Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/28)

Game 1: Friday, September 27
Pittsburgh 13Final
Chicago 3
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
Pittsburgh 4Final
Chicago 5
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
Pittsburgh 3Final
Chicago 7

Pirates 4

(72-88, 34-46 away)

Cubs 5

(66-95, 35-45 home)

    4:05 PM ET, September 28, 2002

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    PIT 001100020 4 - -
    CHC 000003002 5 - -

    W: J. Cruz (3-11)

    L: B. Boehringer (4-4)

    Cubs rookie Hill knocks in winning run in ninth

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Rookie Bobby Hill got his first taste this year of what it's like to play for the Chicago Cubs during another of their dreadful 90-plus loss seasons.

    Bobby Hill

    "I think as a team it's been a long year for everybody, including the young guys,'' Hill said Saturday after his RBI single in the ninth rallied the Cubs past the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4.

    "Things haven't gone our way and we haven't gotten the clutch hits when we needed them all year,'' Hill said. "And to have something like that happen today is a good sign.''

    The only good sign Sammy Sosa had in his struggle to reach 500 homers was a fly ball to the front of the warning track.

    Sosa is still stuck on 48 homers this year and 498 in his career, going 0-for-3 with a walk. He is 1-for-19 in Chicago's closing homestand.

    Bidding to become the 18th player to hit 500 homers and the first to have five 50-homer seasons, Sosa hasn't homered in 31 plate appearances since Sept. 20. He's got one game left.

    "I'm a man. I never give up,'' Sosa said. "I'm going to come back tomorrow with the same approach and go out and fight for my at-bats. That's all.

    "I will get it done sooner or later. So I don't want it to be like, `Well I have to do it or my career will be finished.' No way.''

    With Chicago trailing 4-3, Angel Echevarria led off the bottom of the ninth with a pinch-single off Ron Villone, moved to second on a bunt and scored when Todd Hundley hit a hard single to center that went off Pokey Reese's glove at second.

    After Chad Hermanson walked, Hill singled to center off Brian Boehringer (4-4), scoring pinch-runner Pat Mahomes.

    Juan Cruz (3-11) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

    Pittsburgh took a 4-3 lead in the eighth when Brian Giles, who thought he would be off following Friday's two-homer, six-RBI game, pinch hit and connected off Antonio Alfonseca for his 38th homer, a two-run drive.

    "I've hit well against this team this year,'' said Giles, who is 27-for-52 (.519) with seven homers and 17 RBIs against the Cubs this season. "It's a game that we felt we should have won, but it got away.''

    Giles, batting .298, could play Sunday rather than sit, even though he reached 100 RBI on Friday. And why not, after the way he's hit Cubs' pitching?

    "I'm going to talk to him to see how he feels about it,'' Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I'm leaning toward starting him.''

    Hee Seop Choi hit a two-run homer in the sixth as the Cubs -- held hitless by Kip Wells for 5 1/3 innings -- scored three times to take the lead.

    Hill singled with one out in the sixth for the first hit off Wells, stole second and scored on Mark Bellhorn's single.

    Sosa then sent a high fly to the front of the warning track in right before Choi drove a pitch into the bleachers in left-center for his second career homer and a 3-2 Chicago lead.

    Wells, who didn't win a game after Aug. 24, gave up three runs and three hits in six innings.

    Chicago starter Alan Benes allowed two runs and five hits in six innings with eight strikeouts.

    Sosa took a called third strike in the first and then hit a hard grounder that went under shortstop Abraham Nunez's glove for an error in the fourth -- the Cubs' first runner against Wells. He walked off reliever Al Reyes in the eighth.

    Craig Wilson homered in the fourth to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh scored an inning earlier when Mike Benjamin singled and came across on Tony Alvarez's double into the left-field corner.

    Game notes

    Cubs GM Jim Hendry said again that he'll decide the future of interim manager Bruce Kimm within a couple of days. That means Sunday could be Kimm's final day with the team. "It's going to be emotional,'' Kimm said. "At first I didn't think it would be.''... It was Giles' first pinch-homer this season and the third of his career. ... Alfonseca has blown nine of 28 save chances this year, including three straight after converting six in a row.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press