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Updated: Friday, May 2, 2003 9:20 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Colorado Rockies
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
4 10 0
Chicago Cubs
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 10 2
W Estes (2-3)
L Chacon (4-1)
S Borowski (5)
Recap | Box Score | Lineup | ScoreCast | Game Log | How They Scored | Today's Scoreboard
CHICAGO CUBS 7, COLORADO 4
 

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Shawn Estes got even with Shawn Chacon .

In the second matchup between the pitchers in a week, Estes allowed four runs - just two earned - in 7 2/3 innings as the Chicago Cubs opened a nine-game homestand with a 7-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies .

"When I get guys out, I have my good two-seam fastball working and my curveball working," Estes said. "Today, I had both and the guys played good defense behind me."

Five days ago, Chacon gave up just three hits in seven innings as the Rockies beat Estes and the Cubs, 8-5, at Coors Field.

The rematch appeared to favor Chacon, who entered Friday's start with a National League-best 1.04 ERA. Estes, bothered by a bad back at Colorado, was coming off a pair of rough outings and came in with a 7.43 ERA.

But Estes (2-3) better handled the blustery conditions at Wrigley Field, walking two and striking out two on a day when a number of fly balls were affected by a 20 miles-per-hour wind blowing in from left field. He also benefited from four double plays and helped his cause with an RBI single.

"The last time pitched here, I came to the park and they (winds) were blowing straight out," Estes said. "Today, it was nice to see them blowing straight in, but my game plan stayed the same."

Estes cruised through seven innings before the Rockies scored three times in the eighth to close within 7-4. Joe Borowski recorded the final four outs for his fifth save.

"I noticed his (Estes') ball was really sinking with more movement than I've seen," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said. "It makes his pitches effective."

Chacon (4-1) surrendered six runs and eight hits in five innings. He also struggled with his control, walking four, throwing two wild pitches and hitting a batter.

"Last week, he was a different pitcher than we had seen," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "In the past, he didn't throw as many curveballs. Now, he has an excellent curve. He was more of a power pitcher, so when you see a guy in back-to-back starts, it's easier to adjust."

Chacon's ERA climbed more than a run to 2.27. He had alllowed only four earned runs in his previous five starts covering 35 2/3 innings.

"I didn't have my fastball command today and that's what hurt me, and that's what has been the key to my whole season," said Chacon, who was named National League Pitcher of the Month earlier in the day. "And when I don't have it, this is what happens."

Mark Bellhorn drove in three runs for the Cubs, who handed the Rockies their sixth straight road loss.

"This year has been frustrating for me," said Bellhorn, who went 2-for-2 with a walk to snap out of a 2-for-18 slump. "I've tried too hard. But today I just tried to have fun. The three, four days Dusty gave me off relaxed me and reminded me why I'm here."

Sammy Sosa had a pair of wind-blown doubles for the Cubs, the first of which started a three-run third that gave Chicago a 5-0 lead. Bellhorn's second RBI single made it 6-0 in the fifth.

Estes gave up an RBI single to Helton in the sixth, a run the Cubs got back in the seventh on Bellhorn's sacrifice fly.

Estes ran into trouble in the eighth, walking leadoff hitter Chris Stynes before giving up consecutive singles to Brett Butler , Ron Belliard and Jay Payton that made it 7-3. Estes was lifted after yielding a sacrifice fly to Helton.

Mark Guthrie replaced Estes and walked Larry Walker , bringing up the tying run. But Borowski got Jose Hernandez to line to right for the final out of the inning.

"There were some tough conditions today and they battled better than we did," Helton said. "They did the right things to win."


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