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NL: Wood's 13 strikeouts lift Cubs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 13, 2003

CHICAGO -- Damian Miller thinks Kerry Wood and Mark Prior could be spoiling Cubs fans.

Wood struck out 13 in eight innings, leading the Cubs past the Pirates 4-0 Saturday, just three days after Prior struck out 12 in a complete-game shutout.

Wood gave up three hits and allowed one runner past first base.

"I think Cubs fans are going to be awful spoiled with these guys in the long run," said Miller, who homered and drove in two runs. "Their mental makeup is right where it needs to be and their stuff is always going to be there. It's just a matter of those guys being consistent every fifth day."

Wood has 26 strikeouts in 20 innings in three starts. He walked four and had 122 pitches.

"His breaking ball is a special thing on most days," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said, mentioning Wood in the same context as some of the all-time great power pitchers. "Everybody talks about Nolan Ryan's fastball and Sandy Koufax's fastball. But the special thing was their breaking ball."

Wood took advantage of the wind blowing in on a chilly spring day.

"Today was a great day for me to pitch with the wind howling in, and with days like that you can get away with more mistakes," Wood said.

The Pirates did not threaten until the ninth, when they put two runners on base against reliever Mike Remlinger. Joe Borowski took over and got two outs for his second save.

PHILLIES 8, REDS 5: Backup catcher Todd Pratt drove in three runs, offsetting homers by Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn, as visiting Philadelphia won.

"Just because we're bench players doesn't mean we couldn't be everyday players on other teams," said Pratt, playing in his second game of the season.

Pratt appeared in 39 games last season, including two at first base, while backing up Mike Lieberthal. But in those limited appearances, he hit a career-best .311.

Pratt, who singled in a run in the second, gave starter Kevin Millwood a boost and Philadelphia a 4-3 lead when he drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to cap a three-run fifth.

Millwood retired the Reds in order in the fifth and sixth, leaving with seven strikeouts. He allowed four hits and walked two.

MARLINS 12, BRAVES 5: Derrek Lee drove in five runs with two homers, one inside the park, and host Florida had 15 hits for its fourth consecutive victory.

Last-place Atlanta has been outscored 72-16 in eight losses. Atlanta's ERA is 6.39, worst in the NL.

Lee, dropped from fourth to sixth in the order after a slow start, hit a two-run homer in the fourth.

With two on in the seventh, Lee's drive eluded centerfielder Andruw Jones near the 434-foot sign. The 6-foot-5 Lee circled the bases and beat the throw home standing up.

Carl Pavano hit a run-scoring triple and held the Braves to four runs, three earned, in 62/3 innings. He gave up nine hits, including home runs by Javier Lopez and pitcher Russ Ortiz.

Juan Pierre singled home Florida's first run in the third. That extended his hitting streak to 15 games, longest in the majors, including 12 this season.

Errors by first baseman Robert Fick and third baseman Vinny Castilla helped the Marlins score two unearned runs in the fifth to go ahead 7-4. The Braves lead the major leagues with 17 errors and have allowed 11 unearned runs.

CARDINALS 3, ASTROS 0: Woody Williams pitched six sharp innings for visiting St. Louis.

Jim Edmonds and Edgar Renteria had run-scoring singles for the Cardinals, who snapped a three-game losing skid and won for the second time in seven games.

They bounced right back from a tough loss the night before -- when Jeff Kent hit a two-run homer off Matt Morris with two outs in the ninth to give Houston a 3-2 win.

EXPOS 5, METS 4: Livan Hernandez dominated early and Michael Barrett homered as Montreal remained unbeaten in its new part-time home of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Expos, the East leaders, made two errors on the springy artificial turf of Hiram Bithorn Stadium but stretched their winning streak to three, including the first two of their 22 games in San Juan.

After drawing 17,906 for a 10-0 win in Friday's opener, the Expos got a sellout of 18,264, again bigger than all but eight crowds last season at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

New York, loser of four straight and five of six, also made two errors and looked awful, with two throws going between fielders.

Slow Mo Vaughn was nearly thrown out at first base on a ball lined into rightfield, Timo Perez struck out while getting hit with a pitch on the left wrist and Cliff Floyd was forced from the game with a strained right Achilles' tendon.

DODGERS-GIANTS PPD.: The game never started because of rain and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sept. 27. Saturday's starters, San Francisco's Jason Schmidt and Kevin Brown for the Dodgers, will pitch today. The rainout means Giants prospect Jesse Foppert will not make his major-league debut Monday. He'll come out of the bullpen instead against the Astros.

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