marlins by six games in the NL wild-card
race, the Cubs were able to win despite leaving 15 runners on base
and not being able to execute a rundown in the ninth inning."We dodged some bullets and got out of some jams. We botched
that rundown play, I'm just glad that didn't cost us," Baker said.
"I will take a sloppy win, a win is a win right now."Derrek Lee homered for the Cubs, who have won nine of 12.Felipe Lopez and Edwin Encarnacion hit homers for the Reds, who
had a three-game winning streak snapped.The Reds executed just as poorly as the Cubs, leaving 10 runners
on base."We had some opportunities," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
"We know if we keep getting guys on base we're going to have some
big innings -- tonight we just didn't."Matt Murton led off the 10th with his third hit of the game, a
single off Reds reliever David Weathers (7-2). Neifi Perez put down
a bunt that first baseman Sean Casey fielded and threw to second
baseman Ray Olmedo, who was covering first. But Olmedo dropped the
ball, giving the Cubs runners first and second with no outs.Weathers struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot, then walked Jerry
Hairston to load the bases. Walker ended it with a fly ball that
landed on the warning track in right."The big at-bat was Hairston, walking him and loading the
bases. I tried to get him to hit into a double play, but I just
kept missing with my sinker, and Walker got the best of me at the
end," Weathers said.Michael Wuertz (6-2) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.Both teams had runners in scoring position in the seventh,
eighth and ninth innings, including both leaving the bases loaded
in the ninth.Cubs reliever Ryan Dempster had to pitch out of the jam in the
ninth because of the blown rundown.With a runner on second and two outs, Lopez hit a grounder to
Perez at short, but he wasn't able to make a throw because he was
too deep in the hole. Chris Denorfia, the runner at second, rounded
third and was caught in a rundown. Catcher Michael Barrett ran down
Denorfia, but he was able to get back to third after a high throw
by Barrett. Dempster walked Adam Dunn to load the bases and then
got pinch-hitter Javier Valentin to fly out.Lee got his 100th RBI with his 42nd homer, a shot off Eric
Milton in the first that landed on Waveland Avenue."I told him congratulations and he didn't even know what I was
talking about," Baker said.The Cubs scored two runs in the second on an RBI triple by
Murton and a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by Perez.Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the second, his sixth and
Lopez tied the game the next inning with a solo homer, his 20th.
Both were off Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.Zambrano, who had won his last five decisions, allowed three
runs and three hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked
three on 115 pitches."I think I gave my team a chance to win the ballgame and I was
feeling pretty good," Zambrano said.Milton pitched six innings and allowed three runs and six hits.
The Cubs recalled OF Ben Grieve from Triple-A Iowa. ... Lee
had 98 RBI last season. ... Lopez became the third Cincinnati SS
to hit 20 homers in a season, joining Barry Larkin and Leo
Cardenas. Larkin hit 20 in 1991 and 33 in 1996. Cardenas hit 20 in
1966. ... Both benches were warned in the third inning after
Zambrano hit Wily Mo Pena with a pitch and Milton hit Burnitz. ...
Theriot made his major league debut for the Cubs. ... Hairston
reached base five times, four on walks.