Cubs 5, Mets 4
CHICAGO (AP) _ The guy who lives in the corner apartment at 1032 Waveland Avenue, beyond the left-field bleachers at Wrigley Field, can send the bill for the broken storm window to Sammy Sosa. He’ll gladly pay for it.
For the second time in three days, Sosa hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Chicago Cubs over the New York Mets 5-4 Sunday. It was the Cubs’ seventh victory in their last at-bat.
``Everybody knows that when I’m ready and I’m swinging the bat good, we’re going to score some runs,″ Sosa said. ``Right now I feel comfortable and we’ll see what happens.″
``We made him the league MVP in this series,″ Mets catcher Todd Hundley said. ``He wasn’t swinging the bat that well until we came in.″
Sosa broke a first-floor window in a building across the street from the ballpark with his leadoff homer in the ninth. An enterprising youngster climbed aboard his father’s shoulders and retrieved the ball, which was wedged between the storm window and regular glass.
Sosa’s shot on a 3-1 pitch from Jerry DiPoto (1-1) was his second home run of the game.
``I’m sure Sammy will be glad to pay for it,″ teammate Mark Grace said of the window.
``A crummy pitch, that’s what it was,″ DiPoto said.
On Friday, Sosa hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Paul Wilson _ also onto Waveland Avenue _ rallying the Cubs to a 4-2 win. Sosa was in an 0-for-18 slump, and had struck out 16 times in his previous 28 at-bats, when he connected. Mets manager Dallas Green refused to talk to the media after the loss.
``Everybody knows I’ve been struggling,″ said Sosa, who was 5-for-12 in the three-game series.
Sosa’s 18th career two-homer game made a winner of Turk Wendell (3-0). Wendell pitched two innings of two-hit relief, and made a potential run-saving double play to end the ninth by catching Jose Vizcaino’s line drive then flipping to Grace for a force.
``Fielding’s something I take a lot of pride in,″ Wendell said.
Could he ever match Sosa’s strength at the plate?
``No _ that’s why he gets paid to hit,″ Wendell said.
Sosa hit a two-run homer over the left-field bleachers in the first for a 2-1 lead.
Hundley hit a two-run double, putting the Mets ahead 4-3 in the fifth. The Cubs tied it in their half when Leo Gomez doubled, Rey Sanchez singled and Brian McRae had a sacrifice fly.
Grace and Sosa each singled in the fourth, and Luis Gonzalez had a sacrifice fly off Pete Harnisch for a 3-2 lead.
Bernard Gilkey hit an RBI single in the New York first.
With one out in the Mets fourth, Butch Huskey singled and Jeff Kent doubled. Carl Everett was intentionally walked to load the bases for Rey Ordonez, who singled to right. Huskey scored the tying run, but Kent apparently missed home plate when he slid head-first and was tagged out by catcher Scott Servais.
Notes: Sandberg made his first error in 24 games in the ninth. ... Grace was back in the lineup after missing one game because of the flu, which has struck several of the Cubs players. It was the first game Grace has missed since June 20, 1995. ... Hundley was 4-for-13 in three games batting fourth for the first time in his career. ... The Cubs are 12-8 through their first 20 games at home; last year, they were 8-12. ... Ordonez has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. ... Jose Vizcaino’s triple was the 12th by the Mets, tops in the National League.