CHICAGO A few more starts like this and those minor league T-shirts Sean Gallagher distributed to his teammates will become relics.
Gallagher had his best start, and Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome capped a three-run seventh with run-scoring hits to lead the Chicago Cubs to their second straight 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on a bone-chilling, windy Tuesday night.
"Definitely with the wind blowing, you go out there with a little less fear," Gallagher said after allowing one run and four hits in a career-high seven innings while striking out three and walking two.
The rookie (2-1) started the season in the minors after making eight relief appearances for the Cubs last season. If he keeps pitching like this, he'll remain in the rotation.
"He's still got a couple things to work on, but he's telling us that he wants to stay in the rotation," manager Lou Piniella said.The Dodgers got an RBI single from Blake DeWitt in the fourth, but the third baseman's error in the seventh allowed the tying run to score and helped turn what looked like a win for Hiroki Kuroda (2-4) into a loss.
METS 5, MARLINS 3: At New York, Johan Santana snapped the Mets out of their recent doldrums, pitching seven effective innings to beat feisty Florida. Fernando Tatis and Ramon Castro each hit a pair of two-out RBI singles for the Mets, who won for only the second time in nine games. Santana (6-3) struck out seven and worked around eight hits and two walks, allowing three runs.
REDS 9, PIRATES 6: At Cincinnati, Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer that set a club record for left-handed batters, and Jay Bruce went 3-for-3 in his eagerly awaited debut to lead the Reds. Dunn's three-run shot in the fifth off Ian Snell (2-4) was his eighth in his last 12 games. With 252 career homers, he moved ahead of Ted Kluszewski the bare-armed "Big Klu" for most by a left-handed Reds hitter. Bruce, a 21-year-old outfielder who is the Reds' top prospect, had a pair of singles, a double, two walks, a stolen base and a pair of RBIs.
BREWERS 3, BRAVES 2: At Milwaukee, Bill Hall scored the winning run in the Brewers' victory after grousing earlier in the day about being placed in a platoon situation at third base. Mike Cameron lofted a fly ball to center field, and Hall's slide narrowly beat the throw home. Salomon Torres (4-1) earned the victory for Milwaukee.
ASTROS 8, CARDINALS 2: At St. Louis, Shawn Chacon won his second straight start after nine no-decisions to open the year and Hunter Pence had a career-best five hits in Houston's victory. Chacon (2-0) worked seven strong innings, helping the Astros win for the fifth time in seven games. Pence was 5-for-5 with four singles and a double, and he had two RBIs. Miguel Tejada hit a two-run homer, and Lance Berkman walked twice, singled and scored three times to give him a for a major league-best 56 runs.
PHILLIES 7, ROCKIES 4: At Philadelphia, Kyle Kendrick pitched effectively in a career-best 7 1/3 innings, and Greg Dobbs and Pedro Feliz each drove in two runs for the Phillies. Kendrick (4-2) allowed two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking one.
GIANTS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 3: At Phoenix, Bengie Molina and Jose Castillo homered to help Tim Lincecum earn his seventh victory for San Francisco. Lincecum (7-1) allowed three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. Brian Wilson threw a perfect ninth for his 15th save, tying Houston's Jose Valverde for the NL lead.PADRES 4, NATIONALS 2: At San Diego, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff homered on consecutive pitches with two outs in the seventh inning, and the Padres beat Washington in a matchup of last-place teams, giving the Padres a rare two-game winning streak. The worst team in the NL, the Padres (20-33) have won consecutive games only four times this season.
INDIANS 8, WHITE SOX 2: At Cleveland, Franklin Gutierrez hit a grand slam in the first inning and the Indians pulled off a rare triple steal in beating the White Sox. The Indians' rare offensive outburst was enough for starter Aaron Laffey (3-3), who allowed two runs in five innings, to pick up the win.
RANGERS 12, RAYS 6: At St. Petersburg, Fla., one-time Tampa Bay prospect Josh Hamilton hit a grand slam and matched his career high with five RBIs, helping Vicente Padilla and the Rangers cool off the AL East-leading Rays. Padilla (7-2) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings to win his fifth straight decision and stop Tampa Bay's four-game winning streak. The right-hander walked four and struck out a season-high 10. Hamilton, the former No. 1 overall pick in the draft whose career with the Rays was derailed by drug addiction and injuries, had a RBI double off Andy Sonnanstine (6-3) in the first and added his second grand slam of the season in the eighth off J.P. Howell.
TWINS 4, ROYALS 3 (12 INNINGS): At Kansas City, Mo., Michael Cuddyer singled home Joe Mauer in the 12th inning, giving Minnesota the victory and sending the Royals to their ninth straight defeat. Jesse Crain (2-2) picked up the victory, and Matt Guerrier worked the 12th to earn his first save and third of his career.
ORIOLES 10, YANKEES 9 (11 INNINGS): At Baltimore, Aubrey Huff doubled in the tie-breaking run in the 11th inning and scored the game-winner on a long single by Alex Cintron, giving the Orioles a win over the Yankees. Alex Rodriguez hit his 525th career home run.
ANGELS 3, TIGERS 2: At Anaheim, Calif., Gary Matthews Jr. hit an RBI single off Aquilino Lopez with two out in the ninth inning to lift Earvin Santana and the Los Angeles Angels to victory. Santana (7-2) held Detroit to two runs and three hits including Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer in the second inning.
ATHLETICS 3, BLUE JAYS 1: At Oakland, Calif., Greg Smith ended a five-start winless stretch, Jack Hannahan had an RBI double and Bobby Crosby also drove in a run in the Athletics' victory over the Blue Jays. Smith (3-4) effectively threw all of his pitches to outduel A.J. Burnett (5-5) to give Oakland its fifth straight win. Smith had been 0-4 in five starts since beating the Minnesota Twins on April 24. The left-hander pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one.
MARINERS 4, RED SOX 3: At Seattle, Jose Lopez lined a single past diving third baseman Mike Lowell to score Wladimir Balentien with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, helping the Mariners end a season-high seven-game losing streak.