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Updated: Thursday, July 31, 2003 8:37 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
San Francisco Giants
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
4 9 1
Chicago Cubs
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
9 11 0
W Zambrano (9-8)
L Brower (7-3)
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CHICAGO CUBS 9, SAN FRANCISCO 4
 

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Sammy Sosa hit a three-run homer and had four RBI as the Chicago Cubs posted a 9-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants .

After sparking Chicago's four-run first inning with an RBI double, Sosa belted his 23rd homer in the sixth. The three-run blast gave him 522 in his career and moved him past Willie McCovey and Ted Williams and into 12th place on the all-time list.

Sosa, whose shot staked Chicago to a 9-2 lead, hit a major league-leading 13 homers in July to complete his 20th career double-digit month. His second four-RBI game of the season helped the Cubs take two of three games from the Giants, which had won 10 of 11 coming into the series.

"I'm not worried about records," Sosa said. "I'm worried about wins. When I retire, I'll go back and look at records. Now, I'm worrying about this team winning."

Chicago's Carlos Zambrano (9-8) benefited from the offensive support and got the win, allowing four runs and nine hits. He walked five and struck out five en route to his third straight victory.

"He's really coming along and is establishing himself as one of our main pitchers," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He still has mental lapses, but not as many as in the past."

Zambrano won his third straight start and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by retiring Barry Bonds . Bonds fouled back the first pitch before hitting a soft liner back to the mound.

Zambrano pumped his fists twice and tossed the ball into the seats behind Chicago's dugout.

Baker wasn't bothered Zambrano's demonstrative display. But Bonds was annoyed at the righthander's actions.

"I'd rather have a guy with a lot of emotion pitching for me than a guy you can't motivate or a guy who is emotionless," Baker said. "You can always work on bringing some of that emotion down a bit."

"I don't get upset at things like that," Bonds said. "He'll learn respect, I guarantee that."

The incident was the third between Bonds and a Chicago pitcher. On April 29 at San Francisco, Bonds was hit twice by Kerry Wood . Two days later, Mark Prior plunked him and the two players exchanged words.

San Francisco's Kirk Rueter was unable to start after experiencing stiffness in his left shoulder while warming up. Jim Brower (7-3) filled in and was tagged for five runs and seven hits in five innings.

"(Rueter) felt bad on ground level, not even on the mound. It's the same thing he had before," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.

"Being a relief pitcher and coming in for the first inning was something hard to take," Brower said. "I won't say where I was when I found out, but it was in the clubhouse. So I changed and had 10 minutes before the start."

Former Giant Kenny Lofton and Mark Grudzielanek greeted Brower with base hits. Sosa plated Lofton with a double down the left field line.

Moises Alou , who hit a three-run homer in Tuesday's series opener, followed with a two-run double to center. Damian Miller capped the four-run outburst with an RBI single.

"He's headed to the bullpen and then he's got to start the game," Felipe Alou said. "So it took a while for him to settle down. It's one of those things."

Brower did settle down, but the Giants did little against Zambrano. They hit into inning-ending double plays in the third and fourth and did not score until Edgardo Alfonzo 's two-run blast in the sixth.

Eric Karros made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Alex Gonzalez came home on Jason Christensen's wild pitch in the sixth.

After Brower's day was finished, Christensen came on. He was ineffective and was tossed for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Sam Holbrook.

Matt Herges replaced Christensen, who was ejected following the wild pitch by plate umpire Sam Holbrook for arguing balls and strikes, and got Mark Grudzielanek to bounce into a forceout. But Sosa crushed Herges' first offering into the left-center field bleachers to give the Cubs a seven-run cushion.

Zambrano gave up two more runs in the eighth before Joe Borowski retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to secure Chicago's fourth win in six games.


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