Cubs keep gaining ground in NL Central

Posted: Friday, September 05, 2003

CHICAGO Tony Womack singled in the go-ahead run and the Chicago Cubs ended a spirited five-game series by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 Thursday despite Sammy Sosa's ejection.

The Cubs won four of five and moved within a half-game of idle Houston for first place in the NL Central. St. Louis is in third, a game behind the Astros.

The series featured a little bit of everything: a rain delay of more than four hours Monday; a day-night doubleheader that included a 15-inning opener; the ejections of three Cubs players and pitching coach Larry Rothschild; a shouting match between managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa; and a stunning comeback by the Cubs to win Wednesday after trailing 6-0.

Cabrera singled home the go-ahead run, and Gonzalez followed with his 16th home run. Cabrera began the game in a 1-for-33 slump, and Gonzalez was 1-for-25.

Pinch-hitter Ramon Castro, batting for the first time since he was charged with raping a woman in his Pittsburgh hotel room last week, hit his fourth home run in the seventh.

The Phillies overcame another blown save by Jose Mesa to win for the sixth time in seven games and remain tied with Florida for the NL wild-card lead.

Prentice Redman, playing his fourth game in the majors, led off the ninth against Mesa with his first career homer to tie it at 5.

American League

It was Oakland's second straight loss after a 10-game winning streak. The A's, who limited Baltimore to 10 runs in the first seven games between the teams, yielded 16 in the final two.

Melvin Mora had two hits and scored twice for the Orioles, who won their second straight after a nine-game skid.

Billy McMillon and Eric Chavez hit successive homers in the third inning against Baltimore starter Damian Moss, who didn't get out of the fifth despite being staked to an early 4-0 lead.

The Tigers (37-102) have won three straight for the first time since July 8-10 against the Chicago White Sox. Detroit needs at least six wins in its final 23 games to avoid matching the post-1900 record of 120 losses in a season, set by the 1962 Mets.

Alfonso Soriano homered and Garcia went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Yankees, who are 3 1/2 games ahead of Boston in the AL East.

Combined with Doug Waechter's two-hitter in his first major league start Wednesday, the Devil Rays posted consecutive complete-game shutouts for the first time in their six-year history.

Interleague

Counsell led off with a bunt single against Kris Wilson (5-3) and went to second when second baseman Julius Matos threw the ball away for an error. Overbay followed with a single up the middle.

Alex Cintron's RBI single off Al Levine in the eighth inning gave the Diamondbacks a 5-4 lead, but Ken Harvey's sacrifice fly off Matt Mantei (5-3) tied it at 5 in the bottom of the ninth.

Mantei retired Mike Sweeney with two on to end it.

The Royals fell 1 1/2 games back of idle AL Central co-leaders Chicago and Minnesota. Arizona moved within five games of the NL wild-card lead.

Randy Johnson allowed four runs and 10 hits in five innings.



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