Cubs rally from five down, close on division leaders

CHICAGO (AP) -- Alex Gonzalez's infield single with the bases
loaded in the ninth inning gave the Chicago Cubs a 6-5 win over the
St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou homered for the Cubs, who pulled
within one game of the NL Central-leading Cardinals.

St. Louis' Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds connected for the
second day in a row at Wrigley Field.

With one out, Gonzalez hit a slow grounder past a diving Scott
Rolen that just snuck by the third baseman. Shortstop Edgar
Renteria failed to field the ball cleanly and didn't attempt a
throw as Corey Patterson raced home and was mobbed by teammates.

It was the first time since May 25, 2000, that the Cubs rallied
from a 5-0 deficit to win. For Gonzalez, it was the ninth time he's
won a game for the Cubs in his last at-bat.

Patterson, a last-minute scratch from the lineup because of an
illness, led off the ninth with a pinch-hit single that bounced
high off the plate. After Tom Goodwin struck out trying to bunt,
Patterson went to third on Mark Grudzielanek's double down the
left-field line, brining Sosa to the plate.

Esteban Yan came on to relieve Jeff Fassero (1-4) and struck out
Sosa. Yan then intentionally walked Alou -- who had four homers in
his last eight at-bats -- to get to Gonzalez.

The Cubs trailed by five after two innings, but chipped away at
the deficit on homers by Sosa and Alou and tied it when reliever
Cal Eldred threw consecutive wild pitches in the seventh.

Trailing 5-4, Goodwin walked to lead off the seventh and
advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Grudzielanek.

With one out, Goodwin made it to third easily on a wild pitch by
Cal Eldred, then sprinted home when Eldred uncorked a second wild
pitch -- barely beating the throw from catcher Mike Matheny.

Mark Remlinger (5-2), who came on in the eighth, got the win.

The Cardinals came out slugging, taking a 5-0 lead on a
three-run homer Pujols and solo shot by Edmonds, his 27th.

Edmonds gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead in the first inning, hitting a
homer to deep right-center for his second in as many days.

Pujols then drove the first pitch he saw in the second over the
left-field fence and onto Waveland Avenue, capping a four-run
inning that gave the Cardinals a 5-0 lead. Matheny, who led off the
inning with a single, scored earlier on a single by Edmonds.

With starter Shawn Estes laboring on a humid afternoon, it
seemed likely the Cubs would have to make an early call to their
beleaguered bullpen for the second straight game. The Cubs used
five relievers Friday in an 11-8 loss to the Cardinals.

Estes eventually found his rhythm and didn't let the game get
out of hand. He allowed just two hits after the second and went six
innings, allowing five runs on nine hits while throwing 112

Down 5-0, Alou hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second,
and Sosa scored on a grounder by Hee Seop Choi in the fourth to
bring the Cubs within three.

After Goodwin singled to center in the fifth, Sosa connected for
his 13th homer of the season to make it 5-4. In his last 23 games,
Sosa has seven home runs and 17 RBI.

Cardinals right-hander Matt Morris lasted just five innings in
his first start since he was scratched because of tenderness in his
right shoulder. Morris gave up four runs on eight hits, the seventh
start in a row he's allowed at least four runs.

Game notes
Edmonds' 27 home runs are the most he's ever hit before the
All-Star break. ... Eric Karros, who entered 0-for-9 as a
pinch-hitter, had a pinch-hit single in the eighth. ... Edmonds has
homered in eight of his last 11 games. ... Alou hit three homers