with his 45th homer, and Delino DeShields delivered a comeback
victory with a bases-loaded triple in the eighth.
"We were a little sluggish in the beginning, but Sammy got us
the momentum we needed when he hit the homer," Chicago manager Don
Baylor said after the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 in the
opener of a doubleheader Monday night.
Sosa hit his 46th homer in the nightcap, his 11th homer in 16
games, but it wasn't nearly enough as the second-place Cubs stayed
two games behind Houston in the National League Central after losing 10-2 in the second game.
The Cubs didn't get in until late Sunday night after a long game
in Arizona and fell behind the Brewers 4-1 in the first game when Richie Sexson hit
his 30th homer off Jon Lieber in the fifth.
Sosa's homer, his 10th in 15 games, made it 4-3 in the bottom of
the inning. The drive came off Allen Levrault, who was demoted to
the minors right after the game.
"It's something we talked about before the game," Milwaukee
manager Davey Lopes said.
"He made a mistake and when you do that against great players,
they hurt you. You can't give Sosa an opportunity to hurt you and
unfortunately we did."
The Cubs tied it on Joe Girardi's run-scoring single in the sixth and
had the bases loaded before DeShields hit into a double play.
In the eighth, with two outs and the bases loaded again,
DeShields got a second chance.
"I told him he'd get another shot, but I didn't know it would
be with the bases loaded again. But he came through," Baylor said.
eighth and Ricky Gutierrez followed with a walk.
After Michael Tucker sacrificed the runners over, Girardi was
intentionally walked, and pinch-hitter Corey Patterson lined out
against Mike DeJean. But DeShields sent a long drive over the head
of left fielder Mark Sweeney and after hitting the wall on the fly,
the ball caromed away as three runs scored.
"DeShields hit that ball and I thought it was playable. I
didn't think it would carry and it did," Lopes said. "The ball
hit the wall, that's all I can say."
The Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak and moved to 1½ games of Houston in the National League Central.
Kyle Farnsworth (3-3) got the victory with two innings of hitless
relief. Tom Gordon, who fell off the mound after stepping in a hole
when he delivered a pitch, got the final three outs for his 25th
save in 28 chances.
Lieber failed in his attempt to pitch three consecutive complete
games -- he'd beaten the Giants and Houston by going the distance in
his previous two starts. He lasted six innings and giving up eight
hits and four runs.
Sweeney doubled to open the fourth but was thrown out when he
tried to make third on Jose Hernandez's grounder to shortstop.
Hernandez later raced to third on Luis Lopez's grounder and scored
on Henry Blanco's grounder to make it 2-1.
Sexson hit a first-inning run-scoring double off Lieber but then helped
the Cubs score in the bottom half by missing Bill Mueller's
grounder to first for an error. After a single by Sosa -- who had
three hits -- Fred McGriff delivered a run-scoring single.
Sosa has 27 career homers against the Brewers, including
four this season. ... The doubleheader was created by a rainout May 26. ... The Cubs lead the season series 7-6 and the overall
series that began in 1997 by 27-26.