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Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Sosa’s 501st leads Cubs’ rout

April 16, 2003

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— Sammy Sosa needed a little help for his 501st home run.

Sosa homered and Shawn Estes pitched no-hit ball through five innings as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 11-1, Tuesday.

The Cubs took advantage of a 24-mph wind to hit three home runs. Mark Bellhorn and Hee Seop Choi also homered.

The Cubs sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth inning. Sosa, who hit his 500th homer against Cincinnati on April 4 but had not hit one since, connected against Reds starter Danny Graves, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

The ball appeared to be a routine fly ball and kept Sosa from his patented hop, but the wind pushed it out of the park.

"I hit it but I didn't hit it quite enough," Sosa said. "Sometimes you know when you hit the ball very good that it's going to go right away. That was kind of a fly ball. I think the wind helped."

Graves agreed.

"When I turned around (Ruben) Mateo was going after it like he was camped under it and it just kept going, but that's Wrigley Field," Graves said.

Graves then gave up a single to Troy O'Leary, a walk to Choi and a single to Ramon Martinez. Bellhorn followed with a two-run single, scoring O'Leary and Choi and Adam Dunn dropped Paul Bako's fly ball in left, scoring Martinez. Then Patterson drove in Bellhorn with a double over Dunn's to head to make it 5-0.

"He (Graves) got a little a tentative after the fly ball went out," Cincinnati manager Bob Boone said.

Estes (1-1) retired the first nine batters he faced before walking Felipe Lopez to open the fourth. He also hit Sean Casey in that inning but escaped by getting Austin Kearns to hit into a double play.

The Cubs committed three errors Monday night in their 11-3 loss to the Reds, but played better defense on Tuesday.

Braves 2, Expos 1 (10)

San Juan, Puerto Rico -- With Los Expos on the verge of winning their fifth straight game at their new home, Gary Sheffield homered leading off the ninth inning and Marcus Giles hit another starting the 10th to give Atlanta a victory. Both drives came off Dan Smith (1-1), trying to close it out because Rocky Biddle was unavailable after pitching three days in a row against the Mets.

Lifted again by Latin American players, the Expos appeared ready for another island party. Tony Armas Jr. pitched seven shutout innings and Orlando Cabrera homered in the seventh inning.

Giants 8, Astros 4

San Francisco -- Marquis Grissom doubled twice and scored two runs as San Francisco logged its 13th victory in 14 games. The Giants capitalized on Orlando Merced's embarrassing error in right field during a five-run second inning. San Francisco won its sixth straight and improved to 7-1 on a nine-game homestand.

Rockies 12, D'backs 1

Phoenix -- Shawn Chacon allowed four hits over seven-plus innings and hit his first major league home run as Colorado beat Arizona to improve to 5-0 against the Diamondbacks this season. Chacon (2-0) beat Arizona for the second time this season. He allowed one unearned run, struck out two, walked two and hit two batters -- one of them leading to the ejection of the Diamondbacks' Danny Bautista in the third inning.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 1

Milwaukee -- Milwaukee won its first home game under manager Ned Yost, defeating St. Louis behind eight sharp innings from Ben Sheets. Sheets (1-2) allowed one run on six hits, walked three and struck out six. He held the Cardinals' top four batters hitless in 14 at-bats with two walks.

The right-hander got ample support from his teammates, who scored six runs on nine hits in four-plus innings against Cardinals starter Garrett Stephenson (1-1).

Mets 3, Pirates 1

Pittsburgh -- Tom Glavine's third consecutive strong start and Jeromy Burnitz's two-run homer led New York past Pittsburgh, ending the Mets' six-game losing streak. Struggling closer Armando Benitez, who blew three leads in the last nine days, worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

Phillies 4, Marlins 3

Philadelphia -- Jimmy Rollins hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, leading Philadelphia past Florida. David Bell and Jim Thome preserved the victory with a stellar defensive play.

Padres 3 Dodgers 2

Los Angeles -- Jake Peavy pitched shutout ball over the first six innings and Rondell White homered for the fourth time in six games as San Diego beat Los Angeles. Peavy (3-0) was charged with a run and five hits over six-plus innings, striking out three and walking one.

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