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Cubs' Clement defeats former team

CHICAGO (AP) -- Sammy Sosa was steamed, so angry at former
teammate Julian Tavarez for hitting him with a pitch that the star
slugger barreled home later in the same inning with a spikes-high
slide.

Matt Clement pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning
against his former team as the Chicago Cubs and an angry Sosa beat
the Florida Marlins 9-2 Saturday.

"I was a little out of control,'' said Sosa, who reached base
five straight times. "It's part of the game sometimes. Pretty much
I have to say I slide into home like everybody else. It was a
misunderstanding.''

Sosa got hit in the back with a pitch in the fourth inning and
walked inside the baseline, looking at Tavarez and raising his
hands as if to ask why.

"In that moment I got very, very mad,'' Sosa said.

Tavarez then raised his arms as if to say "What's wrong?'' as
Marlins catcher Charles Johnson held him back. Plate umpire Lance
Barksdale got between Sosa and the mound before Cubs interim
manager Bruce Kimm arrived. Benches emptied briefly, but no punches
were thrown and order was quickly restored.

When Sosa scored the Cubs' seventh run later in the inning on
Tavarez's wild pitch, he came across the plate with an aggressive
slide near his former teammate, who then patted him on the back.

"It was just my emotions, but then I settled down,'' Sosa said.

Kimm, noting that Sosa stands far away from the plate, said:
"In my own opinion, yes, he threw at him.''

Sosa and Tavarez, both natives of the Dominican Republic,
chatted Friday before the series began. Tavarez, who was 10-9 in
his only season with the Cubs a year ago, wasn't available for
comment.

"Why would we hit him? I thought they were friends,'' Florida
manager Jeff Torborg said. "I didn't even leave the dugout. I
don't know what they were saying. I think it just got away. I like
to think that Sammy's got fire in him.''

Sosa said Tavarez told him from the mound he wasn't trying to
plunk him. Still, he was plenty mad.

"I don't think it was intentional because I asked him a couple
of times and he kept saying, 'No, no, no, no,''' Sosa said.

Clement (7-6) struck out nine in 7 2-3 innings and outpitched
Tavarez, one of the players he was traded for in March.

"I guess beating your former team makes it a little special,''
said Clement, who escaped a first-inning jam that he caused with a
throwing error.

Clement gave up a leadoff double to Luis Castillo, a
second-inning single to Juan Encarnacion and an eighth-inning
pinch-hit single to Tim Raines.

Tavarez (7-5), sent to the Marlins along with three other
players for Clement and Antonio Alfonseca, went four innings. He
allowed nine hits and seven runs -- five earned -- with three walks,
three strikeouts and a wild pitch.

Sloppy fielding by the Marlins, who finished with three errors,
helped Chicago take a 7-2 lead after four innings.

Castillo's double, Clement's throwing error on a comebacker and
an RBI grounder by Preston Wilson gave the Marlins a 2-0 in the
first.

But with one out in the bottom half, Castillo fumbled Sosa's
perfect double-play grounder and Fred McGriff and Moises Alou
followed with RBI singles for a 2-2 tie.

In Chicago's second, Alex Gonzalez got a double when his low
liner skipped past Kevin Millar in left. Clement then hit a high
hopper to first that Derrek Lee lost in the sun with the ball
skipping off his glove -- ruled a double -- with Gonzalez scoring.
Mark Bellhorn then hit an RBI single for a 4-2 lead.

Todd Hundley hit an RBI double in the third and advanced to
third on Gonzalez's single. When Clement missed a squeeze bunt,
Hundley was caught off the base, but Johnson threw the ball past
Mike Lowell, who was running back to the bag, allowing Hundley to
score for a 6-2 lead.

Chicago added two runs in the bottom of the eighth on a
run-scoring single by Bill Mueller and an RBI grounder by McGriff.

Game notes
Johnson had two passed balls and an error. Entering the
game he had just one passed ball and two errors all season. ...
Wilson sprained both wrists while crashing into the Wrigley Field
brick outfield wall Friday and failing to hold a 16th-inning drive
by Angel Echevarria that gave the Cubs a victory. But Wilson was
back in the lineup after testing his wrists during batting
practice. ... The Cubs are 3-1 under Kimm.