CHICAGO (AP) -- Michael Barrett added another highlight to his
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 RBI. He
raised his average to .313 and is fourth on the Cubs with 36 RBI.
"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
Oakland took a 3-2 lead into the ninth. But with closer Arthur
Rhodes absent, Chad Bradford couldn't hold it.
Barrett started his career in Montreal and hit .293 with eight
homers and 52 RBI 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's 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."
Rhodes was attending to a family matter, leaving it up to
Bradford (3-4) to go for his second save in two games. He got just
one out and blew his second save in three tries.
Oakland expected to have Rhodes available, but he called early
in the day to say he had an afternoon flight and wouldn't make it.
The Athletics have 13 blown saves this season.
"There's been a whole bunch," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.
"Sometimes they get put in a position where they're not going to
be successful because of the circumstances. We can't blame
Mulder scattered 10 hits over eight innings, allowing two runs.
He has won six straight decisions and has not lost since a 5-1
defeat on April 28 against the New York Yankees. He gave up two
runs, striking out four and walking two.
"It's just a shame that Mulder went out there and just
absolutely gave his heart and soul," Macha said.
Prior looked sharp early. The right-hander struck out four of
his first six hitters before running into trouble in the three-run
fourth, when he gave up four hits and a walk.
Prior retired the side in order in the fifth, but was pulled
after throwing 85 pitches. It was his fourth start back from the
disabled list after missing the first two months with right
Achilles' tendinitis. He allowed three runs on six hits and a walk.
He struck out five.
"Prior had good stuff today, The consistency is starting to get
there," Barrett said. "He had one shaky inning."
Sammy Sosa, who went hitless in his return from the disabled
list Friday, lined a double off the center-field wall leading off
the second. Sosa went to third on shortstop Bobby Crosby's error
and scored on Lee's single for a 1-0 Cubs lead.
Lee cost the Cubs with a baserunning blunder later in the inning
when he tried to advance from second with Aramis Ramirez standing
The Cubs added a run in the seventh when Grudzielanek doubled
off the wall in right-center and scored on Barrett's single. Sosa
had a chance to give the Cubs the lead, but he hit into an
inning-ending double play.
Lee finished with four singles and has hit safely in 16 of 18
games. Sosa went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Grudzielanek was activated from the DL and went 1-for-4
with a double and a strikeout. He had been out since April 10 with
inflammation of his right Achilles' tendon. ... Hatteberg has hit
safely in 16 of his last 17 games. ... Prior singled for his first
hit of the year. Last season, the right-hander batted .250 with a