at Chicago 6, Philadelphia 4: Aramis Ramirez’s grand slam capped a five-run eighth inning and the Cubs won their sixth consecutive game in dramatic fashion. Cole Hamels had given up a run and five hits in seven strong innings before the Phillies’ bullpen collapsed. Pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot homered leading off the bottom of the eighth to make it 4-2, Alfonso Soriano doubled and moved to third on Ryan Theriot’s single. Derrek Lee walked to load the bases, then Ramirez hit a 1-and-0 pitch from Chad Durbin deep into the seats -- Philadelphia center fielder Shane Victorino hardly moved -- to give the Cubs the lead with his 24th homer.
at Houston 3, Cincinnati 2: Hot and cold Brandon Backe was sharp into the seventh inning, Ty Wigginton homered twice off Aaron Harang and Humberto Quintero had a solo shot to help the Astros beat the Reds for the 10th time in 12 meetings. Backe (9-12) had one of his best outings of an inconsistent August, giving up six hits and striking out six in 6 2/3 innings. He was 2-2 in his previous four decisions, giving up 11 runs in each of the losses and a total of four runs in the two wins.
at Atlanta 4, Florida 2: Brian McCann hit a three-run homer and the Braves beat the slumping Marlins, who are 10-15 in August, haven’t won two games in a row this month and fell six games behind the idle New York Mets in the NL East. Florida begins a critical three-game series at home against the Mets today.
at Washington 11, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers have lost seven in a row. Manny Ramirez, who hadn’t hit a home run or driven in a run since Aug. 17, homered in the first inning.