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Sosa leaves game with headache after collision

8/18/2002

CHICAGO (AP) -- Even after Sammy Sosa and Mark Bellhorn knocked
each other out of the game, the Chicago Cubs still found a way to
end Arizona's eight-game winning streak.

Joe Girardi hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth
inning and the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 on Sunday despite a
scary collision.

Sosa and Bellhorn ran into each other while chasing Damian
Miller's fly ball in the sixth inning. Sosa held up at the last
second, trying to avoid the collision, and the ball nicked
Bellhorn's mitt in fair territory.

The Cubs' star right fielder and the second baseman banged
shoulders, and were down for several minutes as Miller rounded the
bases for an inside-the-park home run, giving Arizona a 2-1 lead.

Sosa and Bellhorn remained in the game for the rest of the
inning before being removed with headaches.

"They really both had contusions to the head and we don't think
there is any concussions involved or anything like that,'' said
Cubs trainer David Tumbas. "I think they are both going to be
fine.''

Sosa and Bellhorn were checked out by the club's orthopedist.
Sosa had a bruise behind his right ear and Bellhorn had a bruise by
his left eye.

"They did complain that they were feeling a little woozy and
that's why we took them out,'' said Tumbas.

Sosa had one at-bat after the collision and popped out.

"You are very concerned. I saw (Bellhorn's) eyes and he didn't
look like he was with us,'' said Girardi. "I don't think Sammy was
quite with us after that, he was still trying to play, but that
just shows you the character of the two guys that they want to stay
in the game.''

There was no communication between Sosa and Bellhorn when the
ball was in the air.

"You get those kind of balls that are kind of in between, you
are both going full speed at it and it is kind of tough to call and
I didn't hear him say anything,'' said Bellhorn. "I knew he was
there and I didn't want the ball to drop so I had to go for it and
we both just collided.''

Miller scored easily on the play.

"I saw that they banged pretty hard,'' said Girardi. "I don't
mean to be an insensitive guy, but I was telling Freddy (first
baseman McGriff) go get the ball because I saw the umpire pointing
fair.''

Miller didn't see where the ball landed or what happened.

"I went base to base,'' said Miller. "I just kept running. I
had no idea where the ball was.''

Alex Gonzalez led off the Chicago ninth with a single off Matt
Mantei (2-2) and stole second. After missing a bunt, Girardi
singled to center on an 0-2 pitch to give the Cubs the win.

Antonio Alfonseca (2-3) pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Cubs tied it in the eighth. Bill Mueller drew a walk from
Arizona reliever Mike Fetters, advanced to third on a wild pitch
and a passed ball, and then scored on McGriff's sacrifice fly off
Mike Myers.

Cubs interim manager Bruce Kimm was ejected in the seventh
inning after arguing with plate umpire Andy Fletcher.

Diamondbacks starter Rick Helling retired nine consecutive
batters between the second and fourth inning, striking out five in
a row during the span.

Helling went seven innings, giving up five hits -- one run and
seven strikeouts. He walked one.

"We lost the game,'' said Helling. "It would have been a great
road trip if we held on and swept the whole trip.''

Arizona finished 5-1 on its trip.

In the first, Cubs starter Matt Clement walked Quinton
McCracken, hit Junior Spivey with a pitch and walked Steve Finley
on four straight pitches, loading the bases. Jay Bell followed with
a grounder to shortstop, but Gonzalez fumbled the ball and was
charged with an error, allowing McCracken to score.

Bellhorn doubled in the first and McGriff hit an RBI single to
tie the game at 1.

Spivey got the Diamondbacks' first hit in the fifth inning with
a single to left.

Clement pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits.
He struck out 10 and walked three. He also hit two batters with
pitches.

Game notes
Diamondbacks OF Luis Gonzalez was held out of the lineup
for a fifth consecutive game with a strained right rib cage. ...
Mark Grace had a 13-pitch at-bat before striking out in the fifth
inning. ... Alex Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 13 games
on a single in the fifth inning. ... Sosa went 0-for-3, snapping
his 12-game hitting streak.