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Kotsay, Nevin homer in 11th to help Padres win

7/31/2002

CHICAGO -- Mark Kotsay was frustrated after going 0-for-5
with a pair of strikeouts.

"I couldn't wait to get back up there,'' he said. "I battled
and, fortunately, it paid off.''

Kotsay and Phil Nevin hit 11th-inning home runs Wednesday to
lead the San Diego Padres over the Chicago Cubs 8-6.

Nevin homered twice for the ninth multihomer game of his career,
and Ron Gant and Ryan Klesko also connected for the Padres, who
overcame a 4-0 first-inning deficit.

"This is a game that we should have won, but it got away from
us,'' Cubs interim manager Bruce Kim said.

Brandon Villafuerte (1-0) escaped a first-and-second, no-outs
jam in the 10th, getting Alex Gonzalez to pop out, Todd Hundley to
strike out and Mark Bellhorn to ground out.

Trevor Hoffman pitched a hitless 11th for 26th save in 27
chances. Tom Davey earlier struck out four in 1 2/3 innings.

Chicago lost for the seventh time in eight games, including
three in a row. The Cubs struck out 20 times in all.

"Some of that is on us, some of that is on the pitchers,''
Corey Patterson said. "They made some good pitches.''

Kyle Farnsworth (3-3) entered to start the 11th and gave up both
home runs.

"This is one of those things that you got to deal with,'' he
said. "You have to have a short memory in the bullpen.''

Oliver Perez, San Diego's 20-year-old starter, struck out 10 to
reach double digits for just the second time in his career. The
left-hander gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in five
innings.

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano allowed five runs and eight hits in
3 1/3 innings. He left the game with soreness in a right upper-arm
muscle.

Chicago went ahead in the first on an RBI single by Fred McGriff
and a three-run homer by Angel Echevarria, playing in place of
Moises Alou.

Gant homered in the second, and Klesko and Nevin hit consecutive
home runs in the third, tying the score. Klesko had a two-run
drive, and Nevin's shot went over the left-field seats onto
Waveland Ave.

"We felt pretty good about ourselves after that,'' Nevin said.

Ramon Vazquez's RBI single in the fourth and a run-scoring error
by Echevarria in the fifth on Deivi Cruz's single to left gave to
left San Diego a 6-4 lead.

Chicago tied it in the sixth after Patterson struck out but
reached on Jeremy Fikac's wild pitch. Gonzalez doubled to left, and
Gant's error allowed a run to score. After another wild pitch by
Fikac, Chris Stynes hit a sacrifice fly.

"Whoever would've lost, you're going to be sitting there,
scratching your head, thinking about what you could've done,''
Nevin said.

Game notes
San Diego hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time
this season. ... The Padres traded RHPs Steve Reed and Jason
Middlebrook to the New York Mets for LHP Bobby M. Jones, RHP Josh
Reynolds and OF Jay Bay. ... Alou didn't play due to tightness in
his right calf.