The way Wade Miller threw the ball it didn’t matter who the Chicago Cubs had in their lineup.
His fastball sizzling through the strike zone, Miller pitched a two-hitter Friday -- the fewest hits he’s given up in a complete game -- and struck out a career-high 14.
He simply overpowered the Cubs and spoiled Sammy Sosa’s return to their lineup as the Houston Astros rolled to a 9-1 victory at Chicago.
“It was good to finally pitch a game like that. When you start getting guys out, you start to get on a roll a little bit and start picking up the pace of the game and throwing strikes,” Miller said.
“I was throwing them chest high and they were swinging through it, so I got lucky on those they were swinging at,” he said.
A rusty Sosa, activated Friday from the disabled list after sitting out 17 games because of a toe injury, went 0 for 4 and struck out three times.
“It was all about pitching and he was on. You got to get ready, he’s throwing 96 mph,” Sosa said. “It was my first game, I’ve been out for three weeks and my timing is not there yet. I don’t feel comfortable yet. It could take a couple more games.”
Arizona 8, San Diego 3 -- In his first start since smashing a machine used to evaluate umpires, Curt Schilling (4-3) had a three-hit shutout when he left after Sean Burroughs’ comebacker hit his pitching hand on the second out of the seventh at San Diego. Ramon Vazquez also hit a ball off Schilling’s pitching hand on the first pitch of the game. The Padres have lost 14 of 16.
Cincinnati 4, Florida 3 -- Ken Griffey Jr. hit a game-tying solo homer in the ninth inning and a go-ahead shot in the top of the 11th to lead the Reds at Miami. Griffey won the game with a 402-foot drive to right field with two outs in the 11th against Armando Almanza (3-4).
Pittsburgh 7, St. Louis 3 -- Kenny Lofton homered to extend his hitting streak to 26 games and Jeff Suppan (5-5) ended his five-game losing streak in a victory at St. Louis. Lofton matched Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra for the longest hitting streak in the majors this season.
Philadelphia 12, Montreal 5 -- Jim Thome homered and drove in four runs to lead the Phillies at Philadelphia. Mike Lieberthal walked twice with the bases loaded and Bobby Abreu did it once to force in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.
San Francisco 6, Colorado 2 -- Rookie Kurt Ainsworth got a career-best eight strikeouts and pitched into the seventh inning at San Francisco as the Rockies had their winning streak end at five games.