CHICAGO Javier Vazquez allowed a run and five hits in seven strong innings and Brian McCann had two two-out RBI as the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 tonight.
Vazquez (6-7), backed by some fine infield play from shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Brooks Conrad, outpitched Carlos Zambrano. In his last nine starts, Vazquez has two wins both against the Cubs. He walked none and struck out six.
Mike Gonzalez worked the eighth, surviving a double by Ryan Theriot, and Rafael Soriano got his ninth save in 10 chances by pitching the ninth.
Zambrano was pitching on three days' rest, starting in place of Ryan Dempster, who went on the 15-day disabled list today with a fractured right toe. Dempster was injured when he hopped over a dugout railing to get on the field and celebrate a Cubs' victory Sunday.
Zambrano (4-4) allowed five hits and two runs in six innings. He hasn't won since June 6 a stretch of six starts.
Nate McLouth walked to lead off the game, moved up on a sacrifice and after he was nearly picked off second, made third on a grounder. McCann then delivered a two-out RBI single. Chicago tied it in the second when Koyie Hill hit a two-out RBI single, the Cubs' third hit of the inning.
McCann delivered again in the third with a slicing two-out double to score Martin Prado, who singled.