Series: Game 1 of 3

Arizona leads 1-0 (as of 8/16)

Game 1: Friday, August 16
Arizona 2Final
Chicago 1
Game 2: Saturday, August 17
Arizona 6Final
Chicago 2
Game 3: Sunday, August 18
Arizona 2Final
Chicago 3

Diamondbacks 2

(77-45, 38-25 away)

Cubs 1

(51-69, 27-35 home)

    3:20 PM ET, August 16, 2002

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 000110000 2 - -
    CHC 000000001 1 - -

    W: C. Schilling (20-4)

    L: S. Smyth (1-1)

    S: B. Kim (29)

    Schilling narrowly misses shutout in win vs. Cubs

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Leave it to Sammy Sosa to spoil Curt Schilling's party.

    Curt Schilling

    Reuters/Sue Ogrocki

    Curt Schilling strikes out 12 batters to help him win rare start at Wrigley Field.

    Schilling became the season's first 20-game winner Friday afternoon, coming a Sosa homer away from a shutout as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1.

    "I tried to get a little macho there at the end,'' Schilling said with a smile after Sosa's solo homer with two outs in the ninth. "Not a smart pitch.''

    Maybe not, but everything else he threw was dazzling. Schilling (20-4) scattered six hits over 8 2/3 innings. He struck out 12 and walked none, and had retired 18 straight when Sosa came to the plate in the ninth.

    He struck out every Cub but Alex Gonzalez at least once, and got Sosa twice.

    "He was everything today, no question,'' Sosa said. "That's why he's a Cy Young. He was unbelievable today. Very impressive.''

    Schilling was one out away from his second shutout of the year when Sosa came to the plate. But with the count 1-1, Sosa hit a monster shot to right-center for his major league-leading 42nd home run.

    It was Sosa's 492nd career home run, leaving him one shy of tying Lou Gehrig for 18th place on the career list.

    "That's the kind of matchup the fans look forward to,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "And great ballplayers look forward to, as well.

    "In the last at-bat, Sammy won,'' Brenly said. "But on the day, Schill won.''

    Fred McGriff followed Sosa with a single, and Schilling was relieved by Byung-Hyun Kim, who got his 29th save in 34 attempts.

    Moises Alou singled to right and pinch-runner Roosevelt Brown scampered all the way to third. But Corey Patterson hit a routine flyout, preserving victory No. 20 for Schilling.

    "I'm obviously very proud of it,'' Schilling said, who reached 20 victories for the second time in his career. He was 22-6 last season.

    Schilling is also the fastest to 20 wins since John Smoltz in 1996. Smoltz got his 20th victory in Atlanta's 121st game, one ahead of Schilling.

    "He's a great pitcher,'' Sosa said. "I love to face him because he's not afraid to challenge you.''

    Schilling also was the fastest to 18 victories since 1976, then needed three tries to get No. 19. He had little trouble Friday -- even though Wrigley Field hasn't exactly been kind to him in the past.

    "I (stink) here,'' Schilling said, laughing. "I've had some bad ones.''

    He came into the game just 1-3 with a save in 11 appearances at Wrigley, one of the few parks where he has a losing record. His last win at the Friendly Confines was in 1996, when he was with the Phillies.

    "The Curt Schilling that pitched today was a lot different than the Curt Schilling that pitched here in the past,'' Brenly said.

    And Schilling looked right at home at Wrigley on Friday, striking out the side in the first inning. Not even the Blue Angels, screaming overhead as they practiced for this weekend's Air and Water Show, seemed to bother him.

    The Cubs had a runner in scoring position only once in the first eight innings, when Alou and Gonzalez singled in the second. It was Schilling's 12th outing with double-digit strikeouts, and the fourth time in his last five starts that he didn't issue a walk. He has walked only 19 batters all season.

    "A guy like that's pitching, of course you watch,'' Cubs rookie starter Steve Smyth said. "He's good at locating the ball down and elevating the ball up.

    "If there's someone you want to watch and learn about pitching, he's one of the guys.''

    Smyth (1-1) did fine for a guy making just his third career start. But fine doesn't cut it when you're facing Schilling.

    Smyth allowed two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in six innings. He struck out four and didn't walk anyone. But the Cubs' defense let him down in the fourth inning and he got sloppy in the fifth.

    Tony Womack led off with a bunt down the third base line, and took second on Joe Girardi's wild throw. One out later, Womack scored on Junior Spivey's sacrifice fly.

    Smyth gave the Diamondbacks another run in the fifth inning on a wild pitch. Matt Williams led off with a double off the right-field wall, and Steve Finley followed with a sharp liner to right that glanced off the top of Sosa's glove.

    Finley reached on the error and Williams took third. Smyth then skipped the ball in the dirt, scoring Williams with the wild pitch.

    Game notes

    Schilling is 7-6 with two saves in 23 career appearances against the Cubs. ... Former Cub Mark Grace got a standing ovation when he took the field in the bottom of the eighth inning as a defensive replacement for Greg Colbrunn. He got another standing O when he came up to bat in the ninth. ... Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a season-high for the Cubs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press