Sosa blasts Cubs past Pirates


Sammy Sosa hit a grand slam home run at the top of the ninth as the Chicago Cubs pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-2 on Friday.

Jon Lieber enjoyed another outing against his old team in giving up only five hits while striking out four without a walk in his seventh appearance against the Pirates.

Since he was traded to the Cubs in December 1998, Lieber is 5-0 against the Pirates.

Sosa turned a 4-2 lead into a 8-2 cushion with his sixth homer of the season and fifth career grand slam.

He finished with five RBI and Ricky Gutierrez added a pair for the Cubs, who have won eight of their last nine games and are well placed on 11 5.

Marlins 5, Expos 1 In Miami two homers from Preston Wilson helped the Florida Marlins post a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Expos.

Jason Grilli tossed seven strong innings as Florida won for the fourth time in five games against Montreal.

Grilli (2-1) allowed just one run and three hits, striking out one and walking two.

The righthander has posted wins over hapless Montreal starter Tony Armas Jr (0-4) in consecutive outings.

Phillies 8, Braves 3 In Philadelphia, Kevin Jordan’s hit his first career grand slam in a six-run seventh inning for the Philadelphia Phillies in their 8-3 triumph over the Atlanta Braves.

Philadelphia starter Omar Daal allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out five.

Wayne Gomes (2-0) tossed a hitless seventh inning to notch the victory before Rickey Bottalico retired the final six batters.

Reds 9, Mets 5 In Cincinnati, Reds superstar Barry Larkin homered with the bases loaded for the first time in his illustrious career in a 9-5 victory over the New York Mets.

Up until Friday’s game, Larkin had more career at-bats (6,734) than any player in the major leagues without a grand slam.

The Reds improved to 4-0 against the Mets this season and won for the sixth time in the last seven games.

Osvaldo Fernandez (3-1) held New York to two runs through five innings before tiring in the sixth in a repeat of last week’s win over the same opposition.

He finished by allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings, while Jim Brower allowed a run and two hits over the final three innings and notched his first career save.

Astros 10, Cardinals 1 In Houston, Moises Alou drove in three runs as the Astros thrashed the St. Louis Cardinals 10-1.

St. Louis starter Rick Ankiel suffered a nightmare performance as he allowed three hits in three innings, walked five and hit two batters before retiring in the fourth.

His sloppy pitching allowed five runs and gave the Astros just the start they needed as they surged to an 8-1 lead after four innings.