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Cubs' winning hit? Grinning Barrett

By Associated Press
Published June 20, 2004

CHICAGO - Michael Barrett added another highlight to his career season.

Barrett lined a two-run double into the rightfield corner in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday, giving the Cubs a 4-3 victory over the Athletics. It was Chicago's seventh win in its final at-bat and 18th comeback victory this season.

It wouldn't have happened without Barrett. Acquired in an offseason trade, the catcher was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. He raised his average to .313 and is fourth on the Cubs with 36 RBIs.

"This has been a dream," Barrett said. "That hit right there is comparable to my first hit in the majors. I'm not a guy who shows that much emotion. I try to stay consistent, but that was incredible."

The Cubs spoiled another strong start by Mark Mulder, who outpitched Mark Prior in a marquee matchup.

Oakland took a 3-2 lead into the ninth. But with closer Arthur Rhodes absent, Chad Bradford couldn't hold it.

Pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth started the winning rally with a one-out infield single. Todd Walker had a pinch-hit single, and both scored on Barrett's drive to right.

Barrett started his career in Montreal and hit .293 with eight homers and 52 RBIs in his first full season in the majors. His production dropped the next two seasons, and he struggled during an injury-plagued 2003.

He's been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs.

"He makes contact, he uses the whole field and stays out of the air, which is what a clutch hitter has to do. There's no particular way to play him," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "I'm just glad we have him. Because, boy, that was huge."

Derrek Lee went 4-for-4 for the Cubs, and Kyle Farnsworth (2-3) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

Rhodes was attending to a family matter, leaving it up to Bradford (3-4) to go for his second save in two games. He got just one out and blew his second save in three tries.

The Athletics have 13 blown saves this season.

"There's been a whole bunch," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "Sometimes they get put in a position where they're not going to be successful because of the circumstances. We can't blame Bradford."

BRAVES 4, INDIANS 0: Paul Byrd pitched seven shutout innings in his first start since 2002, and Eli Marrero and Julio Franco hit two-run homers to lead host Atlanta.

Giving the slumping Braves a needed lift, Byrd held the Indians to four hits and did not walk a batter. The Braves had lost three straight and seven of 10 to fall four games under .500 this late in the season for the first time since 1990.

Byrd was making his first major-league start since Sept. 25, 2002, for Kansas City against the Chicago White Sox. His last win came Sept. 19, 2002. He had Tommy John surgery on July 1, 2003, and was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day.

He appeared to tire in the sixth and seventh innings, when he gave up doubles to Matt Lawton and Casey Blake and a drive by pinch-hitter Raul Gonzalez that was caught near the wall in right-center by J.D. Drew. He threw 91 pitches - 64 for strikes.

EXPOS 17, WHITE SOX 14: Juan Rivera hit two homers, including his first career grand slam, in the second inning as host Montreal built a 10-run lead before holding on.

Juan Uribe had a career-high seven RBIs for the White Sox.

Rivera drove in six runs in the inning, tying Andre Dawson's team record with a two-run homer and a grand slam in the second off Arnie Munoz (0-1), who made his major-league debut.

Rivera became the first major-league player to hit two homers in one inning since Pittsburgh's Reggie Sanders on Aug. 20.

It was the fifth time a Montreal player hit two homers in the same inning, and first since Mike Lansing did it in the sixth inning of a 19-3 win in San Francisco on May 7, 1997.

GIANTS 6, RED SOX 4: Edgardo Alfonzo hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning to lead host San Francisco.

Alfonzo connected on a 1-and-1 pitch from Alan Embree (2-1) for his fourth homer of the year and the first of his career as a pinch-hitter to snap a tie at 4. Matt Herges (3-2) pitched 11/3 innings for the win despite blowing his fourth save.

The Red Sox pleased the sellout crowd of 42,499 by pitching to Barry Bonds in the highly anticipated meeting between the six-time NL MVP and Pedro Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Bonds finished 0-for-4, with a strikeout, flyout, popout and groundout. He came in hitting .367 lifetime with a homer against Martinez.

ANGELS 6, ASTROS 4: Ramon Ortiz pitched six scoreless innings, Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in three runs and visiting Anaheim handed Roger Clemens his second straight loss. Ortiz easily outpitched Clemens, allowing only three hits with five strikeouts in his best start of the season.

PHILLIES 4, ROYALS 2: Jim Thome hit his major league-leading 21st homer, and Eric Milton earned his ninth win for host Philadelphia. Placido Polanco also homered for the Phillies in their first victory over Kansas City since Game 6 of the 1980 World Series.

RANGERS 7, MARLINS 6: Eric Young drove in three runs and Kevin Mench hit a two-run homer for visiting Texas. The Rangers got plenty of help from the Marlins, who committed three errors, including one by Alex Gonzalez in the second that led to three unearned runs.

METS 4, TIGERS 3 (10): Jose Reyes, just off the disabled list after missing the first 66 games, had a 10th-inning triple set up Mike Cameron's second winning hit in two nights for host New York.

ROCKIES 11, ORIOLES 6: Preston Wilson drove in four runs in his second game since coming off the disabled list, and Jeff Fassero threw five-plus solid innings to win for the first time in nearly a year, lifting host Colorado.

MARINERS 5, PIRATES 1: Joel Pineiro limited Pittsburgh to one run over eight innings, and Rich Aurilia drove in three runs for visiting Seattle.

BREWERS 7, TWINS 6: Geoff Jenkins hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the eighth inning, and host Milwaukee rallied from a five-run deficit.

PADRES 3, JAYS 2: Trevor Hoffman earned his 367th career save to tie Jeff Reardon for fourth on the career list, and host San Diego rallied to end its season-high six-game losing streak. Brian Giles had a tying single and Ryan Klesko a go-ahead double in the eighth.

CARDINALS 9, REDS 2: For the second straight game, Albert Pujols upstaged Ken Griffey's quest for 500 homers. Pujols' three-run homer in the seventh inning led host St. Louis to its sixth straight win. Griffey remained stuck on 499 homers for the fifth straight game.

[Last modified June 20, 2004, 01:00:41]


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