Cubs 10, Rockies 8
DENVER (AP) _ Sammy Sosa didn’t figure in the scoring. In fact, he went hitless in five trips to the plate with four straight strikeouts on a night the Chicago Cubs would have 17 hits.
But it was Sosa and the bullpen that manager Jim Riggleman singled out as the Chicago ended the Colorado Rockies’ 11-game winning streak at Coors Field, 10-8 Thursday night.
``We don’t call him our four-tool player for nothing,″ Riggleman said. ``If he doesn’t beat you with the bat, he beats you with his glove, arm or on the bases. Tonight, he won a game for us with his glove.″
With the game tied 8-8 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Rockies loaded the bases off Chicago reliever Kent Bottenfield (2-1). Dante Bichette hit a long fly ball headed for the right field wall, but Sosa made a leaping catch against the right-field wall to rob Bichette of extra bases and the Rockies of at least three runs.
``I thought it was out of here, and then I see Sammy make the catch,″ Bottenfield said. ``If it wasn’t for that, things would have been different.
``I can’t let what I do at the plate affect the rest of my game,″ Sosa said. ``I’m going to have an off night at the plate, but I’m not going to have one in the field.″
The Cubs bullpen _ Rodney Myers, Larry Casian, Bottenfield and Bob Patterson _ held the Rockies scoreless over the final 5 1-3 innings. Patterson worked the final two-thirds of an inning for his third save.
``They don’t get many saves because they don’t get that many opportunities,″ Riggleman said. ``They have come through in games like this one and they were a factor in the outcome.″
The Cubs used two ninth-inning wild pitches by Colorado reliever Bruce Ruffin to break the tie.
Grace, who drove in four runs, drew a leadoff walk in the ninth from Bruce Ruffin (5-4). After Sosa struck out for the fourth time, Doug Glanville reached on a bunt single.
Grace and Glanville moved up on a wild pitch by Ruffin. One out later, Grace scored on another wild pitch by Ruffin (5-4) before Rey Sanchez followed with an RBI single.
``That’s my out pitch, a slider down and in to the right-handers,″ Ruffin said. ``I throw it in the dirt and get a lot of strikeouts with it.″
The game was tied at 8 in the fifth inning. The Cubs scored in each of their first five innings; Colorado scored in its first four.
``I didn’t know if we’ve ever going to have any zeros on the board,″ Colorado manager Don Baylor said. ``Once one of these kinds of games gets started here, you can only sit back and hope you get somebody out.″
Leo Gomez homered for Chicago, which had 17 hits. Vinny Castilla homered twice for the Rockies, who had 15 hits.
Both starting pitchers struggled. All-Star Steve Trachsel of the Cubs was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings, while Roger Bailey of the Rockies allowed six runs and nine hits in three innings.
Brian McRae led off the game with a bunt single, Ryne Sandberg hit an RBI double and Grace hit a sacrifice fly that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Trachsel, an .081 hitter, singled with two outs in the second and Grace hit a two-run single. Castilla’s homer started a three-run second that tied it at 4.
Castilla’s two-run homer, his 24th, gave the Rockies a 6-5 lead in the third. Grace evened it in the fourth with an RBI single.
Bichette and Andres Galarraga had RBI singles in the Colorado fourth, making it 8-6. Gomez hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Lance Painter.
Notes: Servais was hit by a pitch for the 12th time, tying the Cubs single-season record set by Adolfo Phillips in 1966. ... Castilla has three multi-homer games this year and 10 in his career.