The Cubs erased a 3-1 deficit with two runs in the top of the ninth inning, but Valentin drilled a 1-1 pitch from Alfonseca (0-1) some 430 feet over the fence in right-center field for his 11th homer.
"I've faced Alfonseca a lot, he has a good fastball and a good slider," Valentin said. "I didn't want to swing at the first pitch, so I took a first-pitch (strike). It's the best hit in baseball. You have to enjoy it."
"It's like the World Series when two teams from the same city play each other," Valentin said. "We don't get that much respect and we want people to know there's not only one team in town."
During a three-game losing streak, the Cubs' bullpen has allowed 14 runs in 5 2/3 innings.
's 16-strikeout gem by giving up a three-run homer to Milwaukee's
in the top of the ninth. On Wednesday, the bullpen surrendered 11 runs in four innings, including six in the 10th.
"It's frustrating because Matt (Clement) threw a great ballgame," Baker said. "That was an important two-out hit by
After Koch struck out
, Sosa hit a fly ball to deep center field, but
made the catch a step in front of the warning track. Alou slapped a single to left to tie it.
Two innings earlier, the Cubs missed a chance to snap a 1-1 tie. Gonzalez, who accounted for the Cubs' first run with a solo homer in the first, hit a potential inning-ending double play grounder to shortstop, but second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez dropped Valentin's throw, putting runners on first and second.
Following a wild pitch, Patterson was intentionally walked. But Gordon replaced starter
and struck out Sosa before getting Alou to ground out.
Wright, who allowed one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out Sosa with the bases loaded in the fifth.
"Sandy (Catcher Sandy Alomar Jr.) did a nice job of calling change-ups and offspeed pitches," Wright said. "I was throwing them more for strikes than I was my fastball."
Held to two hits in the first five innings by Clement, the
tied it in the sixth on Thomas' two-out homer and took the lead in the seventh on Lee's one-out shot.
"Losing three times in basically the ninth, especially the last two days, there's not much to say. They are tough losses," said Clement, who yielded three runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings.
have won 13 of their last 21 games. The Cubs have dropped six of their last eight.