Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Brewers, Cubs split doubleheader


Brewers 4, Cubs 2, 1st game; Cubs 17, Brewers 4, 2nd game

By NANCY ARMOUR
AP Sports Writer

        CHICAGO — Kerry Wood won for only the second time since the All-Star break and Sammy Sosa hit his 494th career homer Monday as the Chicago Cubs routed the Milwaukee Brewers 17-4 and salvaged a split of a doubleheader.

        “It feels good,” said Wood, who called his 1-3 record in his first 10 starts after the break “embarrassing” after his last loss.

        “When you're ahead by that much, guys can relax and you can have fun a little,” he said. “It was just fun to be out there playing baseball.”

        Wood (10-8) tied a major league record with four strikeouts in the fourth inning and also hit a two-run homer, his first since May 2, 2000. Bill Mueller, Alex Gonzalez and Todd Hundley homered for the Cubs, whose 17 runs were a season high.

        In the first game, Ronnie Belliard homered twice, ex-Cubs Eric Young and Jose Hernandez added solo shots and Glendon Rusch (8-13) won his seventh straight against Chicago in Milwaukee's 4-2 victory. The Cubs stranded 11, including men on third in the fifth and sixth innings.

        “It's good to come back in the second game,” Gonzalez said. “We came out and gave Woody a little cushion, which was nice. I think everybody needed that after the first game.”

        Wood scattered five hits over seven innings, striking out eight while walking two. The Brewers had a man at third twice in the first six innings, but neither was Wood's fault.

        Lenny Harris took third on a passed ball in the third inning. Wood struck out Bill Hall with one out in the fourth, but catcher Todd Hundley's throw to first was way off and Hall got all the way to third on the error.

        “It looked like he kind of dropped down a little bit and it got away from him,” Wood said. “That's a tough play to make.”

        Wood then fanned Ryan Thompson. Paul Bako struck out, but reached base when Wood's wild pitch skipped in the dirt and away from Hundley. Pitcher Andrew Lorraine then struck out swinging to end the inning.

        Ryan Christenson, promoted from Triple-A earlier Monday, spoiled Wood's shutout with a solo home run in the seventh inning.

        “There's a month left, let's enjoy it,” Wood said. “We know we're out of it. All we can do is go out there and have fun and not get wrapped up in the dragging and the losing.”

        For as dominating as Wood was, the Brewers pitching staff was equally horrid. Ben Diggins (0-1) gave up eight runs — seven earned — while recording only four outs in his major league debut. He walked six while striking out only two.

        Andrew Lorraine gave up five homers, tying the club record for most home runs allowed in a game.

        Every Cubs starter reached base at least once, and Fred McGriff was the only one without a run scored. McGriff did have two RBIs, though.

        “It was one of those days when everything goes wrong that can,” Lorraine said. “We were down from the beginning, but it was one game.”

        Diggins, recalled from Double-A Huntsville on Sunday, struggled from the first pitch. He walked two of the first three batters he faced, then forced in a run with a bases-loaded, no-out walk. The Cubs had a 3-0 lead before Diggins got an out.

        They tacked on six more in the second to chase Diggins. The right-hander forced in another run with a bases-loaded walk and then gave up a two-run double to Moises Alou before being relieved by Lorraine.

        “I can't say it was all jitters, I just wasn't focused,” Diggins said. “Whether you're in Double-A or wherever and you have a game plan but you don't focus, you're in trouble. I wasn't in the right mindset.”

        The Cubs started playing long ball in the fourth, as Gonzalez, Wood and Sosa all homered. After Wood's homer, the crowd chanted “Ker-ry, Ker-ry!” until he popped his head out of the dugout.

        “I kind of got helped,” Wood said, smiling.

        The fans were back on their feet three batters later as Sosa launched a two-run blast over the last-field fence and down Waveland Avenue. It was the first homer since Aug. 17 for Sosa, who missed nine games with a strained back. Sosa broke a tie with Lou Gehrig and moved into 18th place on the career list.

        Bill Hall and Jorge Fabregas added homers for Milwaukee.

        In the first game, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead when Belliard hit a solo homer to start the third. He tied the game with another leadoff homer in the fifth.

        Young hit a solo shot in the fifth, and Hernandez led off the eighth with his 24th home run of the season.

        Steve Smyth (1-3) lost the opener.

        Notes: Wood is the third Cubs pitcher to strike out four in one inning. Jim Davis did it in St. Louis on May 27, 1956, and Bill Bonham did it against Montreal on July 31, 1974. ... The three homers Lorraine gave up in the fourth tied a Milwaukee NL record for most homers allowed in a single inning. ... The start of the first game was delayed 32 minutes by rain.

       



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