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D'Backs Match '98 With Win


With almost one-third of the season left, the Arizona Diamondbacks already have matched their victory total last season.

Steve Finley homered and Arizona took advantage of three straight errors in the sixth inning to score two more runs, beating the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Tuesday.

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Game Summary

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  • "People can call us a surprise," Arizona outfielder Luis Gonzalez said, "but this is a totally different team than last year."

    Arizona (65-49), which began the day 5@1/2 games ahead of second-place San Francisco in the NL West, has won four straight and 16 of 20. The Diamondbacks finished last with a 65-97 record last year in their inaugural season.

    "We've been real lucky," Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter said. "Everybody's pulling in the same direction."

    The Cubs, last this year after winning the NL wild card, outhit Arizona 9-5 but stranded 12 runners.

    "Last year, we would've won that game," second baseman Mickey Morandini said. "It's very frustrating. This team is better than this."

    Finley tied the score in the second with his 22nd homer, and Arizona took advantage of the sloppy fielding in the sixth, which included errors by shortstop Jose Nieves on consecutive plays. Chicago has made 99 errors, fourth-most in the NL.

    "He's a good shortstop and good shortstops make errors," Cubs manager Jim Riggleman said. "We just fell apart there in the one inning."

    Greg Swindell (2-0) pitched 3 1-3 innings of one-hit, shutout relief.

    Diamondbacks starter Brian Anderson left in the second after he was hit in the left arm by a line drive off the bat of Henry Rodriguez.

    "I thought I broke his arm. I thought I killed him," Rodriguez said. "I'm glad I didn't hit him in the face."

    X-rays were negative and Arizona said Anderson sustained a bruised elbow.

    "I knew it was going to hit me," Anderson said. "It hit and the first thought in my brain was, `My elbow blew up.' I wanted to make sure my arm was still there. I know it's not broken. Other than that, we'll see."

    Gregg Olson pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 18 chances.

    Jon Lieber (8-6), winless in six starts since July 10, allowed three runs one earned and four hits in 7 2-3 innings. The Cubs have lost four straight and 15 of 19.

    "Things aren't going to be perfect every time out," Lieber said.

    Chicago went ahead in the first when Morandini scored on a throwing error by second baseman Jay Bell on Sammy Sosa's single.

    Bell reached with one out in the sixth when Nieves threw away his grounder.

    Nieves then bobbled Gonzalez's grounder for another error, and Rodriguez allowed Matt Williams' fly to left to glance off his glove for an error that allowed Bell to score the go-ahead run.

    "I just couldn't catch it," Rodriguez said. "Ninety-nine out of 100 times I make that play. That's why we lost the game."

    Erubiel Durazo's sacrifice fly made it 3-1.

    Anderson gave up one run, three hits and one walk in one-plus inning. Erik Sabel followed and allowed five hits in 3 2-3 innings.

    Notes

  • Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 12 games with the hit off Anderson.
  • Cubs pitcher Kevin Tapani will not pitch for at least three days after receiving a cortisone shot in his lower back. Tapani will miss at least one start.
  • Todd Stottlemyre gave up two hits in six shutout innings Monday night as he made his second rehab start with Tucson.
  • Stottlemyre partially tore his rotator cuff May 17.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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