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Updated: Saturday, August 2, 2003 2:03 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Arizona Diamondbacks
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R H E
3 15 1
Chicago Cubs
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R H E
4 13 0
W Alfonseca (1-1)
L Oropesa (2-2)
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CHICAGO CUBS 4, ARIZONA 3 (14 INNINGS)
 

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- They could have played all night - and almost did.

Aramis Ramirez 's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 14th inning ended a marathon at Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks .

The game included a three-hour rain delay in the top of the seventh inning and concluded at 10 p.m. local time - 7 hours, 40 minutes after the first pitch.

"It was such a long game, so to come out with a win is awesome," Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa said.

Each team used seven pitchers and Shawn Estes , Saturday's starter for the Cubs, was warming up in the 14th.

Following the game, Arizona manager Bob Brenly cursed at reporters as they entered his office.

The Diamondbacks took the lead in the 11th on Rod Barajas ' two-run single, but the Cubs rallied with two outs in the bottom half and pulled even on pinch hitter Troy O'Leary's two-run double.

"It was like the last four or five games," Arizona starter Curt Schilling said. "We get some runs up on the board and the other team comes back and puts them right back up. It's deflating."

With one out in the 14th, Eddie Oropesa (2-2) gave up singles to Sosa and Moises Alou before Eric Karros walked to load the bases. Ramirez lined a single off the glove of right fielder Raul Mondesi , who made a long run toward the line.

Even if Mondesi made the catch, the ball was deep enough to allow Sosa to tag up and score.

"It was a complete team effort," Cubs catcher Damian Miller said. "Everybody pitched in. We know this team has character."

Antonio Alfonseca (1-1) matched the longest outing of his career, tossing three scoreless innings to earn the win.

"Alfonseca came up real big," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "It's good to see him pitch well again."

"Everybody knows what he's capable of doing," Miller added. "We gave him the game ball. Hopefully, he can get back in the fans' good side. He's heard enough boos."

The Diamondbacks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth as Craig Counsell tripled and scored on a single by former Cub Luis Gonzalez .

Chicago answered in the bottom half as Lenny Harris led off with a single and eventually scored on Sosa's shallow fly to right field.

Over the first six innings, Schilling allowed just one run and four hits and struck out seven without a walk. But Brenly opted not to bring him back following the long delay.

"It was too bad," Brenly said. "The original report was for a short shower in and out and we hoped to send him back, but the delay was too long and he's too valuable to send back out."

"I wanted to go back out there, but 'BB' is the manager and he makes those decisions," Schlling said.

The Cubs were thrilled to see Schilling leave but could no nothing against the Diamondbacks' bullpen until the 11th.

Chicago loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Counsell made a diving stop of Kenny Lofton 's grounder behind third base to save at least two runs.

The Diamondbacks finally broke through against Joe Borowski in the 11th as Steve Finley led off with a single and took third on Mondesi's single through the right side. After Mondesi stole second, Alex Cintron grounded out, but Barajas blooped a two-run single into shallow center field to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.

Elmer Dessens got the first two batters in the bottom half but gave up singles to Karros and Ramirez before O'Leary extended the game.

"There have been some guys who have been through a lot this year who came up big for us - Lenny Harris , Troy O'Leary and Antonio Alfonseca ," Baker said.


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