Maybe now fans will listen to Jose Lima's predictions.
Just as he forecast in spring training, Lima became the first 20-game winner in the National League as the Houston Astros won their season-high ninth consecutive game Saturday with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Houston.
"I told them 15 last year and I won 16. And I said 20 this year and I did it. What else can I do?" Lima said. "This is Lima time. I told you this would be Lima time, and it is."
Lima (20-7) struck out the side in the first inning and retired 10 of the first 11 batters. He also prevented Sammy Sosa from hitting his 60th home run--last year, Sosa hit three homers against Lima, including No. 66.
Sosa went one for four and remained at 59 home runs, one short of becoming the first player in major league history to hit at least 60 homers in a season twice.
Astro right fielder Derek Bell was listed as day-to-day after being scratched from the lineup because of a pulled muscle in his rib cage.
San Francisco 3, Atlanta 2--Barry Bonds became the 210th major leaguer with 2,000 hits and Kirk Rueter gave up six hits in eight strong innings for the Giants at San Francisco.
Bonds became the 15th active player with 2,000 hits when he doubled leading off the Giants' two-run fourth inning.
Rueter (14-8) gave up a run-scoring double by Jose Hernandez in the seventh. He struck out three and walked two.
Arizona 4, Philadelphia 0--Andy Benes added to his reputation as a pitcher who heats up late in the season, tossing eight shutout innings for the Diamondbacks at Phoenix.
Matt Williams was three for four with a run-scoring triple and a home run, and Jay Bell hit a two-run homer as Arizona won for the sixth time in seven games.
Cincinnati 12, Florida 4--Aaron Boone and Dmitri Young started Cincinnati's four-homer barrage and the Reds held ground in the National League Central at Cincinnati.
The Reds concluded their week of home run derby by getting three-run shots from Boone and Young, a solo homer from Eddie Taubensee and a two-run homer from Greg Vaughn. Reds have hit 29 homers in their last nine games.
Pittsburgh 8, St. Louis 5--Slumping Ed Sprague hit a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Dale Sveum contributed a two-run double for the Pirates at St. Louis.
Mark McGwire went 0 for 3 with two walks. He has 55 home runs and the Cardinals have 19 games left.
Colorado 7, Milwaukee 6--Pinch-hitter J.R. Phillips hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth for the Rockies at Denver.
Montreal 5, San Diego 4--Rondell White hit a two-run homer and Chris Widger drove in two runs for the Expos at San Diego.