Expos 7, Cubs 6, 12 innings

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CHICAGO (AP)—Matt Clement left early with an injury, and it signaled the start of a long, frustrating night for the Chicago Cubs.

After losing Clement in the third inning to muscle discomfort in his neck and right shoulder area, the Cubs ran through seven more pitchers before losing to Montreal Expos 7-6 in 12 innings Tuesday night.

“It was a tough loss tonight, but we’re still in first place in the wild card,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said after stranding 16 runners and losing the four-hour game on a chilly and blustery night at Wrigley Field.

Brian Schneider hit a go-ahead single in the 12th, and Jamey Carroll added a sacrifice fly for Montreal.

Chicago is a half-game ahead of San Francisco and Houston in the NL wild-card race.

“Obviously with the wind blowing in, we were fortunate,” Schneider said. “They’re not going to change their game, they’re a power-hitting team. Just because of the wind, you can’t change your swing.”

Corey Patterson homered twice to right for the Cubs, including a solo shot in the bottom of the 12th that made it 7-6.

But with the wind blowing in at 18 mph from left field, several balls were knocked back.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the 10th and Moises Alou’s drive to left field was held up and easily caught for the third out. The same happened to Derrek Lee’s long drive in the 11th.

“The wind wasn’t our friend tonight. We hit five or six home runs that didn’t go out,” Baker said.

The Expos won with some good smallball in the 12th.

Juan Rivera beat out an infield single against Todd Wellemeyer (1-1), the Cubs’ eighth pitcher, and advanced on pinch-hitter Henry Mateo’s sacrifice.

Schneider hit a hard single to center on a 2-2 pitch to give the Expos the lead, and Carroll’s sacrifice fly after another single put Montreal up two.

Chad Cordero (5-3) got the victory with two innings of scoreless relief on a windy night at Wrigley Field. Joe Horgan pitched the 12th for his second save, despite giving up Patterson’s homer.

Clement left after he’d given up a solo homer to Terrmel Sledge that put the Expos ahead 2-0. The stiffness is in his right trapezoid muscle and is similar to the condition that forced him out in his last start after 4 1-3 innings.

“Everything arm-wise feels all right. They noticed I was favoring it and they got me out of there,” said Clement, who will be re-evalutated Wednesday.

“I’m not expecting to miss much (time), if any at all … I’m not overly concerned. I feel bad I made the bullpen work so hard.”

The Cubs tied it at 5 in the seventh on Patterson’s first homer and an RBI grounder by Aramis Ramirez.

Montreal scored three in the top of inning, using four straight singles and back-to-back bases-loaded walks off Mike Remlinger to take a 5-3 lead.

Maicer Izturis and pinch-hitter Ryan Church singled off Jon Leicester. Brad Wilkerson greeted Remlinger with another single to load the bases and then Endy Chavez’s grounder up the middle went off Remlinger and ricocheted toward first for an infield hit, tying it at 3.

Remlinger retired Tony Batista before walking Sledge and Rivera to force in two runs.

Expos starter Sun Woo Kim, seeking his first win since June 10, allowed seven hits and three runs—none earned—in six innings.

The Cubs made the most of some sloppy Expos fielding to push across three runs in the fourth.

Two infield hits and a single by Michael Barrett loaded the bases with two outs.

Pinch-hitter Jason Dubois sent a grounder to second baseman Izturis, but when Expos first baseman Wilkerson ventured too close to Izturis, he couldn’t get back to the bag in time and the throw went over his head for an error on Izturis.

Barrett then raced home on Kim’s wild pitch to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.

Notes

Chavez had four hits for Montreal. … Expos catcher Schneider made his first error since July 2, 2003, a span of 166 games. After Kim’s wild pitch, Schneider’s throw to the plate got by Kim, allowing Dubois to move to second. … Cubs RF Sammy Sosa missed his second straight game with a sore right hip. Ben Grieve, who’d replaced Sosa in right on Monday, needed three stitches to close a cut over his left eye and also had a sore shoulder after hitting the Wrigley Field wall. He’s expected to miss a couple of games.

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