Posted: Monday, June 22nd 2009 at 10:49pm
Vazquez, Jones help Braves beat Cubs 2-0
By The Associated Press
Atlanta Braves' Nate McLouth doubles against the Chicago Cubs during the bottom of the seventh inning of a baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta on Monday. / photo: Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Javier Vazquez and three Atlanta relievers combined to shut out the Chicago Cubs 2-0 on Monday night.
In a makeup game caused by a June 4 rainout, the Braves won a series for the first time since completing a three-game sweep of Toronto on May 24. The Braves had gone 0-5-3 in their last eight series. Atlanta and Chicago split the first two games of the original series June 2-3.
Atlanta, which snapped a two-game slide, ended the Cubs' four-game winning streak.
Vazquez (5-6) gave up nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander's victory snapped a five-start streak in which he went 0-3 despite a 3.44 ERA.
Rafael Soriano, who gave up a single and a walk, struck out the side for his sixth save in seven chances.
Chipper Jones' sacrifice fly in the seventh inning chased Ryan Dempster (4-5).
Nate McLouth's RBI single in the third gave the Braves a 1-0 lead. Diorys Hernandez scored from second after leading off with walk and advancing on Vazquez's sacrifice bunt.
In the seventh, McLouth doubled with one out and moved to third on Martin Prado's single. After a mound visit from Cubs manager Lou Piniella, Dempster gave up a sacrifice fly RBI to Jones that scored McLouth for a 2-0 Atlanta lead.
Dempster is 0-2 in his last four starts, but the right-hander has a 2.10 ERA over that stretch of 25 2-3 innings.
The Braves improved to 4-22 when scoring two runs or less.
Dempster allowed eight hits, two runs and four walks in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out six.
Vazquez appeared to strain his back while lunging to catch Micah Hoffpauir's single in the sixth. After a mound visit from manager Bobby Cox and a Braves trainer, Vazquez gave up a single to Geovany Soto and walked Mike Fontenot before stranding the bases loaded on Andres Blanco's flyout.
In the seventh, Vazquez retired the first two batters before walking Kosuke Fukudome and giving up Jake Fox's two-out infield single. Cox pulled Vazquez and brought in right-hander Peter Moylan, who ended the threat on Derrek Lee's flyout.
Sean Marshall replaced Dempster in the seventh and retired the only batter he faced. Kevin Hart, recalled Sunday from Triple-A Iowa, pitched a scoreless eighth.
The teams combined to leave 34 runners on base.
-- NOTES: Lee extended his hitting streak to a career-best 19 games. He had an 18-game streak from April 17-May 7, 2005. .... When McLouth was caught stealing on Jones' strikeout to end the third, it ended a streak of 30 consecutive swipes. The last time McLouth was caught stealing was April 22, 2008, when he played for Pittsburgh. ... Piniella held outfielders Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley out of the lineup so both could rest. The Cubs are playing 22 straight days, a streak that began after a June 16 rainout against the White Sox. ... Johnson left after the fifth because of a leg cramp. Prado took his place.
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