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Cubs end nine-game losing streak

5/19/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs thought it was appropriate
their winning rally came without the benefit of a hit.

The Cubs snapped a nine-game losing streak Sunday, getting a
sacrifice fly from Corey Patterson in the 11th inning to beat the
Milwaukee Brewers 5-4.

Bobby Hill drew a leadoff walk off Valerio De Los Santos (0-1),
making his first appearance since April 3, 2001, and took second on
a wild pitch. He was sacrificed to third and scored easily on
Patterson's fly to left.

Joe Borowski (2-2) pitched two innings for the win, which was
secured when Hill grabbed a liner off Lenny Harris' bat and doubled
up Eric Young off second base.

"A lot of little things finally turned our way. That wasn't
happening during the losing streak," manager Don Baylor said after
the Cubs avoiding their first double-digit skid since starting the
1997 season with 14 losses.

The Cubs appeared on their way to yet another dismal defeat when
they wasted a strong outing by Kerry Wood and trailed 3-0 going
into the eighth.

"When we got down in the ballgame, I think everybody started
thinking, 'Here we go again,' " Baylor said. "But we got a couple
big hits and plays"

The Cubs, who tied it in the eighth on a two-run homer by Fred
McGriff, took a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth on Bill Mueller's
sacrifice fly off Luis Vizcaino. He hit a soft fly to shortstop
Luis Lopez in shallow left field, and Hill scored when Lopez,
activated from the DL before the game, failed to set before making
a throw.

"It was hit in a perfect position," Brewers manager Jerry
Royster said. "He goes back and makes a good play. He wasn't in a
bad angle. It's what the ball took him to.

"He chose to tag up, which is the aggressive thing to do. And
then to go? It's classic. It's unbelievable. For a team that's been
struggling the way that they have, they were going for it right
there -- and got it."

Geoff Jenkins led off the bottom of the inning with a 435-foot
shot off Antonio Alfonseca, his first homer since May 8, to tie it
at 4.

The Brewers then put runners at second and third but Sammy Sosa
ran down pinch-hitter Alex Ochoa's drive in the right-field corner
to send the game into extra innings.

"We got some big hits finally," Baylor said. "Freddy's home
run really got us out of it. Bobby Hill got on base a couple times
and made a big play on that double play. Bobby tagging up on that
short ball to left ..."

The Brewers took a 3-0 lead into the eighth despite getting just
three hits in seven innings off Wood.

But, after Brewers rookie center fielder Alex Sanchez -- who was
thrown out twice and picked off -- misplayed Patterson's one-out
triple, Mueller followed with a sacrifice fly off Ruben Quevedo and
Sosa doubled for his first hit of the series.

Royster opted not to use any of his three left-handed relievers
and instead called in Vizcaino to face McGriff, who hit his first
offering over the right-field wall to tie it at 3.

Royster said he didn't go with Ray King because he wanted
Vizcaino to close the game.

"I didn't need him right there for McGriff," Royster said.
"I've got Vizcaino, who you know as well as I, has given up one
home run. If he doesn't give up a home run, he's done his job.

"It wasn't a matter of Ray King or nobody else. Jose Vizcaino
finally did not get somebody out and Fred McGriff did exactly what
they got him for," Royster said. "That's a classic right there,
that matchup, no matter how you look at it."

It was just the season's fourth homer by McGriff, who has now
homered in 40 major league ballparks, tying Cleveland's Ellis Burks
for the highest total in big league history.

"As down as we were, to win it in extra innings shows how much
we wanted to win it," Wood said. "It took everybody today. A lot
of guys got in there and contributed to this win."

Quevedo gave up two runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Richie Sexson, who had a sacrifice fly in the fourth, lined
Wood's first pitch in the seventh for his 12th homer and Tyler
Houston added a 445-foot shot, his second of the season, for a 3-0
lead.

In addition to misplaying Patterson's triple, Sanchez also was
picked off first base by Wood in the first inning, was thrown out
at third in the sixth when he slid past the bag and was caught
trying to steal second base in the eighth.

"Those are the mistakes that he's going to make and nobody
else, because nobody else can run like him," Royster said.

Game notes
Wood struck out three and walked six. ... The Brewers
placed OF Matt Stairs on the 15-day DL retroactive to Friday with a
strained left hamstring and activated INF Luis Lopez. ... The Cubs
return to Miller Park for a three-game series June 3-5. ... The
crowd of 41,424 was the second straight sellout and third of the
season.