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Updated: Saturday, May 10, 2003 8:28 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
St. Louis Cardinals
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 5 0
Chicago Cubs
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 10 0
W Remlinger (1-0)
L Eldred (2-1)
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CHICAGO CUBS 3, ST LOUIS 2 (10 INNINGS)
W Williams: 8.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Alex Gonzalez has come through in extra innings so often, Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker has come to expect it. Amazingly, Gonzalez delievered again Saturday.

Gonzalez belted his third extra-inning homer of the season, a solo shot with one out in the bottom of the 10th that lifted the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis pinch hitter J.D. Drew tied the game with an RBI single in the top of the ninth, but Gonzalez belted a 3-2 pitch from Cardinals reliever Cal Elred (2-1) over the left field bleachers for his fourth home run of the season.

"I said to (pitching coach) Larry Rothchild, `He can do it again' and he said, `I think so,'" Baker said. "So I'm like, `Come on Alex, you are known for this.' And the next thing I know the ball is out of the park."

Gonzalez denied he was looking for a home run.

"When you go up to the plate you're thinking, 'Make good contact' and a home run is not popping into my mind at the time," he said. "But I am hoping to get something up in the air and make something happen, and it's unbelievable it happened again."

The three extra-inning, game-winning homers tie Ron Santo and Ernie Banks for the team's single-season record. It was his sixth game-winning homer since joining the Cubs prior to the 2002 season.

"It surprises me to do this as many times as I have in two years," said Gonzalez, who has five career game-winning home runs at Wrigley Field. "But it's nice to get the chance late in the game, and I'm just trying to get the best at-bat I can."

"It's a special quality to be able to hit a home run late in the game to win," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We knew his history coming in and he got a breaking ball on a 3-2 count. It was a nice piece of hitting."

The homer made a winner of Mike Remlinger (1-0), who tossed a perfect 10th, and overshadowed a pitching duel between Chicago's Kerry Wood and St. Louis' Woody Williams .

Wood allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked three while firing a career-high 141 pitches.

"I wasn't worried about how many pitches I threw," said Wood, who missed the entire 1999 season after undergoing elbow surgery. "The velocity was there at the end and I just kept pitching and tried to keep the game moving."

Williams, who retired the first seven batters, struck out a season-high nine and walked one. Avoiding his first loss of the season, he scattered one run and eight hits in eight innings.

"I wasn't as sharp at the end as I was early on when I hit my spots and that was what kept the hitters off-balance," said Williams, who struck out six of the first 11 batters. "It was about Kerry Wood , when you are throwing the ball the way he is and the guys get me a run, I need to find a way to make better pitches."

Mark Grudzielanek went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Central Division-leading Cubs, who improved to 4-4 on their nine-game homestand despite placing slugger Sammy Sosa on the 15-day disabled list during the game with an infected toe.

Cubs reliever Joe Borowski blew his first save in seven chances when St. Louis scored in the ninth. Edgar Renteria walked with one out and stole second. Drew, batting for Matt Matheny, delivered a single to center.

"I'm just thinking line drive and put a good swing on the ball and fortunately that's what I did," said Drew, whose team has lost five of its last six.

Scott Rolen 's eighth homer gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the second, but Moises Alou 's solo shot tied it in the sixth.

Chicago went ahead an inning later. Corey Patterson led off the seventh with a triple and Grudzielanek followed with an RBI single.

"We got the early home run by Scott, and with the way Kerry and Woddy were pitching, you're thinking that could be it," Drew said. "But when Patterson gets hit hit that's tough to pitch out of."


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