Alou hit a game-winning, two-run homer in the 12th inning and
Wood struck out 13 batters as the Chicago Cubs overcame a blown
lead in the ninth to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 Friday. "That's the Kerry Wood that I hated to face when I was in
Houston,'' Alou said. Alou was a member of the Astros team that struck out 20 times
against Wood on May 6, 1998. Wood went seven innings but was denied the victory when Jack
Cust hit first career homer to tie it in the ninth against Antonio
Alfonseca. Cubs interim manager Bruce Kimm is not thinking about moving
Alfonseca out of the closer's role. "Not yet, this guy has done it before,'' Kimm said. Wood wasn't upset that the bullpen cost him a win. "It's part of the game, those things are going to happen,''
Wood said. Sammy Sosa drew a leadoff walk in the 12th, and Alou hit the
next pitch from Victor Santos (0-1) over the wall in left field to
win it. "I didn't try to do too much, sometimes you try to get
overaggressive and you overswing,'' Alou said. The Rockies have lost nine of 10. Joe Borowski (3-4) pitched the 12th for the win. Sosa hit his NL-leading 33rd homer and Angel Echevarria also hit
a solo shot in the seventh inning against Mike Hampton to give the
Cubs a 4-2 lead. But Alfonseca walked Todd Zeile to start the ninth, and Cust
followed with a homer in his fifth career at-bat. Cust was recalled
from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game. "He just left it up a little bit,'' Cust said. "I just wanted
to put the ball in play.'' Wood allowed one run, two hits and two walks in the first, then
retired 17 of his next 18 batters. He reached double digits in
strikeouts for the fourth time this season, giving up two runs,
four hits and two walks in seven innings. "We were confused by the strike zone all game,'' Rockies
manager Clint Hurdle said. Hampton, 5-13, nearly set a career high for losses. The
left-hander, winless since July 5 against San Diego, allowed four
runs and 10 hits in seven innings. Larry Walker's RBI single put Colorado ahead in the first, but
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half on run-scoring singles
by Alou and Chris Stynes. Juan Uribe's homer tied it in the seventh.
Cubs RHP Jon Lieber was placed on the 15-day disabled list
and RHP Francis Beltran was recalled from Double-A West Tennessee.
... Walker was selected NL player of the month for July, when he
hit .438 with five homers and 17 RBIs. ... The Rockies optioned C
Ben Petrick back to Triple-A to make room for Cust.