CINCINNATI (AP) -- Sammy Sosa couldn't have picked a better time
to make up for his missed opportunities.
Sosa snapped a scoreless tie and joined an exclusive club,
driving in his 100th RBI of the season with a three-run homer in
the eighth inning, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 6-0 win over the
Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Sosa's 421-foot shot off Scott Sullivan (6-5) gave Carlos
Zambrano (4-7) his second win since July 15 and the Cubs a split of
the four-game series.
The homer, his 46th, gave Sosa his first RBI since Wednesday
and allowed him to join Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Willie Mays as
the only National League players to record eight consecutive
"I feel great,'' Sosa said. "It's something that it's not time
yet to celebrate. We're having a tough year. We have to keep going.
I'm happy if I finish the season strong.''
Zambrano, 1-6 with three no-decisions in 10 starts since July
15, limited the Reds to one hit -- Barry Larkin's first-inning
double, his career-high 35th -- and two walks in the first four
"I was feeling good today,'' Zambrano said. "Everything was in
command. My sinker was good, and my splitter was good. I have to
mix them in.''
It was the Cubs' ninth shutout of the season and the seventh
time Cincinnati has failed to score.
The Reds didn't get a runner to third base until Wily Mo Pena
singled and advanced from first on Jason LaRue's single with one
out in the fifth, but pinch-hitter Jose Guillen flied out and
Taylor struck out to end the inning.
Cincinnati also got two runners on in the sixth, but Adam Dunn
flied out to left field and Russell Branyan struck out. Larkin
grounded out with runners on second and third and two outs in the
"He showed a lot,'' Cubs interim manager Bruce Kimm said of
Zambrano. "He got into trouble a couple of times, but he kept his
Zambrano struck out eight in seven innings, matching his
second-highest total of the season. He set his career high with 10
on July 20 against Houston.
"That guy was tough,'' said Reds starter Danny Graves. "He had
great stuff. He had a really good sinker today.''
Graves, the former closer making just the second start of his
career, almost matched Zambrano pitch-for-pitch, allowing three
hits in five innings and no walks in a career-high five innings.
"He was terrific,'' Reds manager Bob Boone said. "He was pitch
efficient. It was really nice. We let it get away from us later. We
couldn't get any key hits. We got them out there, but we couldn't
get them over.''
Todd Walker singled in the eighth inning to extend his
hitting streak to 11 games, matching his career high ... LaRue
extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games ... Dunn has
not driven in a run in 12 games ... Mark Bellhorn extended his
hitting streak to six games with a second-inning single ... Alex
Gonzalez snapped a 0-for-7 slump with hits in each of his first two
at-bats ... Even with sellouts guaranteed for two of next weekend's
final three games at Cinergy Field, 2002 attendance will be below