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Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2003 3:19 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Chicago Cubs
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 7 0
San Diego Padres
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 5 0
W Wood (11-8)
L Eaton (6-8)
S Borowski (21)
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CHICAGO CUBS 3, SAN DIEGO 2
 

SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- While climbing up the Chicago Cubs ' all-time strikeouts list, Kerry Wood moved a step closer to baseball history.

Wood posted his eighth double-digit strikeout game of the season and Sammy Sosa belted a two-run homer as the Cubs edged the San Diego Padres , 3-2.

Attempting to snap a personal two-game losing skid, Wood (11-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings. The righthander walked four and struck out 10, moving past Ken Holtzman into ninth place on the Cubs all-time list with 991.

"It wasn't the prettiest outing, but I'll take it," Wood said. "At times I was able to spot my fastball, and other times I missed by three feet. By the fifth inning, I had three pitches working for me, with my curve and my slider. I was getting them to swing and miss."

"It was a great performance by Woody," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He probably wasn't as sharp as he'd like to be, but he made pitches when he needed to. Not only was it a huge outing, but he saved our bullpen and got the victory."

Wood, who improved to 6-2 on the road this season, is nine strikeouts away from reaching 1,000 faster than any pitcher in major league history. Roger Clemens needed 143 games to reach the plateau while Hideo Nomo required 927 2/3 innings to do it. Wood has pitched 846 innings in 133 career games.

"I'm only thinking about winning a pennant," Wood said. "I'm more worried about Houston and St. Louis than I am about anything I'm doing personally. I just want to stay healthy and continue to go out and put good starts together and hopefully get in the playoffs."

Sosa staked Wood to a 2-0 led in the fourth inning, belting his 25th homer. Sosa, who has homered in 11 consecutive series, needs five more for his ninth straight 30-homer campaign.

Joe Borowski worked a perfect ninth inning for his 21st save.

Padres starter Adam Eaton (6-8) had his four-game winning streak snapped, yielding three run and six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out eight in his first loss since June 27 at Seattle.

"I had good command of my pitches," Eaton said. "There were only a few pitches that I made mistakes with and they were hit. I'm overall happy but disappointed in the outcome."

"Eaton threw very well, just that one pitch wasn't quite where he wanted it," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "Overall, I thought he pitched great."

After three scoreless innings, Ramon Martinez opened the fourth with a single. Sosa followed with his home run, belting a 1-2 pitch over the center field fence for a 2-0 lead.

"I never look for any pitch, I just react," Sosa said. "He was pitching great the whole game, you have to give him credit that he only made one mistake. ... He had one bad pitch right there, and I was ready and I got a good swing on it."

"It was not where I wanted it," Eaton admitted. "He's a pretty good low-ball hitter, down and away like that. It was a good pitch in theory, but I was thinking more about going up and away out of the strike zone. He put a good charge in it, that's for sure."

The Cubs tacked on an important insurance run in the fifth. Alex Gonzalez led off with a double, but Eaton fanned Damian Miller and Wood. Kenny Lofton battled Eaton for seven pitches before stroking a single to right-center field, plating Gonzalez for a three-run cushion.

The Padres broke through in the sixth. Mark Loretta drew a four-pitch walk to open the inning, but Phil Nevin flied out. Wood walked Ryan Klesko before former Cub Rondell White smacked a single to left to plate Loretta, making it 3-1.

Loretta drew San Diego within a run in the eighth, leading off the frame with his seventh homer.

"We got within one there, but we couldn't do much after that," Bochy said. "It was a hard-fought game. We just have run into some great pitching."

The Padres bullpen averted trouble in the ninth to keep the game at 3-2.

Hee Seop Choi led off with a walk, but Aramis Ramirez flied out. Jay Witasick relieved Scott Linebrink and retired Gonzalez before Miller singled to put runners on the corners. But pinch hitter Troy O'Leary ended the threat by grounding out on the first pitch.


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