MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Two struggling hitters found their strokes just
in time to help the Chicago Cubs avoid a three-game sweep.
Alou was batting just .184 entering the game.
"I was more aggressive today, and things worked out for me,''
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
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
But Hammonds topped that in the seventh, leaping at the wall to
rob Sosa of a home run.
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
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