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Cubs remain a half-game back in wild-card

CHICAGO (AP) -- Corey Patterson just stays calm in the clutch.

Patterson hit a tying, two-run homer in the eighth inning and a
game-winning shot in the 12th, giving the Chicago Cubs a 3-2
victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

"I'm just really trying to keep things simple," Patterson
said. "You try to treat every situation like it is the same, no
matter what happens at what point of time it's in the ballgame.
It's hard to do, especially in clutch situations, you have the
crowd going and everyone up on their feet cheering. That's when you
really need to stay back and take a couple of deep breaths."

The Cubs remained a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants in
the NL wild-card race.

After retiring Michael Barrett and Jose Macias in the 12th
inning, Pirates reliever Brian Meadows (2-4) gave up Patterson's
homer to center. It was Patterson's 23rd of the season, his second
game-winning shot.

"It was right on time, too," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
"Everybody complains about (we) just hit home runs, but this is a
night where Corey's two home runs was the difference in the game."

With the Cubs trailing 2-0 in the eighth, Pirates reliever
Salomon Torres hit Barrett with a pitch leading off. One out later,
Patterson homered to left off Torres to tie the game.

Baker believes Patterson is turning into one of the Cubs' best
hitters in clutch situations.

"Once you start doing it, you can do it again, that's the whole
thing. The hard time is doing it the first time, after you do it a
couple of times your concentration level increases, especially
during those situations," Baker said.

Todd Wellemeyer (2-1) worked a scoreless 12th inning for the
win. The Chicago bullpen pitched six scoreless innings of relief.
Sammy Sosa made a diving catch in right field on Ty Wigginton's
drive in the 11th and doubled off Daryle Ward to end the inning.

With the wind blowing out of Wrigley Field at 10 mph, Pirates
starter Josh Fogg kept the ball down and pitched 6 2-3 scoreless
innings. He extended his streak to seven starts without allowing a
home run.

After giving up back-to-back singles leading off the second,
Fogg faced the minimum through the fifth. He got Derrek Lee to hit
into a double play to end the fourth, and Barrett popped out to end
the fifth.

"I felt good tonight. I got them swinging early. I was locating
my fastball real well and my changeup was decent, not great," Fogg
said.

Fogg was lifted after giving up a two-out single to Sosa in the
seventh. Torres struck out Mark Grudzielanek to end the inning.

Fogg gave up just four hits, walked two and struck out one.

Cubs starter Matt Clement left his last two starts early with
muscle stiffness and discomfort in his back and neck. Working on
two extra days of rest, Clement walked three batters in the first
inning, but escaped when Craig Wilson hit into a double play.

Tike Redman legged out a double in the second inning, and Fogg
helped himself out with a two-out RBI double. Jason Kendall
followed with a single, and Jack Wilson drove in Fogg with a
single, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Before the double, Fogg's
last hit was July 2 against Milwaukee. He was in an 0-for-22 slump.

Clement settled down after the second and pitched six innings,
allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out four and walked
four.

"After the second inning I think I just settled down and wasn't
worried how I was going to feel," Clement said.

Game notes
Pirates left-handed starter Sean Burnett might miss the
entire 2005 season because of a tear in his left elbow. Team
doctors found the tear Tuesday, and Burnett probably will undergo
surgery to repair it. ... It is uncertain how long Cubs SS Nomar
Garciaparra will be out with a strained right groin, but Baker
believes it will be more than five games. "Five days will probably
be the minimum, actually," Baker said. Garciaparra will continue
to get treatment. He will be re-evaluated in five to seven days.