CHICAGO (Reuters) - Matt Murton scored on a ninth-inning wild pitch as the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 to take first place in the National League Central Division on Wednesday.
Murton charged home on Brett Myers’s pitch with the bases loaded and the Cubs moved one percentage point ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, who lost to the New York Mets 8-5.
Murton opened the inning with a double, then took third on another wild pitch by Myers.
Ronny Cedeno walked and Jacque Jones was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Jason Kendall struck out, but with pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd at the plate, Myers’s pitch was wild and Murton scored.
“That last pitch was a split (ball),” Myers told reporters. “I thought that was the best pitch to try and get Cliff out right there, but he didn’t swing at it and it got past (Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz). Nine times out of 10, Carlos blocks that ball. It was a freaky game from the beginning.”
Philadelphia had loaded the bases in the top of the ninth on Jimmy Rollins’s two-out single and two consecutive walks. But Ruiz ground out to end the threat.
The Cubs held a 4-1 lead after three innings. Then the Phillies scored three runs in the fifth to tie the score. Aaron Rowand got the tying run on a solo homer to center.
*San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds went 0-for-3 to remain one shy of Hank Aaron’s all-time career home run record of 755 as the Los Angeles Dodgers scored four runs in the eighth inning to beat Bonds’s Giants 6-4.
*Pinch-hitter Chad Tracy’s three-run, 11th-inning homer powered the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 9-5 win over the San Diego Padres. San Diego outfielder Brian Giles sprained his right ankle in the fifth inning and left the game.
*Mark Teixeira homered and drove in four runs in his first game in Atlanta as the Braves routed the Houston Astros 12-3. Teixeira, traded on Tuesday by the Texas Rangers, drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning and hit a three-run homer in the sixth.
*Byung-Hyun Kim struck out a career-high 10 as the Florida Marlins escaped with a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies despite six walks and a hit batter by Kim.
*Ronny Paulino’s grand slam home run in a five-run first inning powered the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 15-1 home win over the St. Louis Cardinals.