Series: Game 1 of 2

Chicago leads 1-0 (as of 7/15)

Game 1: Monday, July 15
Atlanta 2Final
Chicago 3
Game 2: Tuesday, July 16
Atlanta 2Final
Chicago 0

Braves 2

(58-35, 27-18 away)

Cubs 3

(39-51, 20-23 home)

    8:05 PM ET, July 15, 2002

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 010010000 2 - -
    CHC 00102000 - 3 - -

    W: C. Zambrano (2-1)

    L: J. Marquis (6-5)

    S: A. Alfonseca (12)

    Surging Cubs hand Braves third straight defeat

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Bruce Kimm's presence has pepped up the Chicago Cubs. And not even a substitution gaffe by the interim manager could spoil the atmosphere Monday night. "He's always talking, he's a communicator, he's letting you know and he's fun to play for,'' said Todd Hundley, who hit one of three Chicago homers as the Cubs got strong pitching from Carlos Zambrano and beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2. Atlanta lost its third straight. The Cubs improved to 5-1 under Kimm, including 4-0 at home. Hundley hit a game-tying homer in the fifth and Alex Gonzalez followed with another before a crowd of 40,206, the largest of the season at Wrigley Field. Mark Bellhorn also connected for the Cubs. "The guys have a little bounce in their step. We just hope we can keep this going,'' said Kimm, who replaced the fired Don Baylor just before the All-Star break. On '70s night at Wrigley Field, Sammy Sosa donned an Afro wig, sun glasses and a heavy chain before meeting Tony Orlando and then taking batting practice. Orlando -- without "Dawn'' -- wore a Sosa jersey while singing a pregame medley of his greatest hits. Plate umpire Joe West ruled Sosa had to change bats after taking one pitch in the first inning. "He said the bat was cracked,'' Sosa said. Then in the ninth, Kimm sent Darren Lewis -- who had pinch-run in the eighth -- to right field, meaning he had to pull Sosa off the field. "I made a terrible mistake. It's unforgivable for a manager,'' Kimm said. "We were fortunate we got out of it.'' Sosa came running off the field and Kimm greeted him at the top of the dugout to explain his mistake. "It was a mistake. No big deal,'' Sosa said. "We are all human. The last thing he wanted to do was take me out of the game and he knew it.'' Zambrano (2-1) allowed five hits in a career-long seven innings. Zambrano earned his second big league win as a starter and both have come over Atlanta. He also beat the Braves nine days ago, allowing two hits in five scoreless innings. On Monday night, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander walked three and struck out four before getting relief help from Kyle Farnsworth and Antonio Alfonseca. In the eighth with Gary Sheffield at third after a walk, stolen base and throwing error on Hundley, Farnsworth retired Andruw Jones on a check-swing grounder and got Vinny Castilla on an inning-ending fly to right. Alfonseca pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances. Javy Lopez led off with a single, but pinch-runner Jesse Garcia was caught stealing. "It seemed like we had five or six chances to get an RBI but nothing happened,'' Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "Gary kept us in it in the eighth, but like I said, we blew the RBI opportunities.'' Hundley tied it 2-all in the fifth with his eighth homer, an opposite-field shot to left. Gonzalez followed two pitches later with his 11th, both off Jason Marquis (6-5). Marquis, who lasted just 4 1/3 innings, also gave up the solo homer to Bellhorn in the third. "I made some mistakes and left some balls up. It's going to happen and it'll happen again,'' Marquis said. "In this park, you want to keep the ball on the ground. It was just one of those nights.'' Keith Lockhart hit an RBI double in the second and then walked and scored on Matt Franco's single for a 2-1 lead in the fifth.

    Game notes

    The Hundley-Gonzalez homers marked the seventh time this season the Cubs have hit back-to-backs and the second time in two games. Corey Patterson and Gonzalez did it Sunday against Florida. ... Sheffield's first-inning single extended his club-record streak of reaching base to 41 straight games. ... In the five games he has batted leadoff since Kimm took over, Bellhorn is 8-for-20 with six extra base hits.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press