Friday, August 15, 2008
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ATLANTA - A brief benches-clearing skirmish and only the second cycle in Atlanta history couldn't stop the Chicago Cubs from completing their first season sweep of the Braves.
Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano hit home runs and the Cubs beat Atlanta 11-7 on Thursday night, spoiling Mark Kotsay's cycle.
The Cubs won the season series 6-0 for their first sweep since the rivalry between the franchises began in 1876.
Kotsay's seventh-inning double off reliever Bob Howry was his 1,500th career hit as he joined Albert Hall as the only Atlanta players to single, double, triple and homer in the same game.
Tempers flared and both benches emptied after Cubs starter Ted Lilly hit Atlanta shortstop Yunel Escobar in the left arm with a pitch in the sixth inning Thursday night.
Plate umpire C.B. Bucknor stepped up to warn Lilly after the pitch hit Escobar, who dropped his bat, pointed to the mound and began yelling at the pitcher. Bucknor restrained Escobar as he began walking toward the mound.
No punches were thrown and no players were ejected during the brief altercation.