Barry Bonds homered three times as the San Francisco Giants swept the Chicago Cubs, 11-5 and 6-5, yesterday at Wrigley Field despite Sammy Sosa's major league-leading 52nd homer.
Bonds homered twice and drove in four runs in the opener, then added his 25th homer of the season, his eighth in the last 10 games. Marvin Benard and J.T. Snow also homered in the second game as the Giants extended their winning streak to seven.
Chicago has lost 26 of 32 and is 20-50 since June 9.
Sosa connected off Kurk Rueter (12-7) in the sixth inning of the second game, breaking a tie with Mark McGwire. It came in the Cubs' 125th game and kept him well ahead of his pace last year. Sosa hit his 52nd in Chicago's 133rd game last season and finished with 66, four short of McGwire's record.
"Every time I go out and hit one or two or three homers, it doesn't make any difference because I want to win," Sosa said. "In our situation right now, there's not too much to say."
San Francisco, led by Bonds, scored all its runs in the opener with two outs.
Russ Ortiz (15-8) allowed four runs and three hits in five innings and has won three straight.
BRAVES 5, REDS 2: Atlanta won its seventh in a row, completing a three-game sweep of host Cincinnati.
Andruw Jones hit a three-run homer in the first and Tom Glavine pitched seven strong innings for the Braves, who have grabbed the best record in baseball (80-49) with their longest winning streak of the season.
The injury-plagued Braves remained 1 1/2 games ahead of the New York in the NL East, while the Reds stayed 1 1/2 games behind Houston in the NL Central. Cincinnati dropped 3 1/2 games behind New York in the wild-card race.
PHILLIES 15, PADRES 1: Rico Brogna homered twice and had a career-high seven RBI as host Philadelphia pounded San Diego for the second consecutive game.
Brogna was 4 for 5 for the second straight day and is 20 for 35 (.571) with 15 RBI during an eight-game hitting streak. He is batting .359 in his last 34 games. Mike Lieberthal hit his 27th homer, tying Darren Daulton's 1992 club record for a catcher. The Phillies won Tuesday 18-2.
BREWERS 9, DODGERS 7: David Nilsson hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning, and host Milwaukee beat Los Angeles to stop a five-game losing streak.
Dodgers starter Kevin Brown wasted a 5-2 lead in the sixth when he walked Jeff Cirillo with the bases loaded and Jose Valentin hit his fourth career grand slam, his first since June 16, 1996. It was the first home run off Brown in 53 2/3 innings, since July 20.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, MARLINS 2: In Miami, Todd Stottlemyre got his first victory since coming back from a rotator cuff injury, scattering five hits over seven innings.
The Diamondbacks scored four runs in the sixth inning, when they broke a 2-2 tie, capped by a two-run single by Hanley Frias. Erubiel Durazo hit a solo homer and Jay Bell added two sacrifice flies as Arizona won its fifth straight.
Arizona has won nine of 10 overall and 17 of 20 on the road. The NL West leaders are 26-7 since July 20, the best record in the majors during that span.
METS 4, ASTROS 0: Kenny Rogers won his 17th straight home decision and Robin Ventura hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth inning to carry New York at home.
Rogers (3-0) allowed seven hits in 8 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two before Dennis Cook finished for his third save.
Rogers's streak dates from June 28, 1997, and is the longest since Frank Viola won 19 straight at Minnesota in 1987-88. Rogers's streak spans three teams -- the Yankees, Athletics and Mets.
EXPOS 4, CARDINALS 1: Vladimir Guerrero hit his 31st homer to extend his hitting streak to 30 games -- tying Arizona's Luis Gonzalez for the longest in the majors this season -- as Montreal completed a three-game sweep at home. Guerrero's Montreal-record streak ties him with four others, including Gonzalez, for the longest hitting streak since 1987. Benito Santiago had a 34-game streak for San Diego from Aug. 25-Oct. 2, 1987. Milwaukee's Paul Molitor hit in 39 consecutive games earlier in the season.
PIRATES 9, ROCKIES 3: Brian Giles hit his 30th home run and Chris Peters pitched seven strong innings in his first appearance in three months, leading host Pittsburgh. Peters (2-1), who had been bothered by left shoulder inflammation, made his first appearance since May 23 and his first start since May 3.