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D'backs slam Cubs in 9th

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 18, 2002

CHICAGO -- Seeing Erubiel Durazo break a tie with a grand slam in the ninth was bad enough for fans at Wrigley Field.

CHICAGO -- Seeing Erubiel Durazo break a tie with a grand slam in the ninth was bad enough for fans at Wrigley Field.

But watching the Cubs run themselves out of a rally in the bottom of the inning was too much.

"Go on strike! Go on strike!" the crowd of 38,728 chanted as the Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 6-2 on Saturday.

When pinch-runner Joe Girardi's baserunning error caused Alex Gonzalez to get caught in a rundown between third and home, the chants started, and the crowd kept it up until the end of the game.

"We've been booed for a while now and rightfully so," Cubs starting pitcher Kerry Wood said.

The victory was Arizona's eighth in a row, a season high.

Sammy Sosa hit his 43rd homer of the season. It was the 493rd of his career, matching Lou Gehrig for 18th all-time.

The Diamondbacks have won 22 of their past 26 and took advantage of three Chicago baserunning errors.

The Cubs have lost five of six.

Quinton McCracken and Junior Spivey singled with two outs in the ninth. Steve Finley followed with a grounder that shortstop Alex Gonzalez misplayed for an error, loading the bases. Durazo hit the first pitch from Kyle Farnsworth over the centerfield fence.

"Erubiel is one of those guys who seem to be in a scoring position when he steps in the batting box," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "He is an extremely dangerous hitter."

The Cubs tried to rally in the ninth, hitting three consecutive singles before Girardi, running for Todd Hundley, made his baserunning blunder.

Bill Mueller was caught stealing in the first just before Sosa homered, and Wood was caught off first with a runner on third.

Wood allowed five hits and one run over six innings. He struck out five and walked three and was relieved because of a blistered finger.

Sosa, who leads the major leagues in homers, connected off Miguel Batista. Sosa extended his hitting streak to 12 games, with 10 home runs during the streak.

"It's very nice to be in the league with another legend," Sosa said. "But I need to keep continuing doing my job."

DODGERS 10, METS 4: Odalis Perez retired the first 19 batters, and Shawn Green homered and drove in four runs for Los Angeles. The Mets dropped their 10th in a row at home and set a season high with seven consecutive losses overall.

The crowd of 50,763 chanted "Go on strike! Go on strike!" when the Mets fell behind 8-0 in the third. They fell into last place in the East.

Perez flirted with perfection for the second time this season, cruising into the seventh until Rey Ordonez drew a one-out walk.

Ordonez barely checked his swing on a 3-and-2 pitch, and Mike Piazza hit the next pitch 455 feet over the leftfield bleachers.

ASTROS 6, REDS 1: Jose Vizcaino went 5-for-5, including a leadoff home run and a go-ahead single in the ninth, for visiting Houston.

After Vizcaino homered in the first off Shawn Estes, Cincinnati got a run in the second when Barry Larkin grounded into a double play. It stayed 1-1 through eight innings.

In the ninth, Houston broke through with five runs, beginning with Vizcaino's run-scoring single. Vizcaino tied a career high for hits, set Sept.23, 1995, while playing for the Mets.

Craig Biggio had a run-scoring single. Lance Berkman then added a run-scoring double off Danny Graves, which was followed by Jeff Bagwell's run-scoring single.

CARDINALS 5, PHILLIES 1: Jason Simontacchi allowed two hits over seven innings and Scott Rolen hit a two-run double as visiting St. Louis snapped Philadelphia's five-game winning streak.

Simontacchi gave up one run (Jeremy Giambi's homer in the seventh) in his best start of the season. He retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced and struck out a career-high seven en route to his second straight victory.

MARLINS 7, GIANTS 3: Charles Johnson and Juan Encarnacion drove in two runs, helping host Florida overcome Barry Bonds' first home run in seven games. Bonds hit homer No.601 by lining a pitch Josh Beckett over the rightfield fence in the first.

Encarnacion's two-run double in the first scored Kevin Millar and Derrek Lee, then Mike Lowell ended an 0-for-28 slump with a run-scoring single. Andy Fox started the scoring when he walked and scored on J.T. Snow's error, which snapped the Giants' seven-game errorless streak.

ROCKIES 10, BRAVES 3: Todd Zeile capped visiting Colorado's five-run first with his first homer since June 26, a span of 128 at-bats.

Colorado rookie right-hander Denny Stark didn't allow a run in five innings. He escaped bases-loaded, one-out jams in the first and third, striking out Andruw Jones each time and getting Vinny Castilla on a soft liner in the first and on a strikeout in the third.

PADRES 6, EXPOS 5: Pinch-hitter Gene Kingsale's two-run double capped visiting San Diego's four-run eighth.

The Padres set a major-league record by using their 33rd pitcher this season. The pitcher, Jonathan Johnson, earned the win with a perfect seventh after taking over for starter Mike Bynum, the 32nd pitcher.

PIRATES 5, BREWERS 0: Jack Wilson hit a three-run double in the sixth and Brian Meadows won for the first time in more than a year as host Pittsburgh ended a season-worst seven-game losing streak.

Meadows allowed four hits in six innings to win for the first time since May 10, 2001, when he beat Cleveland while he was with Kansas City.

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