Cubs bank on Barrett

Ninth-inning double lifts Chicago past Oakland

Chicago's Michael Barrett connects for a game-winning double against Oakland. The Cubs defeated the Athletics, 4-3, Saturday in Chicago.

? Michael Barrett added another highlight to his career season.

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

It wouldn’t have happened without Barrett. Acquired in a trade last offseason, the catcher finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs. He raised his average to .313 and is third 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 off the next two seasons, and he struggled during an injury-plagued year in 2003. He has 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.”

Expos 17, White Sox 14

Montreal — Juan Rivera hit two homers, including his first career grand slam, in the second inning as Montreal built a 10-run lead before holding on for a win over Chicago. 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.

Tim Raines’ No. 30 was retired by the Expos in a pregame ceremony as the game drew 18,114, the biggest Olympic Stadium crowd since 30,112 attended the team’s Montreal opener on Apr. 23.

Montreal, which ended a seven-game losing streak, scored nine of its 11 runs off Munoz in the second for its biggest inning in nearly five years. The Expos scored nine runs in a 10-4 win in Milwaukee on Aug. 1, 1999.

Rangers 7, Marlins 6

Miami — Eric Young drove in three runs, Kevin Mench hit a two-run homer, and Texas held on to beat Florida. Young had a two-run double in the second inning and an RBI single in the fifth, giving the Rangers lots of production from the leadoff spot for the second straight game. Michael Young had three hits and scored twice atop the order in Friday’s 8-1 win at Florida. The Marlins committed three errors, including one by Alex Gonzalez in the second that led to three unearned runs.

Yankees 6, Dodgers 2

Los Angeles — Hideki Matsui hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat against Hideo Nomo, and Brad Halsey won his major-league debut in New York’s victory over Los Angeles. The second regular-season meeting between the division leaders attracted another sellout crowd of 54,876 on a cool, gloomy day that required the stadium lights to be on.

Giants 6, Red Sox 4

San Francisco — Edgardo Alfonzo hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning to lead San Francisco over Boston. Alfonzo connected on a 1-1 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 4-all tie. Matt Herges (3-2) pitched 11/3 innings for the win despite blowing his fourth save.

The Red Sox tied it in the eighth to get Pedro Martinez off the hook. Barry Bonds finished 0-for-4, with a strikeout, flyout, popout and groundout. He came in hitting .367 lifetime with a homer against Martinez.

Rockies 11, Orioles 6

Denver — 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 Colorado over Baltimore. Vinny Castilla drove in three runs, Todd Helton drove in two, and Royce Clayton had two RBIs and scored four runs for Colorado, which has won four of five since an eight-game losing streak. Wilson, who missed 58 games due to knee surgery, was 2-for-3.

Mariners 5, Pirates 1

Pittsburgh — Joel Pineiro limited Pittsburgh to one run over eight innings in his second straight strong start, and Rich Aurilia drove in three runs to lead Seattle past Pittsburgh. Pineiro (3-8) looked a lot more like the pitcher who won 16 games last season than the one who recently ended a seven-game losing streak. He allowed only two harmless singles through seven innings until Bobby Hill homered leading off eighth.

Mets 4, Tigers 3, 10 innings

New York — Jose Reyes’ 10th-inning triple set up Mike Cameron’s second game-winning hit in two nights, and New York defeated Detroit. Just off the disabled list after missing the first 66 games of the season, Reyes was in the middle of the Mets’ two key rallies. Reyes, who had been out since straining his right hamstring in spring training March 14, was hitless in his first three at-bats, striking out twice. But he drove in a run in the eighth on a grounder.

Angels 6, Astros 4

Houston — Ramon Ortiz pitched six scoreless innings, Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in three runs, and Anaheim handed Roger Clemens his second straight loss. Ortiz (3-5) easily outpitched Clemens, allowing only three hits with five strikeouts in his best start of the season. The Angels’ right-hander, who came into the game with a 5.32 ERA, managed virtually to shut down the NL’s second-best offense.

Brewers 7, Twins 6

Milwaukee — Geoff Jenkins hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the eighth inning, and Milwaukee rallied from a five-run deficit to beat Minnesota. The Brewers were down 5-0 before going ahead with a six-run seventh. Milwaukee got just one runner past second base in the first six innings.

Luis Rivas homered in the eighth to get Minnesota even again, but Jenkins sent the first pitch he saw from Terry Mulholland deep into the right-field stands. Jenkins, who has homered in five of nine games, was batting .196 against left-handers this season.

Braves 4, Indians 0

Atlanta — Paul Byrd pitched seven shutout innings in his first start since 2002, and Eli Marrero and Julio Franco hit two-run homers to lead Atlanta over Cleveland. 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. 19, 2002, for Kansas City against the Chicago White Sox. He had Tommy John surgery July 1, 2003, and was activated from the disabled list earlier Saturday.

Padres 3, Blue Jays 2

San Diego — Trevor Hoffman earned his 367th career save to tie Jeff Reardon for fourth on the career list, and San Diego rallied to beat Toronto to end its season-high six-game losing streak. Brian Giles had a tying single, and Ryan Klesko a go-ahead double for the Padres in the eighth inning. Hoffman was pitching in his first save opportunity since Sunday, when he blew a 2-0 lead at Yankee Stadium by allowing consecutive home runs.

Devil Rays 11, D’backs 4

Phoenix — Tino Martinez drove in five runs with a homer and a double, powering the Tampa Bay to its 10th consecutive win. The Devil Rays are a major-league-best 10-1 in interleague play.