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Score One for the Cubs

It takes a Wrigley Field-record 16 innings for a run, but Chicago wins on Sosa's hit.

June 01, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Sammy Sosa struck out five times before he broke up the longest scoreless game ever at Wrigley Field.

Sosa hit a hard RBI single off second baseman Jeff Kent's glove in the 16th inning Saturday as the Chicago Cubs beat the Houston Astros, 1-0, on a blustery day.

"I just said to myself, 'You got to go up there and keep fighting.' It was a great game, especially for a guy like me who has five strikeouts and in my last at-bat to get the game-winning RBI," Sosa said.

Not since 1916 when the first National League game was played at the park that was later named Wrigley had a game gone scoreless past the 15th, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Two other scoreless games were decided in the 15th at Wrigley, according to Elias. On June 19, 1955, the Phillies beat the Cubs, 1-0. On July 21, 1980, the Giants beat the Cubs, 2-0.

"This was as well a pitched game as I've ever seen," Cub Manager Dusty Baker said after his team improved to 6-0 in extra-inning games.

Said Chicago's Corey Patterson: "As the game went farther along, we really had to concentrate. Guys were getting tired and guys were getting hungry."

Pitchers ruled on a 48-degree day, with the Cubs setting a team record by striking out 23 times. With the wind blowing in from the northeast at 24 mph, several hard-hit balls to the outfield were knocked down.

Sosa had been 0 for 6 and was getting booed before his one-out single won it.

Alex Gonzalez walked with one out in the 16th against Ricky Stone (4-1) and made it to third when Patterson singled and right fielder Brian Hunter bobbled the ball.

With center fielder Craig Biggio brought in as a fifth infielder, Sosa hit a sharp single off Kent's glove. Sosa pumped his fist after his first hit since coming off the disabled list Friday.

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