Bradley Injured In Bizarre Argument

Monday, September 24th 2007, 7:42 am
By: News On 6

One week left, nothing decided.

That doesn't mean the National League pennant race has been uneventful lately.

A wild-card chase that was already wild turned absolutely bizarre Sunday for hot-tempered Milton Bradley and the San Diego Padres. The New York Mets pulled out a nail-biter in Florida to increase their NL East lead, and the Chicago Cubs closed in on a rare playoff berth by blanking Pittsburgh.

``I felt all along in September we'd get hot and we have,'' Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. ``We've still got some work to do.''

The Padres squandered an excellent chance to gain ground with a 7-3 loss at home to the surging Colorado Rockies, and Bradley got hurt during a heated argument with an umpire.

The outfielder was ejected and then injured his right knee when San Diego manager Bud Black spun him to the ground in an attempt to keep him from going after first base ump Mike Winters.

The Padres were livid, claiming that Winters baited Bradley, leading to a confrontation that overshadowed Colorado's impressive three-game sweep of the wild-card leaders.

Bradley, whose volatile temper has overshadowed his talent during his career, called it ``the most unprofessional and most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.''

``It's terrible. And now, because of him, my knee's hurt,'' said Bradley, a second-half catalyst for the Padres who was in his third game back from an injury that sidelined him for nearly two weeks. ``If this costs me my season because of that, he needs to be reprimanded. I'm taking some action. I'm not going to stand pat and accept this because I didn't do nothing wrong.''

Asked about his knee, Bradley said: ``I've got to get an MRI. It's killing me, though.''

Crew chief Bruce Froemming wouldn't allow a reporter to speak with Winters.

Froemming said Bradley ``got grumpy with Mike Winters. Winters told him to knock it off and he continued it. There is no covering up what he did. He had to be physically restrained.''

The punchless Padres retained their half-game lead in the wild-card race over Philadelphia, while the Rockies pulled within 1 1/2 games by winning their season-high eighth straight.

San Diego stayed 2 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West with seven to play. Colorado is four back of the Diamondbacks with six games remaining.

In other NL games, it was: Washington 5, Philadelphia 3; New York 7, Florida 6 in 11 innings; Atlanta 7, Milwaukee 4; Chicago 8, Pittsburgh 0; Los Angeles 7, Arizona 1; San Francisco 5, Cincinnati 4; and St. Louis 4, Houston 3.

The Padres also lost center fielder Mike Cameron after Bradley stepped on his right hand while the two pursued Garrett Atkins' inside-the-park home run. Jeff Francis (17-8) beat Greg Maddux (13-11) to match the Colorado record for wins in a season.

The Rockies won their franchise-best 84th game as they try for the second playoff appearance in their 15-year history.

``Their actions speak louder than anything I can tell you guys,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``I'm just proud of the way they're going about their business.''

Mets 7, Marlins 6, 11 innings

At Miami, David Wright singled home a run in the 11th inning, shaky middle relievers Aaron Sele and Scott Schoeneweis finally protected the lead, and New York moved 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia in the NL East.

The Mets now return home for their last seven games of the regular season, with a magic number of five for clinching their second consecutive division title.

Carlos Delgado's three-run homer highlighted a four-run eighth that gave New York a 6-3 lead, but Florida rallied against Aaron Heilman and closer Billy Wagner to force extra innings.

Dan Uggla's long leadoff homer against Wagner in the ninth tied it at 6, the latest late-season flop for New York's overworked and ineffective bullpen.

Cubs 8, Pirates 0

At Chicago, Carlos Zambrano (17-13) set a career high for wins by pitching six sharp innings before leaving with cramps, and the surging Cubs expanded their NL Central lead to 3 1/2 games over Milwaukee.

The Cubs, who have won 10 of 12, are off Monday before hitting the road for their final six games, at Florida and Cincinnati, as they try to wrap up their first playoff berth since 2003.

Derrek Lee and Ronny Cedeno homered. Pittsburgh lost its ninth straight.

Nationals 5, Phillies 3

At Washington, Austin Kearns went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and the Nationals won the final major league game at RFK Stadium. Cole Hamels made his second start since coming off the disabled list (strained elbow) and was removed after 74 pitches with Philadelphia ahead 2-1.

With the Phillies resting three top relievers after heavy use of late, Washington rallied against their bullpen. Philadelphia lost for only the second time in 11 games.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 1

At Phoenix, Chad Billingsley (12-5) limited Arizona to one run in 5 2-3 innings and the Diamondbacks wasted a chance to extend their lead in the NL West. After a day off Monday, the Diamondbacks have six games remaining _ three at Pittsburgh and three in Colorado. Their magic number is five to clinch the division title.

Juan Pierre had four hits and James Loney added three, including a two-run homer, to help Los Angeles stop a seven-game skid.

Braves 7, Brewers 4

At Atlanta, Milwaukee manager Ned Yost was ejected during Atlanta's four-run rally in the seventh and the Braves sent the wobbling Brewers to their fourth loss in five games. Atlanta won for the seventh time in eight games in a late playoff push.

Cardinals 4, Astros 3

At St. Louis, Rick Ankiel's two-run triple off closer Brad Lidge (5-3) capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning of the Cardinals' home finale.

Albert Pujols also drove in a run in the ninth with a pinch-hit single. Last year's World Series champs won for only the fourth time in 18 games, two days after they were eliminated from postseason contention.

Giants 5, Reds 4

At San Francisco, Pedro Feliz hit a tying homer off Aaron Harang (16-5) during the Giants' five-run rally in the sixth.