Cubs can only watch McGriff’s power show


Shortly after watching his team struggle to score, Chicago Cubs manager Don Baylor heard the news from Turner Field: Fred McGriff had homered twice in Tampa Bay’s win over Atlanta. But there’s no telling when — or if — McGriff will waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal that would move him from the last-place Devil Rays to the NL Central leaders. The Cubs have agreed to send two prospects to Tampa Bay for the 37-year-old first baseman. McGriff, however, is reluctant to leave his wife, two children and hometown for a chance to maybe make the playoffs for the first time since 1997. In the National League, Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh 4-2. McGriff, who played with the Braves from 1993-97, drew ovations after his 17th and 18th homers of the season. He also hit an RBI single. Atlanta, too, is looking for a power-hitting first baseman. Cubs 2, Royals 1 Kansas City set a major league record with its 21st straight one-run loss on the road. Jon Lieber won his sixth consecutive start for Chicago. It was his first appearance since giving up consecutive home runs to Derek Jeter and Magglio Ordonez in the All-Star game. Mariners 8, Diamondbacks 0 Aaron Sele pitched a career-best two-hitter and set down 22 straight batters as Seattle shut out Arizona at Safeco Field. Mike Cameron and John Olerud homered and Scott Podsednik hit a bases-loaded triple in his first major league at-bat.

Seattle DH Edgar Martinez strained his left quadriceps muscle on a hit-and-run play. He is expected to miss at least a few days. Sele (11-1) pitched his seventh career shutout in the matchup of West division leaders. Phillies 9, Yankees 3 Doug Glanville doubled twice and drove in two runs as Philadelphia beat New York before a sellout crowd of 59,470, the largest at Veterans Stadium since the 1993 opener. A lot of Yankees fans came to watch the interleague matchup of East division leaders, and they saw catcher Jorge Posada have three passed balls, Mark Wohlers struggle in relief and shortstop Derek Jeter make an error that set up the go-ahead run. Marlins 7, Orioles 1 Kevin Millar, Charles Johnson and Mike Lowell homered to lead Florida past visiting Baltimore. Cal Ripken Jr. went 0-for-3 and ended his hitting streak at 15 games, his longest in nine years. Mets 6, Blue Jays 2 Mike Piazza homered, doubled and drove in three runs to lead New York over Toronto. The Mets, who began the day last in the majors with 347 runs, had their highest-scoring game since June 17. Padres 5, Angels 1 Brian Lawrence, called up from the minors to pitch in place of injured Sterling Hitchcock, responded with his first career complete game as San Diego beat Anaheim. Lawrence (2-0) was promoted from Triple-A Portland because Hitchcock had an infected big toe on his left foot. Lawrence gave up seven hits, walked none and struck out AL home run champion Troy Glaus three straight times. Despite the strong effort, the Padres plan to option Lawrence back the minors to make room for pitcher Brian Tollberg, who’s coming off the disabled list. Tigers 8, Reds 5 Bobby Higginson hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning as Detroit rallied to win at Cincinnati. The Tigers trailed 5-4 when Higginson homered. Robert Fick followed with his second homer of the game. Ken Griffey Jr. homered for the first time this month for the Reds. Red Sox 8, Expos 5 Chris Stynes homered twice and drove in four runs as Boston won before thousands of Red Sox rooters at Olympic Stadium. The crowd of 32,965, swelled by many fans who drove up from New England, was the largest for a non-opening day at Montreal since July 19, 1997. Jose Vidro homered for the third straight game for the Expos. Giants 7, Rangers 6 Livan Hernandez struggled through seven innings at Texas, and San Francisco won with bullpen help from Felix Rodriguez and Robb Nen. Jeff Kent had three hits for the Giants, and Calvin Murray singled home the go ahead run in the sixth. White Sox 3, Brewers 2 Rocky Biddle won for the first time in 15 starts, pitching Chicago to its third straight victory. Cardinals 5, Twins 1 Dustin Hermanson outpitched All-Star Joe Mays, and St. Louis beat visiting Minnesota. The defending NL Central champions made it back to .500. The AL Central-leading Twins lost for just the fourth time in 19 games. Astros 5, Indians 3 Moises Alou homered to extend his hitting streak to 20 games as Houston beat Cleveland at Enron Field. Alou’s string is the second-longest in the NL this season. Teammate Lance Berkman had his 21-game streak stopped on Friday. Athletics 6, Rockies 3 Jason Giambi homered and hit an RBI single to lead Oakland to its sixth victory in seven games. Luis Vizcaino, promoted from the minors earlier in the day, struck out two for his first career save. Larry Walker hit his 28th homer. It was his 200th with Colorado and the 299th of his career.