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Fungo-cide: Zambrano kills injury worries in Cubs' rout

CHICAGO (AP) -- Carlos Zambrano was doing more than pitching well
against the highest scoring team in the National League while
holding the New York Mets hitless for five innings and dueling Tom Glavine.

Zambrano showed there's more to his game than what he often
provides the Chicago Cubs during a 9-2 victory Saturday.

He beat out an infield single and then stole his first career
base, perhaps using up some of the energy that could have helped
him later on a 90-degree day.

But his hustle seemed to inspire his teammates, who made the
most of a wicked sun field Saturday for a five-run, sixth-inning
rally. That helped Zambrano win his sixth straight decision and
sent Glavine to his first loss since April 24.

"He did everything he could to keep us in position to win a
game. He stole a base. The guy is a ball player, he's not just a
pitcher," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

"He's a runner. He's a hitter. He's a fielder. This guy comes
to play every day."

Showing no problems from being whacked in the elbow at the
All-Star game by a fungo bat, Zambrano (9-3) didn't give up a hit
until Jose Valentin tripled to start the sixth.

Valentin was the first batter Zambrano faced after the 6-foot-5,
255-pound pitcher legged out his infield hit and stole second with
a hard slide in the fifth.

"Nothing was bothering me. Everything was perfect," Zambrano
said. "I wasn't tired at all. A little bit. They hit quality
pitches. Give credit to one of the best hitting teams in
baseball."

Glavine (11-3), trying to become the NL's first 12-game winner,
took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but couldn't hold it.

When Mets right fielder Endy Chavez lost Ryan Theriot's leadoff
fly ball in the sun and it went for a triple, the Cubs had the
start to a rally that would send Glavine to his first loss in
nearly three months.

"I must be living right. It got up in that sun, I knew he lost
it and I just kept going," said Theriot, recalled from the minors
Friday.

"I had it," Chavez said. "But when the ball just got in the
sun, I lost it completely. I was just trying to find the ball."

After Derrek Lee walked, Aramis Ramirez followed with an RBI
single to finish Glavine, who was replaced by Chad Bradford.
Pinch-hitter Jacque Jones hit into a fielder's choice to put
runners at first and third before Matt Murton delivered a tying RBI
single.

Neifi Perez then slapped a go-ahead single past third before
Henry Blanco drove a two-run double into the left field corner.

Glavine gave up four hits and three runs in five-plus innings.
Zambrano was charged with both Mets runs in six innings.

Glavine was 9-0 in his previous 14 starts before Saturday. But
the All-Star left-hander is winless in four starts, dating to a
road victory over Toronto on June 23.

"During the streak where I haven't lost games, I've pitched
some games where I was a lot worse than this one," Glavine said.
"I felt good. I still felt good in the sixth inning, but things
just unraveled."

After Valentin's triple into the right field corner ended his
no-hit bid, Zambrano walked Carlos Beltran and gave up an RBI
single to Carlos Delgado. Cliff Floyd walked to load the bases and
Chavez singled to left for a 2-0 lead.

The Cubs added four more in the seventh off Henry Owens. Theriot
walked, stole second, moved up on an infield single by Lee and scored
on Ramirez's RBI single. Murton and Perez came through with two
more RBI singles, and John Mabry had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly
for a 9-2 lead.

Zambrano, who missed pitching in the All-Star game on Tuesday
night after he was hit in the right elbow by the fungo bat of White
Sox third base coach Joey Cora during pregame drills, allowed just
three base runners -- two walks and an error-- in the first five
innings.

"He's an All-Star pitcher and he's got All-Star stuff," said
New York's David Wright, who started at third base for the NL. "He
throws extremely hard, a lot of movement on his ball. ... He's
pretty dominant."

New York finished with five hits.

Game notes
Beltran was in the lineup Saturday after leaving Friday's
6-3 win with soreness in his right knee following a rain delay. ...
Mets SS Jose Reyes was out of the starting lineup for the fifth
consecutive game while recovering from stitches in his left pinkie
finger. The injury also kept Reyes out of the All-Star game. ...
The Cubs are 15-26 at Wrigley Field this season, but the fans keep
coming out. The crowd was announced at 41,368. ... Owens, who gave
up four hits and four runs in one inning, was sent to Double-A
Binghamton after the game. The Mets called up Heath Bell from
Triple-A Norfolk.