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Mueller's two-run double seals Cubs' win

6/6/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Two struggling hitters found their strokes just
in time to help the Chicago Cubs avoid a three-game sweep.

Moises Alou doubled home the tying run with two outs in the
ninth inning, and Bill Mueller hit a two-run double in the top of
the 10th as the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 Wednesday
night.

Alou was batting just .184 entering the game.

"I was more aggressive today, and things worked out for me,''
he said.

Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds robbed Sammy Sosa of his 21st
home run and hit a sacrifice fly for Milwaukee's only run.

Brewers closer Mike DeJean intentionally walked left-handed
hitting Fred McGriff to get to the right-handed Alou with two outs
in the ninth.

With the tying run on third, Alou expected DeJean to shy away
from his split-finger and looked for a fastball. Alou got it and
drove the ball into the left-center gap, scoring Chris Stynes.

"I'm glad they walked (McGriff),'' Alou said. "I didn't want
to go home 1-for-3 with a loss.''

In the 10th, Mark Bellhorn led off with a single against DeJean
(0-3), and pinch-hitter Bobby Hill walked. Stynes sacrificed both
runners over, and Mueller drove a ball over the drawn-in outfield
in right-center to score both runners.

The third baseman came into the game batting just .189, though
he had begun to hit the ball hard in the last week.

"You just keep going back to the basics of working hard,
working on your mechanics and having good at-bats,'' Mueller said.

McGriff followed with a run-scoring single, and Alou added a
sacrifice fly as the Cubs ended Milwaukee's five-game winning
streak.

Kyle Farnsworth (1-0) pitched two perfect innings for the
victory. Antonio Alfonseca got the last three outs.

Ruben Quevedo put the Brewers in position to win, allowing three
hits and striking out 11 over eight innings, lowering his earned-run average in
his last five starts to 0.69. He retired the first 13 batters
before Alou hit a soft liner to right for a single.

Brewers manager Jerry Royster pulled Quevedo in favor of
reliever Ray King to open the ninth.

"Jerry made the decision and I can't do anything about that,''
Quevedo said. "But the bullpen has been great.''

DeJean had been successful on 12 consecutive save chances. King
has been a solid situational lefty, but this time they couldn't
hold the lead.

King walked Stynes to open the ninth and was relieved by DeJean,
who got two outs before intentionally walking McGriff.

"I just left the pitch in the middle of the plate to Alou and
that was the ballgame,'' DeJean said.

Three excellent defensive plays also helped Quevedo keep the
Cubs off the scoreboard.

The closest the Cubs came to a hit in the first four innings was
in the second, when Alou drove a ball deep to right field. Hammonds
jumped at the wall to catch the ball and rob Alou of an extra-base
hit.

But Hammonds topped that in the seventh, leaping at the wall to
rob Sosa of a home run.

In the eighth, Todd Hundley reached when a third strike got away
from catcher Paul Bako. Pinch-runner Darren Lewis tried to advance
to third on a single to left, but Geoff Jenkins threw him out.

Milwaukee took the lead after three batters. Alex Sanchez opened
with a single, took third on a hit-and-run single by Eric Young and
scored on Hammonds' sacrifice fly.

The Brewers, who have become daring on the basepaths since
Royster took over for Davey Lopes as manager on April 18, ran
themselves out of another scoring opportunity in the third.

Third-base coach Gary Allenson sent Young home on another
hit-and-run single by Hammonds. The relay from shortstop Alex
Gonzalez was in plenty of time to get Young, leaving slugger Richie
Sexson to lead off the next inning.

Cubs starter Jason Bere allowed seven hits over seven innings,
striking out six. Chicago's rally allowed him to avoid his eighth
consecutive loss.

Game notes
The Cubs sent reliever Pat Mahomes to Triple-A Iowa after
the game. ... Sanchez's first-inning single extended his hitting
streak to seven games. He left before the start of the eighth with
a bruised left hand, but is expected to be available Friday at
Pittsburgh. ... Sosa went 0-for-4 and is 3-for-20 in his last five
games.