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Zambrano outduels Livan as Cubs blank struggling Nats

CHICAGO (AP) -- Even a stellar outing by Carlos Zambrano couldn't
prevent Jacque Jones from being targeted by a home fan.

Zambrano pitched four-hit ball through eight innings, helping
the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 4-0 Tuesday night
for just their second win in 14 games.

However, Jones, who has been booed repeatedly during his first
season with the Cubs, received quite a scare before the top of the
ninth inning as a fan in the right-field bleachers threw a ball
that nearly hit Jones in the face. According to Cubs officials, the
woman was drunk and detained by ballpark security, but not
arrested. They wouldn't release her name.

"I threw a ball to Juan (Pierre) and then turned around to get
in my position and the ball came whizzing past my head," Jones
said. "It went right past my face. I'm not going to let one person
ruin my time here. I signed here for three years and I signed to
help this team win."

Jones has struggled at times at the plate and on the bases. He
was picked off second base from the outfield on a double play for
the third time this month in the fourth inning, and was booed after
that.

Jones, a .279 career hitter in seven seasons with Minnesota,
went 1-for-4 and is hitting .264.

"There's pressure here to win and everybody knows it, and I'm
not afraid of pressure," Jones said. "If you can't play with
pressure, then you don't need to play. I feel like I can play in
any type of situation so I'm not going to let this one isolated
incident affect the way I play or the way I carry myself. I will
not."

The Cubs' struggling offense got two RBI apiece from Aramis
Ramirez and Todd Walker.

"We could've had more runs, but we'll take any victory we can
get right now," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Zambrano (2-2) had his third straight strong start and his
second win in a row as the Cubs snapped a four-game losing streak.
Zambrano started off 0-2 over his first seven starts but he's given
up just one run over 23 innings in his last three outings, lowering
his ERA to 3.34.

"I was getting ahead on the count early," Zambrano said. "I
threw a lot of sliders today and that was the key of the game. I
think they were waiting for fastballs inside for the sinker. I
think I changed their minds."

Zambrano struck out eight, walked two and gave up four hits in
Chicago's first shutout of the season and just its second win in 14
games. He kicked a ground ball by Nick Johnson in the eighth to
start in an inning-ending double play.

"'Z' wanted that game badly, that's why we went as far was we
did with them," Baker said. "He earned it, he deserved it and
he's a good pitcher for us."

Both of the 24-year-old Venezuelan's wins have ended losing
streaks. Zambrano's first victory, on May 10, snapped an eight-game
skid.

Washington has lost five of eight, finishing with just four
hits.

"We're not hitting," manager Frank Robinson said. "We weren't
able to handle Zambrano. It's not the first night that we didn't
hit. We've been in this rut all season long."

Zambrano, who threw a season-high 122 pitches, got ahead of
hitters early, and struck out two in each of the first three
innings. Starting the third, Zambrano retired 13 in a row before
Wiki Gonzalez singled in the seventh.

Ramirez's RBI fielder's choice in the fourth broke a 15-inning
scoreless streak for the Cubs, who had scored just 22 runs in their
last 14 losses over the previous 16 games.

Chicago then loaded the bases with one out on Livan Hernandez
(1-5) but couldn't convert. Jones got doubled off second on Ronny
Cedeno's low liner to Alfonso Soriano in left to end the inning.

"I'm probably a little excited right now, especially with the
way we've been playing to try and do something positive, and it's
backfiring," Jones said. "So maybe I do need to turn it down a
notch."

Zambrano reached on a throwing error by Royce Clayton to lead
off the fifth and Juan Pierre followed with a bunt single. Matt
Murton reached on a fielder's choice as Hernandez slipped trying to
cover third, loading the bases.

Walker then drove in two runs with a single past Jose Vidro into
right. Michael Barrett lined into a 1-3 double play, with Walker
getting picked off first, but Ramirez doubled to score Murton from
third.

Hernandez gave up two earned runs in seven innings, allowing
eight hits and three walks. He is winless in his last seven
starts.

Game notes
Baker shook up his slumping team's lineup again Tuesday. He
put Murton in the second spot for the first time this season and
then changed it again before the game, moving Barrett into the
cleanup role, Ramirez one spot down into fifth, John Mabry from
fifth to seventh, and Jones from seventh to sixth. ... Walker was
1-for-16 entering the game. ... The win was the Cubs' first over a
Washington team since a 6-5 win on Aug. 1, 1899. ... Ryan Zimmerman
extended his hitting streak to a career-high eight games.