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McGriff delivers the KO swing
Corey Patterson made a good point about being shifted to the leadoff spot.
"There's really no big difference," he said. "You only bat leadoff once, really. And that's in the first inning."
True, but if Patterson had been in his customary No. 2 spot, he might not have come to the plate in the sixth inning Wednesday night. And then he wouldn't have been able to ignite the three-run rally that boosted the Cubs to a 10-4 victory over the Giants, ending their three-game slide.
"It's nice to see guys smiling again," said Fred McGriff, who drove in the game-wining run. "The clubhouse is no fun when you're losing."
With two outs and the game tied at 4-4, Patterson ripped Aaron Fultz's fastball off the center-field wall for a triple.
Fultz then walked Delino DeShields, who had struck out in his three previous at-bats. With runners at the corners, the Giants opted to intentionally walk Sammy Sosa, who was 2-for-3 with a single and a double.
That brought the slumping McGriff to the plate.
McGriff turned on a 2-1 fastball, lashing the ball down the right-field line. It came to rest near the Giants' bullpen, allowing Sosa to score from first.
"My swing has been a little long," McGriff said. "I was getting jammed a lot. It was a matter of shortening it."
When right fielder Shawon Dunston slipped, McGriff scooted into third. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that marked the first time that both the slow-footed McGriff and the White Sox's Frank Thomas had hit triples on the same day.
The Cubs led until the sixth, when the Giants knocked Matt Clement from the game with five singles in a span of seven batters.
With the left-handed-hitting Marvin Benard coming to the plate, manager Don Baylor summoned right-hander Joe Borowski from the bullpen. Baylor had no choice because Borowski was the only reliever who was warm.
It turned out to be an auspicious move.
Borowski not only struck out Benard to end the threat, he skated through the Giants' lineup for the next two innings, striking out four more batters for a career high. He earned his first win since 1998, when he was with the Yankees.
"It was one of those nights you pray for," Borowski said. "The strike zone seemed humongous, the ball seemed like it was a golf ball and everything was working for me."
Borowski, a 30-year-old journeyman who made the team on the last day of camp, also got his first major-league hit in the game. He rapped Tim Worrell's 0-2 pitch through the box in the seventh and scored on Chris Stynes' sacrifice fly.
After scoring just eight runs in their previous three games, the Cubs were thrilled with their offensive outburst. The 10 runs matched their season high.