Zambrano recovers from slow start

CHICAGO (AP) -- Michael Barrett used to watch Chicago Cubs games
as a kid and hope he'd someday be able to play at Wrigley Field.

Never did he imagine a day quite like this, though.

Barrett connected twice in the first multihomer gamer of his
career Thursday, helping the Cubs beat up on Josh Fogg and the
Pittsburgh Pirates in a 10-5 victory.

Barrett went 2-for-4, and the Cubs finished with 12 hits,
including a season-high nine for extra bases.

"I feel great right now," said Barrett, hitting .333 with a
team-high nine RBI. "It's just hard for me to believe I'm a
member of this team and we're off to a decent start and I've got
the opportunity to play at Wrigley Field. I'm a little overwhelmed
right now."

Aramis Ramirez homered for a second straight day, and Moises
Alou also hit a home run. Carlos Zambrano (1-0) settled down after
a couple of early jams, scattering one run and six hits over six

Jack Wilson and Humberto Cota hit first-pitch solo homers in the
ninth, but it wasn't enough to bail out Fogg.

Fogg (0-2) has struggled to keep the ball in the park, giving up
a team-high 28 homers in 2002 and 22 in his 26 starts last year.
And if his first two starts are any indication, this year could be
more of the same.

He gave up two in his first start last Friday, and the Cubs took
him deep four times in just four innings Thursday. He gave up nine
runs and eight hits, and his ERA ballooned from 5.40 to 12.00.

"I'm not the kind of guy that can afford to walk guys and then
give up three-run home runs," Fogg said. "If I can keep those to
solo home runs, we have a shot in that game. I was putting guys on
before they were hitting them, and that's a cardinal sin in my

The wind didn't help. With the wind blowing out at 14 mph, balls
that wouldn't have a chance of going out on other days carried a
couple of rows into the bleachers. But Fogg blamed himself, not the

"Zambrano pitched in the same park," Fogg said. "He did a
better job of keeping the ball down."

Ramirez started the barrage in the first, putting Fogg's 3-1
pitch into the shrubbery in center field for a three-run homer. It
was Ramirez's third homer in two days against his old team, and his
sixth since the Pirates traded him to the Cubs last July 22.

"I see them like any other team," said Ramirez, who spent his
first 5{ seasons with the Pirates. "I just try to go out there and
hit the ball as hard as I can."

Then it was Barrett's turn. He hit a two-run shot into the
bushes in the second, and added a leadoff shot in the fourth to
give Chicago a 9-1 lead. Alou had a three-run homer in the fourth.

"If I give up four solo jacks, it's 5-4 and we're still in the
game," Fogg said. "When you give up nine runs in the first four
innings, it's going to be a long road back."

The Cubs' offensive support took the pressure off Zambrano, who
got off to a shaky start. He gave up a single Jason Kendall, a walk
to Raul Mondesi and an RBI double to Rob Mackowiak in the first
inning -- all with two outs. But he struck out Craig Wilson to get
out of the jam, and walked off the mound pumping his fist and

He got in another jam in the third inning when he hit Craig
Wilson to load the bases. But he retired Chris Stynes and Jose
Castillo to end the threat.

"That was a big inning for him and a big inning for us because
they were threatening," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He wasn't
as sharp as he could be, but he did what he needed to do to shut
them down."

And once Zambrano got out of that third inning, he found his
groove. He allowed only two more hits, and the Pirates never got in
scoring position again while he was in the game.

"We didn't get the hits today. I don't know why," Pirates
manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We still have three games left on
this road trip before we get a day off. It's not a good day."

Game notes
Cota's homer was the first of his career. ... Jack Wilson's
single in the seventh inning extended his hitting streak to eight
games. ... A crowd of 39,450 turned out for the unseasonably warm
day at Wrigley Field. Gametime temperature was 70 degrees, more
than 10 degrees above normal.