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Updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 12:48 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Chicago Cubs
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
15 21 1
Atlanta Braves
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
6 8 0
W Veres (1-1)
L Reynolds (7-5)
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CHICAGO CUBS 15, ATLANTA 6
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Chicago Cubs scored 16 runs and rapped a season-high 20 hits on Sunday against the Florida Marlins . They were just as impressive against the Atlanta Braves .

Moises Alou drove in five runs and Tom Goodwin had five of the Cubs' 21 hits in a 15-6 rout of the Braves, who had won five straight games and 13 of their previous 14.

Alou matched his career high for RBI and Goodwin equaled his best for hits.

Mark Grudzielanek contributed four hits and scored four times and Sammy Sosa homered and drove in four runs for the Cubs, who combined for just one run on Friday and Saturday against Florida.

"This game is puzzling sometimes," Goodwin said. "Hopefully, we can keep this offensive surge going."

"The last couple of days, we've played very well," added Sosa, who went 3-for-4 and scored three times. "We've done everything we're supposed to do. Hopefully, we can keep going the same way."

Chicago took the lead for good, 6-5, on a two-run homer by Alex Gonzalez that chased starter Shane Reynolds (7-5) with one out in the fifth inning. Alou extended the advantage to 9-5 with a two-run double in the sixth, made it 12-5 with an RBI single in the seventh and capped the Cubs' scoring one inning later with a two-run single.

"It was my job to go out there in the fifth, shut it down and get those guys back in here to score some runs," Reynolds said. "I didn't do that."

After Cubs starter Shawn Estes loaded bases with none out in the top of the fourth, Dave Veres (1-1) retired the next three batters - Marcus Giles , Gary Sheffield and Chipper Jones - to pick up the win.

"That was huge," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "You come in there and you have those guys coming up, those are some big hitters coming up there to get out of that situation, and that was big. You look back and see all the hitting and see all the offense, but you've got to see the job that Veres did to put us in the position."

"We scored runs the next inning and that was nice," Veres said. "It gets them on the defensive and our offense kept battling back. We had the lead, we gave it up. They got a lead, we battled back. It's nice for the offense not to shut down and they kept on pushing."

Veres, Antonio Alfonseca , Kyle Farnsworth , Mike Remlinger and Joe Borowski yielded just one hit over the last six innings.

Sosa smacked a three-run homer, his 20th, in the first inning, then made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the second.

"I think that was a good sign for the whole team," Sosa said of his homer. "The first inning, we knew we could hit today. We know the Braves are a very hot team and you cannot give any chances to those guys."

Atlanta pulled within 4-3 in the bottom of the second on back-to-back homers by Andruw Jones and Javy Lopez , tied it in the third on a leadoff blast by Giles and took its only lead one out later on an RBI double by Andruw Jones .

Lopez also homered leading off the eighth against former Brave Mike Remlinger . It was his seventh multi-homer game of the season and the 19th of his career.

Estes gave up five runs and seven hits in just three-plus innings.

"He was up in the zone and unless you have some tremendous, high-octane gas, these Braves are going to hit you out of the ballpark," Baker said of Estes. "This isn't an easy ballpark to hit it out of, but they made it look easy."

Reynolds was charged with six runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"Nobody ever wants to be a part of something like this," he said. "It was awful."


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