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Sosa’s homer lifts Cubbies over Braves

SHARE Sosa’s homer lifts Cubbies over Braves

ATLANTA — Sammy Sosa hit his 53rd homer, a 471-foot shot that was the longest ever at Turner Field, and the Chicago Cubs beat Atlanta 5-3 Saturday to give the Braves their third straight defeat.

The Cubs won their fourth in a row. They lead San Francisco by 1 1/2 games for the NL wild card.

The Braves lost for the 13th time in their last 17 home games. The NL East leaders began the day with a one-game edge over Philadelphia.

Sosa hit a two-run homer in the first inning, connecting on a 3-2 pitch from Greg Maddux (17-8).

Julian Tavarez (9-9) allowed three runs in five innings. In his last outing, he retired only one batter while giving up seven hits and five runs.

Tom Gordon pitched the ninth for his 27th save. With runners on first and second, he struck out Julio Franco to end the game.

Franco went 0-for-4 with a walk in his Braves' debut. At 40, the former All-Star joined Atlanta a day earlier after leading the Mexican League with a .437 average.

GIANTS 2, ROCKIES 1: At San Francisco, Andres Galarraga hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the San Francisco Giants over the Colorado Rockies.

Justin Speier (1-2) retired the first two batters he faced, but Galarraga hit a 3-0 pitch into the left-field seats.

Robb Nen (4-3) retired the only batter he faced to pick up the victory. The Rockies had runners on second and third with two outs, and Nen came in to retire Juan Uribe on a groundout.

PHILLIES 4, EXPOS 1: At Philadelphia, Robert Person hit a homer and pitched eight strong innings, and Scott Rolen homered and had three RBIs for Philadelphia.

The Phillies, 5-11 in their last 16 games, moved into a first-place tie with Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves lost 5-3 to Chicago.

Person (13-6) allowed one run, three hits, and tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, including his last five batters. Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 35th save.

BREWERS 4, ASTROS 3: At Milwaukee, Richie Sexson hit two home runs, including a game-winner in the ninth inning that gave Milwaukee the win.

PIRATES 7, REDS 0: At Cincinnati, Dave Williams allowed three hits in 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time in more than two months.

METS 3, MARLINS 2 (11): At New York, Jay Payton hit a two-out double in the 11th inning to give New York the win over Florida.