Struggling Sosa's single beats Astros in extra innings

Posted: Sunday, June 01, 2003

CHICAGO After striking out five times over 15 scoreless innings, Sammy Sosa hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 16th to give the Chicago Cubs a 1-0 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Pitchers ruled a blustery, 48-degree day at Wrigley Field, with the Cubs setting a team record by striking out 23 times.

Sosa had been 0-for-6 and was getting booed before his one-out single off Ricky Stone (4-1) won it.

Sosa has struck out eight times in 11 at-bats since coming off the disabled list Friday.

Todd Wellemeyer (1-0) got his first major league win with two innings of relief.

The tough conditions set up a pitching duel between Carlos Zambrano and Houston's Roy Oswalt, who was activated from the disabled list before the game.

Zambrano allowed just three hits in eight innings, including just one in the first seven. And Oswalt gave up just five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Mets 4, Braves 2

NEW YORK Jae Seo pitched into the ninth inning to win for the first time in more than six weeks and Tsuyoshi Shinjo hit a two-run double to lead New York over Atlanta.

On a rainy day at Shea Stadium, the Mets had their former ace Mike Hampton (2-3) in constant trouble. New York put the leadoff man on base in each of the first five innings and had a runner in scoring position in each of those frames.

Seo (2-2) benefited from the early offense in his second straight strong start against the first-place Braves. He got a no-decision last Sunday despite holding the NL's top-scoring team to one run in seven innings.

Seo allowed two runs and six hits, leaving following Chipper Jones' leadoff double in the ninth.

The Mets also kept the Braves in the ballpark, preventing Atlanta from breaking the NL record for homers in a month. The Braves' 55 home runs in May tied the New York Giants (July 1947) and St. Louis Cardinals (April 2000) for most in any month.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

ST. LOUIS Kenny Lofton went 0-for-5 and ended his 26-game hitting streak, but Pittsburgh defeated St. Louis and previously unbeaten Woody Williams.

The Pirates have won five of six, including the first two games of the three-game series. The Cardinals fell to 2-4 on a 13-game homestand, their longest of the season.

Williams (7-1) failed in his bid to become the NL's first eight-game winner, allowing four runs two earned in eight innings. He lost for the first time in 15 starts since Aug. 29, 2002 at Cincinnati, although his ERA remained at an NL-leading 2.19.

Lofton batted .406 (43-106) during his streak, which fell one shy of the team record set by Jimmy Williams in 1899.

Marlins 3, Reds 2

MIAMI Dontrelle Willis pitched seven strong innings and hit his first major league home run, leading Florida over slumping Cincinnati.

Willis (3-1) allowed one run and five hits while striking out eight.

Willis also came through at the plate, delivering a solo home run off Danny Graves (3-4) to snap a 1-1 tie in the fifth.

The Marlins snapped a two-game losing skid and have won seven of nine. The Reds have lost seven of nine.

Giants 2, Rockies 1

SAN FRANCISCO Rookie Jesse Foppert struck out a career-high eight batters and added an RBI triple for his first major league hit, leading San Francisco over Colorado.

The Giants won their fourth straight to start a 12-game homestand, the team's longest winning streak since getting six consecutive victories from May 3-9.

Foppert (3-4) had not won in his previous three starts. He allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, walking two. Tim Worrell got his 14th save in 16 chances.

Jason Jennings (3-5) matched Foppert for several innings, retiring eight straight before running into trouble in the fifth. He went six innings. giving up two runs and six hits with four strikeouts and three walks.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 0

LOS ANGELES Kevin Brown scattered six hits in eight innings to win his sixth straight decision, and Fred McGriff hit the 487th home run of his career as Los Angeles Dodgers beat Milwaukee.

Brown walked none and struck out six before being relieved by Eric Gagne to start the ninth. Gagne earned his 19th save and 27th straight dating back to last year.

Brown has been outstanding since losing to San Francisco on April 18th, allowing eight earned runs in eight starts spanning 58 innings (1.24 ERA). He has allowed 37 hits while walking nine and striking out 54.

The game was scoreless until Shawn Green doubled off Ruben Quevedo (0-2) with two outs in the third before McGriff hit a full-count pitch over the right-field fence for his ninth homer of the year.

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 7

SAN DIEGO Pinch-hitter Lou Merloni drove in the go-ahead run in San Diego's two-run eighth inning with a sacrifice fly in a win over Arizona.

Merloni's sacrifice fly off Oscar Villarreal, Arizona's third pitcher in the inning, gave San Diego just its sixth win in 33 games. The Padres went 5-24 in May, their worst month in team history.

Mark Loretta's pinch-hit single off Mike Myers scored Gary Matthews Jr., who singled off Scott Service (0-1), tied it at 7.

Trailing 6-4 in the eighth inning, Arizona rebounded with back-to-back doubles by Williams and Cintron off Jesse Orosco (1-1).

Matt Herges pitched the ninth for his second saves in three opportunities.

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