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Cubs edge Expos
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 6      3   Final
09/11/2002  4:46 PM ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Expos 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 9 2
 Cubs 4 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 X 6 7 0
Cubs edge Expos
Sosa hits National League-leading 45th home run
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Sammy Sosa hit his National League-leading 45th home run and first since Sept. 2 to power the Chicago Cubs to a 6-3 victory Wednesday over the Montreal Expos.

Sosa launched a 1-1 pitch from Masato Yoshii (4-9) with two out in the fifth for career homer No. 495 to move within five of becoming the 18th player to join the 500 club.

Sosa, who was 3-for-4, now has 99 RBIs and is one shy of reaching 100 for the eighth consecutive year. The only National League players with eight straight 100 RBI seasons are Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Willie Mays.

The game was played before 20,503 fans at Wrigley Field, many wearing red, white and blue in honor of the victims of the tragic events of last Sept. 11.

Mark Bellhorn also hit a solo homer to back Alan Benes (2-1), who gave up three runs on seven hits over seven innings. Benes was rocked for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings in his last start against his brother, St. Louis pitcher Andy Benes.

Wednesday, he faced the minimum number of batters in five of his seven innings of work and helped himself with an inning-ending double play in the third. With a runner at first and one out, Benes got Endy Chavez to line out to him and then threw out the runner at first.

Antonio Alfonseca pitched the ninth for his 18th save as the two teams split the season series, 3-3.

Yoshii lost his fourth straight decision, giving up six runs -- four earned -- on six hits and one walk over five innings. Sosa now has hit three home runs off the right-hander.

Bellhorn led off the Cubs first with his 27th home run and second leadoff homer of the season, hitting the first pitch from Yoshii into the right-field bleachers. It was his second homer in as many games. Bellhorn also homered to lead off the July 26 game against St. Louis' Chuck Finley.

One out later, the Cubs loaded the bases on a single by Sosa, a walk to Hee Seop Choi and a single by Roosevelt Brown. Chris Stynes then hit a grounder to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who bobbled the ball for one error and then overthrew first base for another, allowing two runs to score to make it 3-0. Brown reached third on the miscues and scored on Kevin Orie's sacrifice fly.

In the Cubs fourth, Stynes blooped the ball along the right field line to lead off. Right fielder Vladimir Guerrero didn't play the bounce well, and Stynes was safe at third with a triple. He scored on Orie's sacrifice fly to go ahead, 5-0.

The Expos tallied with two out in the sixth on a two-run double by Jose Vidro, scoring Endy Chavez and Jamey Carroll, who both singled. Guerrero then drove in Vidro with a single to make it 6-3.

Carrie Muskat covers the Cubs for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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BOX SCORE
Chicago Cubs 6, Montreal Expos 3
Montreal Expos
BatterPosABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
ChavezCF 4120001.192
Carroll3B 3120100.667
Vidro2B 4112003.308
Guerrero, VRF 4021000.336
Wilkerson1B 4010032.274
CabreraSS 4000002.254
CepickyLF 3000011.226
SchneiderC 3010000.262
YoshiiP 1000011.057
a-TatisPH 1000000.231
KimP 0000000.000
b-Guerrero, WPH 1000010.224
ReamesP 0000000.125
Totals323931610
a-Grounded out for Yoshii in the 6th. b-Struck out for Kim in the 8th.
BATTING
2B: Vidro (38, Benes).
RBI: Vidro 2 (82), Guerrero, V (97).
2-out RBI: Vidro 2, Guerrero, V.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cepicky.
GIDP: Vidro 2, Cabrera.
Team LOB: 3.
BASERUNNING
SB: Guerrero, V (34, 2nd base off Benes/Girardi), Chavez (1, 2nd base off Borowski/Girardi).
FIELDING
E: Cabrera 2 (29, fielding, throw).
DP: (Vidro-Cabrera-Wilkerson).
 
Chicago Cubs
BatterPosABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
BellhornSS-2B 4111000.257
PattersonCF 4000010.252
SosaRF 4231000.298
Choi1B 3100131.091
BrownLF 4110021.194
Stynes2B 3111011.239
GonzalezSS 1000010.251
Orie3B 1012000.400
GirardiC 2000111.218
BenesP 3000012.000
BorowskiP 0000000.286
AlfonsecaP 0000000.667
Totals296752106
BATTING
2B: Orie (2, Kim).
3B: Stynes (1, Yoshii).
HR: Bellhorn (27, 1st inning off Yoshii, 0 on, 0 out), Sosa (45, 5th inning off Yoshii, 0 on, 2 out).
RBI: Bellhorn (54), Stynes (25), Orie 2 (2), Sosa (99).
2-out RBI: Sosa.
SF: Orie 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Girardi, Benes.
GIDP: Brown.
Team LOB: 3.
FIELDING
DP: 4 (Benes-Choi, Stynes-Bellhorn-Choi, Bellhorn-Gonzalez-Choi 2).
Montreal Expos
PitcherIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yoshii (L, 4-9) 5.06641424.11
Kim 2.01001306.97
Reames 1.00000305.13
Chicago Cubs
PitcherIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Benes (W, 2-1) 7.07330504.91
Borowski (H, 7) 1.01001102.80
Alfonseca (S, 18) 1.01000003.88
IBB: Girardi (by Kim).
Pitches-strikes: Yoshii 72-49, Kim 26-15, Reames 16-12, Benes 98-65, Borowski 15-10, Alfonseca 6-5.
Ground outs-fly outs: Yoshii 5-6, Kim 1-2, Reames 0-0, Benes 9-7, Borowski 2-0, Alfonseca 3-0.
Batters faced: Yoshii 22, Kim 8, Reames 3, Benes 26, Borowski 4, Alfonseca 3.
Umpires: HP: Doug Eddings. 1B: Chris Guccione. 2B: Joe West. 3B: Mike Everitt.
Weather: 70 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 10 mph, In from CF.
T: 2:21.
Att: 20,503.

Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner