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Gonzalez had penchant for Wrigley game-winners

9/10/2002

CHICAGO (AP) -- Alex Gonzalez can't explain why he's been able to
hit three game-winning homers this season at Wrigley Field. He'd
rather just enjoy the experience.

"Every time you round the bases, it's a new feeling and a new
situation,'' Gonzalez said Monday night after his homer in the
bottom of the ninth inning gave the Chicago Cubs a 3-2 win over the
Montreal Expos.

"I don't think I've had anything like this year. It's been
unique in that respect. I probably haven't had three in the past,
total. It's a nice treat and I have no objection to it
continuing,'' he said.

Gonzalez hit a 2-2 pitch from Jim Brower (3-2) far over the
fence in left-center for his 17th homer of the season -- tying his
best set last season with Toronto -- and the 100th of his career.

"It was a sitting duck, waist-high,'' Brower said. "I need to
throw a better pitch in that situation. If I make my pitch, they're
out or it's not a home run.''

Earlier this season, Gonzalez hit game-ending homers against St.
Louis and Texas.

"I wasn't thinking about hitting a home run. It just seems to
happen,'' Gonzalez said. "After the fact, you reflect on doing it
in the past. It gets better each time.''

Joe Borowski (4-4) got the victory with 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Sammy Sosa, who said before the game the Cubs needed to clean
house before next season, went 0-for-4 and is in a 5-for-30 skid.

Corey Patterson, benched because of a 7-for-58 slump, homered as
a pinch-hitter in the seventh off Tony Armas to give the Cubs a 2-1
lead.

But struggling Cubs reliever Kyle Farnsworth couldn't hold it,
giving up a walk, a two-out single to Michael Barrett and an RBI
double to pinch-hitter Matt Cepicky that tied it.

Armas went the first seven innings for the Expos, allowing five
hits and two runs with eight strikeouts.

Cubs starter Matt Clement left in the top of the fifth with back
spasms, right after Barrett hit the first pitch of the inning for
his 12th homer, tying it at 1.

Clement, who had won three straight starts -- including two
complete games -- gave up three hits.

"Hopefully, it's just a spasm and I'll be back out there in
five days,'' Clement said.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bobby Hill led off
with a single, stole second and scored on Fred McGriff's double.

Game notes
Gonzalez also has a game-winning double in the ninth off
Trevor Hoffman of the Padres. ... Clement got his 200th strikeout
of the season by fanning Andres Galarraga in the fourth. ...
Galarraga strained his hip flexor running the bases in the eighth.
... Roosevelt Brown, hitting just .194, started in center in place
of Patterson. ... Montreal's Wil Cordero missed his second straight
game with a sore back. ... Farnsworth has given up 25 earned runs
in his last 22 2-3 innings over 20 games. ... The Cubs plan to have
a special patriotic program Wednesday to observe the anniversary of
Sept. 11. Fans entering Wrigley Field for that afternoon's game
with the Expos will be given T-shirts bearing the phrase "We Shall
Not Forget.'' ... It is the Expos' first trip to Wrigley Field
since the opening series of the 2001 season. ... Chicago Bears
Anthony Thomas and David Terrell led the singing during the
seventh-inning stretch.