Sosa’s error gives Cards victory


Right fielder Sammy Sosa’s three-base error allowed three runs to score in the eighth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 Sunday.

The Cardinals won their seventh in a row, completing a four-game sweep of the Cubs for the first time since 1963. St. Louis cut its magic number for clinching the NL Central to two over Cincinnati.

Sosa dropped Edgar Renteria’s fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs, sending Chicago to its fifth straight loss. The Cubs have dropped 15 of 17.

Darryl Kile (19-9) won his fifth straight decision, allowing two runs and six hits in eight innings. Matt Morris struck out three for his third save.

Expos 5, Mets 0 In Montreal, Vladimir Guerrero homered twice and doubled, leading Tony Armas Jr. and the Montreal Expos over the New York Mets.

The Mets fell 2 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta. New York’s lead over Arizona for the wild card spot dropped to 4 1/2 games.

Armas (6-8) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings, extending his scoreless streak to 14 innings.

Guillermo Mota pitched 1 2-3 innings and Steve Kline got the last out, completing a combined four-hitter and closing out Montreal’s third shutout in the last nine games.

Astros 5, Pirates 3 In Houston, Moises Alou hit his 30th homer and drove in four runs as Scott Elarton and the Houston Astros sent the Pittsburgh Pirates to their ninth straight loss.

Pittsburgh’s losing streak is its longest since a nine-game skid in 1985.

The Astros completed a four-game sweep and finished 7-0 against the Pirates this season at Enron Field.

Elarton (17-6) gave up a two-run homer to Abraham Nunez in the first inning before settling down.

Reds 8, Brewers 4 In Cincinnati, Alex Ochoa’s three-run homer capped a four-run fifth inning and paced the Cincinnati Reds to a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pete Harnisch (8-6) allowed three solo home runs, but drove in two with a single and a groundout.

John Snyder (3-10) allowed six runs in five innings. After winning three straight in June, he has gone 15 starts without a win, dating to June 22, going 0-8 in that span.

Phillies 6, Marlins 5 In Philadelphia, Randy Wolf pitched seven strong innings and Bobby Abreu hit his 24th homer, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Florida Marlins. Wolf (11-7) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out five and walked none to win for the first time in four starts since Aug. 26.

Jeff Brantley came in with a 6-2 lead in the ninth and allowed an RBI single to Mike Lowell and a two-run double to Cliff Floyd, then walking pinch-hitter Andy Fox.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 1 In Phoenix, Andruw Jones homered and tripled, and Kevin Millwood outpitched Curt Schilling as the Atlanta Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Braves took a three-game lead in the NL East over New York, which lost to Montreal 5-0. The Mets start a three-game series at Turner Field on Monday night.

The Diamondbacks stayed five games behind the Mets in the wild card race.

Giants 5, Padres 1 In San Diego, Jeff Kent went 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple as the San Francisco Giants, despite resting four regular starters, beat the San Diego Padres.

Dodgers 12, Rockies 6 In Los Angeles, Luke Prokopec, an Olympic hopeful whose promotion to the Dodgers kept him from pitching for Australia in Sydney, got his first major league victory as Los Angeles beat the Colorado Rockies.