Big Z Snags 3 Hits, 14 Wins

Slugging Cubs ace matches batting output of entire opposing Reds team
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2007 6:27 AM CDT
Chicago Cubs' Carlos Zambrano hits his third single of the game against the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning during their baseball game Sunday, July 29, 2007 in Cincinnati. The Cubs won 6-0. (AP Photo/Tony...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fiery, enigmatic Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano pitched 7 1/3 innings of a three-hitter against Cincinnati, batting 3-for-4 and becoming the first pitcher in the majors with 14 wins. Seven of those have come in Zambrano's last eight games, and he describes the current stretch as the best of his career.

Zambrano raised his batting average to .291 and tied a career high for hits, set in 2003 against Florida. Cubs skipper Lou Piniella downplayed the importance of slugging for the pitcher: "The story of the game was his pitching, not his hitting." The Reds mustered only two hits against him, plus one more against the bullpen.