Ten runs doesn't always ensure victory these days, especially in Colorado.

Sammy Sosa increased his NL-leading home run total to 26 with a pair of two-run shots yesterday as the Chicago Cubs nearly wasted a seven-run lead in the ninth before holding on for a 12-10 victory over the Rockies.

"That had the makings of a devastating loss," Cubs Manager Jim Riggleman said. "They just kept coming at us."

Colorado's late rally gave them double figures in three straight games and six of eight at Coors Field. Teams have scored at least 10 runs at Coors Field 23 times this season, including seven games in which both teams did it.

"You never feel like you win until the last out," Sosa said. "It was 12-5 and they came back and it was pretty close. When you come here, you've got to score a lot of runs to make sure that you're going to win the game."

Jose Hernandez ended a 6-for-56 slide with three hits, including a home run, in support of Kevin Tapani (6-3), who improved to 5-0 in five career starts against the Rockies.

"I threw the ball good," Tapani said. "I limited my walks and they didn't hit any balls out of the yard, so they had to put some hits together to score some runs. Maybe that formula works, huh?"

BRAVES 3, EXPOS 2: Brian Jordan lined a one-out single in the 11th, scoring Ozzie Guillen from second as Atlanta rallied at home. Guillen led off with a single against Guillermo Mota (2-1) and stole second. After Chipper Jones was intentionally walked, Jordan ignored the pain of a sore right wrist to come through with a single to center.

Jordan didn't play the previous game after being hit on the wrist with a pitch Tuesday.

METS 3, MARLINS 2: Robin Ventura's RBI single in the eighth carried host New York to its 14th win in 17 games.

The Mets, who trailed in all three games to the Marlins before winning, sent Florida to its ninth straight loss, tying the longest skid in the major leagues this season. New York heads into a weekend showdown in Atlanta against the first-place Braves playing its best baseball of the season.

With Mike Piazza sidelined with a mild concussion, the Mets got a strong start from Orel Hershiser, effective relief and timely hitting from Ventura.

PHILLIES 7, PIRATES 5: The longer the game went on, the better Curt Schilling got.

"I didn't get stronger, I just pitched better," Schilling said in Philadelphia after his second straight win.

Schilling allowed four hits in the first inning, a leadoff homer to Brant Brown in the second and Ed Sprague in the third. He then gave up one hit in his final four innings -- a triple during a seventh inning in which Schilling struck out the side.

"I was erratic with my pitches," Schilling said. "After Sprague's homer, all my pitches, especially my splitter, got better."

Schilling (10-4) allowed three runs and seven hits and struck out nine, moving past Grover Cleveland Alexander into fourth place on the Phillies' career strikeout list at 1,410.

REDS 3, ASTROS 0: Ron Villone didn't allow a hit until Tony Eusebio singled with one out in the seventh, and visiting Cincinnati won on a combined one-hitter.

PADRES 2, DODGERS 1: In Los Angeles, Andy Ashby won in his return from the disabled list, leading San Diego to its sixth straight victory. Dave Magadan hit sacrifice flies in the first and third innings, sending the Dodgers to their third straight loss and 12th in 16 games.

DIAMONDBACKS 8, CARDINALS 7: Hanley Frias hit a two-run double to cap a three-run rally in the ninth as host Arizona snapped a four-game losing streak. Mark McGwire hit his 23rd homer for St. Louis.

CAPTION: Sammy Sosa hits league-leading 26th homer, a 2-run shot in eighth.