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Sanchez hits winning single in 11th inning

6/5/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Neither Alex Sanchez nor his manager saw the
need for redemption.

Still, Sanchez atoned for his ninth-inning baserunning blunder
with an RBI single in the 11th off Jeff Fassero as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Tuesday night.

The victory halted a major league record 114-game streak in
which the Brewers had lost when trailing after eight innings.

In the ninth, Sanchez ran through a stop sign by third-base
coach Gary Allenson and was thrown out at the plate.

"I knew I had a chance to score the game-winning run. If I'm
out the game is still tied,'' Sanchez said. "Gary told me, 'It's
OK. The game is tied. You have a chance to win the game later.'''

Which he did.

Jose Hernandez led off the 11th with a single off Fassero (1-4)
and was sacrificed to second. After an intentional walk to
pinch-hitter Alex Ochoa, Sanchez hit a single off the glove of
diving shortstop Alex Gonzalez.

Center fielder Corey Patterson made a good throw to the plate,
but Hernandez slid in past the tag by Todd Hundley, who was behind
the plate, giving the Brewers a season-high five straight
victories.

Luis Vizcaino (4-1) pitched two perfect innings for the victory,
Milwaukee's seventh in eight games against the Cubs this season.

The Brewers have won four straight games by one run after
beginning the year 2-16 in one-run games.

The Cubs blew a 5-3 lead in the ninth when Sanchez singled home
Hernandez, who tied a career high with four hits, and Eric Young
added an RBI single off closer Antonio Alfonseca.

Sanchez, a speedy rookie prone to baserunning blunders, also
tried to score on Young's hit, running through Allenson's stop
sign, but he was thrown out easily by Patterson.

Brewers manager Jerry Royster, who has spent weeks chiding
reporters for focusing on the rookie's aggressive mistakes, again
defended Sanchez.

"I thought he could score, too. I tell you, I didn't even know
he ran through the sign,'' Royster said.

"With one out and I'm the winning run and I'm Alex Sanchez, I'm
really not looking for anybody. I guarantee he had his head down.
Patterson made an excellent play. He almost threw another guy out
(in the 11th). Patterson saved them by throwing him out.''

Royster even went so far as to say he doesn't want Allenson
holding up Sanchez in that situation.

"When he's the winning run at second and somebody singled, if
he stops, I'm going to be mad at him. I would have been mad if he
had stopped, let's put it that way,'' Royster said.

The Brewers' rally off Alfonseca, who had converted nine of 10
save chances, prevented Kerry Wood from improving to 7-3. Wood gave
up three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings and also had two
hits.

"It was a tough loss,'' Wood said. "We've come to expect these
kinds of games when we play Milwaukee.''

The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Sanchez doubled
and scored on Jeffrey Hammonds' single. But with two runners on,
Geoff Jenkins grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Wood then led off the fifth against Nelson Figueroa with a
single to left and Jenkins badly overthrew second base, allowing
Wood to advance to second. He was sacrificed to third and scored on
Patterson's single, tying it at 1.

With two outs, third baseman Tyler Houston, who clumsily fell on
a first-inning groundball by Gonzalez, fumbled away an easy two-out
bouncer from Moises Alou, allowing Patterson to score for a 2-1
Cubs lead.

Hundley, hitting just .135, followed with a three-run homer, his
second of the season, making it 5-1. It was his first home run
since April 3 and his first RBI since April 10.

"We're making the same mistakes now that we're winning as we
did when we were losing,'' Royster said. "Only, now we're adding
one ingredient. We're adding hitting.''

Figueroa gave up five runs -- one earned -- and six hits in five
innings.

Milwaukee got two runs back in their half, on pinch-hitter Matt
Stairs' RBI double and a run-scoring groundout by Sanchez.

"They had some big hits in both their rallies,'' Cubs manager
Don Baylor said. "We couldn't get the big hits, not after
Hundley's. What hurts the most is that Woody did it with the bat,
on the bases, pitching. I wanted it so much for him.''

Game notes
Milwaukee's last five-game winning streak was May 12-16,
2001. ... The Cubs activated RHP Kyle Farnsworth, who had been
sidelined since April 10 with a stress fracture in his right foot.
... RHP Mike Buddie cleared waivers and is a free agent. The
Brewers designated him for assignment Friday. ... Cubs 2B Bobby
Hill was hit by pitches in the first and sixth innings. ...
Hernandez also had four hits on Aug. 18, 1998, against St. Louis.