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  Saturday, May 6 2:20pm ET
Pirates bash Cubs with 6-run ninth

CHICAGO (AP) -- Trailing by four, the Pittsburgh Pirates were down to their last two outs and facing Cubs closer Rick Aguilera.

Were they worried?


"Down by four?" Luis Sojo asked. "That's nothing in this place."

The Pirates just kept chipping away, getting a two-run single from Brian Giles and RBI from Kevin Young, Wil Cordero, Pat Meares and Mike Benjamin as they rallied for the 11-9 victory.

It was Pittsburgh's biggest come-from-behind victory this year. The Pirates have rallied for eight wins.

"In this park, anything can happen the way the wind is," said John Vander Wal, who scored one of the six ninth-inning runs. "When it blows out, it's like Coors Field."

That might be stretching it, but the Pirates certainly took advantage of everything the Cubs and Wrigley Field gave them. Aguilera loaded the bases on a walk to Jason Kendall with only one out, and then gave up the two-run single to Giles.

Giles, who homered off starter Scott Downs in the sixth, finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.

"It was the guys in front of (Giles) that were the problem," said Aguilera, who also walked Vander Wal. "Giles' at-bat would have no bearing if those other guys weren't on base.

"Obviously, not a real good effort. ... I don't know what to say."

Kyle Farnsworth (1-4) relieved with runners at the corners, but couldn't put the game away, either. He retired Kevin Young on a grounder as Kendall scored to cut the Cubs' lead to 9-8.

Cordero then tripled home the game-tying run and Meares singled to right-center for a 10-9 lead, with the ball dropping between Sammy Sosa and Damon Buford.

For good measure, Benjamin drove in another run.

Chicago finally got out of the inning when Felix Heredia, the third pitcher in the ninth, retired Bruce Aven on a flyout to left.

"I'm not going to sit here and second-guess these guys," Cubs manager Don Baylor said. "They were out there battling. They just didn't get it done."

Jeff Wallace (2-0) gave up one hit in the eighth inning. Mike Williams pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Farnsworth gave up two runs and three hits.

The loss spoiled big days by Sosa and Glenallen Hill. Sosa hit a three-run homer over the left-field fence, and Hill followed with a solo shot to almost the same spot as the Cubs took a 9-4 lead with six runs in the sixth.

It was the 11th homer of the season for Sosa, who has gone deep in three consecutive games. He's ahead of his home run pace in 1998, when he hit 66. He didn't hit his 11th homer until May 25 in 1998.

He hit No. 11 on May 17 last year and finished with 63.

Sosa finished the day 4-for-4 with a walk and four RBI. It was the 11th time in his career he had four or more hits.

"We had a great rally today and put everything together at the right time, and we came in empty," Sosa said. "It's baseball."

With a 5-4 lead and two outs in the sixth, Sosa sent a 1-1 pitch from reliever Jose Parra rocketing toward left, and the only question was not if it was going to go out but where it was going to land.

The ball flew over the fence and bounced on Waveland Avenue, drawing a huge roar from the crowd.

Sosa had barely finished his post-homer heart taps when Hill went deep, also on a 1-1 pitch. His homer bounced onto Waveland Avenue, too. Hill, who was 0-for-6 the last three games, finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.

"They gave up six runs. We gave up six runs at the wrong time," Baylor said.

Game notes
Pittsburgh's victory was just its second on a weekend this season. ... The Cubs drew 38,957, the largest home crowd of the season. ... Saturday was the two-year anniversary of Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game against the Houston Astros. Wood, who returned to the majors Tuesday after missing all of last season recovering from ligament replacement surgery on his pitching elbow, gets his next start Sunday.


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