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Durazo's first career slam lifts D-Backs

8/17/2002

CHICAGO (AP) -- Seeing Erubiel Durazo break a tie with a grand
slam in the ninth inning was bad enough for the fans at Wrigley
Field.

But watching the Cubs run themselves out of a rally in the
bottom of the inning was too much.

"Go on strike! Go on strike!'' the crowd of 38,728 chanted as
the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 6-2 on Saturday.

When pinch-runner Joe Girardi's baserunning error caused Alex
Gonzalez to get caught in a rundown between third and home, the
chants started, and the crowd kept it up until the end of the game.

"We've been booed for a while now, and rightfully so,'' Cubs
starter Kerry Wood said.

The victory was Arizona's eighth in a row, a season high. The
Diamondbacks have also won nine straight road games.

Sammy Sosa hit his major league-leading 43rd homer of the
season. It was his 493rd career home run, matching Lou Gehrig for
18th place on the lifetime list.

The Diamondbacks have won 22 of their last 26 games and took
advantage of three Chicago base running errors.

The Cubs have lost five of six.

Quinton McCracken and Junior Spivey singled with two outs in the
ninth. Steve Finley followed with a grounder that shortstop Alex
Gonzalez misplayed for an error, loading the bases.

Durazo hit the first pitch from Kyle Farnsworth (3-5) over the
center field fence.

"I said it earlier on this road trip, Erubiel is one of those
guys who seem to be in a scoring position when he steps in the
batting box,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "He is an
extremely dangerous hitter.''

Mike Fetters (2-0) got the victory after striking out Sosa and
Fred McGriff in the eighth.

The Cubs tried to rally in the ninth, hitting three consecutive
singles before Girardi, running for Todd Hundley, made his
baserunning blunder.

"The runner has to make sure the runner goes home there, but
I'm not going to single out too much today because, to be honest
with you, we just played a bad ballgame today,'' Cubs interim
manager Bruce Kimm said.

Bill Mueller was caught stealing in the first, just before Sosa
homered, and Wood was caught off first base with a runner on third.

Wood allowed five hits and one run over six innings. He struck
out five and walked three. Wood was relieved because of a blistered
finger.

Wood was in line for the victory until Cubs reliever Joe
Borowski gave up three hits and one run in the seventh.

"My job as a pitcher is to go out there and keep the game close
for as long as I can, and when you only go six innings you really
don't expect to come out with a W,'' Wood said.

Rod Barajas doubled in the Arizona seventh and scored on
pinch-hitter Jay Bell's single, making it 2-all.

Mark Bellhorn led off the Cubs' first with a single and Mueller
followed with an RBI double. Mueller was then caught trying to
steal third while Sosa was batting.

Sosa, who leads the major leagues in homers, connected off
Miguel Batista. Sosa extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and
has homered 10 times during the streak.

"It's very nice to be in the league with another legend, but I
need to keep continuing doing my job,'' Sosa said.

Batista allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. He
struck out four and walked two.

Game notes
Arizona OF Luis Gonzalez was held out of the lineup for a
fourth consecutive game with a strained right rib cage. ... Sosa
has homered 11 times in August. ... Gonzalez extended his hitting
streak to 12 games on a single in the seventh. ... The Diamondbacks
own a National League best 39-25 road record.