Chicago 4, Milwaukee 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Sammy Sosa helped the Chicago Cubs keep

pressure on the division-leading Houston Astros.

Sosa hit his 33rd home run and Juan Cruz outdueled Ben Sheets as

the Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Friday night.

Chicago remained a half-game behind Houston, which won 5-4 at

San Diego. The Cubs are 1{ games ahead of third-place St. Louis,

which lost to Cincinnati 4-2 in 12 innings.

"The whole team is motivated, excited," Sosa said after

Chicago won its fifth straight at Miller Park. "We know the only

chance that we got to try to win the division is winning every day,

pretty much."

His 532nd career home run, a two-run shot off Sheets in the

first, gave Cruz an early lead.

"We don't have that much time left," Sosa said. "So, we got

to out there and be ready everyday."

Cruz (2-5) made his second start since being recalled from

Triple-A Iowa on Aug. 31. He allowed two runs and six hits. The

Cubs' defense turned two double plays to support him.

Cruz had two outs in the seventh when Keith Ginter's RBI double

chased him and trimmed the Cubs' lead to 3-2.

Antonio Alfonseca, appealing a seven-game suspension imposed

earlier in the day, relieved and walked Brady Clark. Alfonseca

struck out Richie Sexson to end the threat.

Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances.

Sheets (10-12) dropped his fifth straight decision. Last week,

the Cubs beat him 4-2 at Wrigley Field.

"Sheets pitched a great game other than that one pitch to

Sosa," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

With two outs in the third, it looked like the Brewers might get

to Cruz. Ginter, who had three hits, singled. Brady Clark walked,

bringing Sexson to the plate.

Cruz drilled Sexson in the upper left side with a pitch in the

third. "The pitch got away from him," Damian Miller said of

Cruz's pitch that knocked Sexson down. "He had a couple of those

tonight where it just got away from him."

Cruz said it was just a matter of pitching close.

"You can't control that," he said. "It just happened. We've

got to pitch in."

Sheets nicked Alex Gonzalez with the first pitch in the Cubs'

fourth. Gonzalez went right to first base, but he then slid several

feet wide of second trying to break up a double play.

Shortstop Bill Hall and Gonzalez exchanged looks and words after

the play, prompting the Cubs to charge out of their dugout. The

Cubs stopped before crossing the foul line, and second base umpire

Kevin Kelley stepped between Hall and Gonzalez.

The Cubs took a 4-2 lead in the eighth. Mark Grudzielanek drew a

walk from Luis Vizcaino, stole second and went to third on catcher

Keith Osik's throwing error and scored on a wild pitch.

Fans saw a baseball oddity when Hall came to the plate in the

wrong spot in the second.

He took one pitch before Keith Osik stepped in. Since Hall did

not complete that wrong turn at-bat, there was nothing illegal.

Osik struck out and Hall eventually popped up.Game notes
Alfonseca was suspended for seven games and Cubs' bullpen

coach Juan Lopez for one and LF Moises Alou was fined Friday for

their run-in with umpire Justin Klemm earlier this week. Alfonseca

will play until the appeal process is complete. He was penalized

for making contact with Klemm while Alou and Lopez were disciplined

for arguing. ... Alou was scratched from the Cubs' lineup with a

bruised left knee. Tom Goodwin took his place. Alou was hit on the

knee by a foul ball Thursday. His status is day to day. ... Brewers

LHP Matt Ford had surgery on his left elbow Thursday. He is

expected to be ready for spring training. ... The Brewers added OF

Pete Zoccolillo to their roster. He batted for Sheets in the

seventh and flied out.