Cubs 5, Giants 3
CHICAGO (AP) _ Joe Roa was excited about facing Sammy Sosa with the bases loaded.
``I didn’t want it any other way,″ said Roa, who got Sosa to hit into a fielder’s choice in the second inning of Sunday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.
Roa and reliever Jim Poole were the only ones able to shut Sosa down.
Sosa hit two home runs Sunday to lead the Cubs to a 5-3 victory over the Giants before a standing room only crowd of 37,958.
``Whenever Sosa is hot, he can beat you all by himself,″ Giants manager Dusty Baker said. ``He damn near did that today. When your pitcher isn’t sharp and Sammy’s hot, he can kill you. (Starter Shawn) Estes wasn’t sharp.″
Roa came on in relief of Estes, who lasted just 1 2-3 innings, falling behind 3-0. Sosa homered in the first inning off Estes, a two-run shot, for his 150th with the Cubs, 10th highest in team history. Andre Dawson ranks ninth with 174 home runs.
Sosa then led off the seventh with a shot to straightaway center that landed in the juniper bushes planted in the center field bleachers. It broke a a 3-3 tie and was the 22nd multi-homer game of his career.
``I wasn’t thinking about being the hero,″ Sosa said. ``Everything is right there. When you’re swinging the bat good, you don’t think about streaks.″
Among the packed crowd were 50 kids who were guests of ``Sammy’s Super Sundays″ program, which began Sunday and will continue every home Sunday game. The tickets will go to organizations serving underprivileged children in the Chicago area. The only disappointment for Sosa was that he did not have the time to meet with the kids before the game.
``As long as I know they’re here,″ Sosa said, ``that’s all that matters.″
Estes knew of Sosa’s presence.
``I kept trying to figure out what I had been doing wrong with the batters I already faced than try to do the right thing with the batters coming up,″ Estes said.
One out after Sosa’s second homer, Jose Hernandez doubled and reached third on Rey Sanchez’s ground out. Jim Poole relieved Julian Tavarez (0-2) and intentionally walked pinch-hitter Scott Servais before giving up a single to pinch-hitter Ryne Sandberg, driving in Hernandez.
Turk Wendell (2-2) picked up the win in relief. Terry Adams pitched the ninth for his third save. Mel Rojas, the Cubs closer who is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA, never even warmed up.
``Everybody needs somebody to pick them up now and then,″ Adams said, downplaying the possibility that he is replacing Rojas. ``I feel for Mel. I hate to see a guy get booed.″
Brian McRae doubled to lead off the Cubs first against Estes. Doug Glanville sacrificed McRae to third, but third baseman Mark Lewis’ throw hit Glanville in the back and McRae scored on the error. One out later, Sosa hit his eighth home run 463 feet over the left field bleachers onto Waveland Avenue to make it 3-0.
Stan Javier and Lewis each singled to start the Giants’ sixth against starter Terry Mulholland. Javier scored on Glenallen Hill’s double and, one out later, Jeff Kent was intentionally walked. J.T. Snow hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Hill at third and allowing Lewis to score to make it 3-2.
Rich Aurilia led off the Giants’ seventh with his first home run, tying the game 3-3.
Mulholland gave up seven hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out two and walking one. Estes gave up four hits, three runs, walked two and struck out two over 1 2-3 innings.
Notes: Sandberg did not start because of a tender left groin. ... Cubs right-hander Amaury Telemaco (0-3) was optioned to Triple-A Iowa before the game. Catcher Tyler Houston, who was on the disabled list with a right wrist contusion, was activated and will join the team today. ... Game time temperature was 68 degrees, tying the warmest day this season at Wrigley Field, which was April 29 vs. Montreal. ... Roa, who pitched 4 1-3 innings of relief, singled in the third, his first major league hit. ... Aurila’s home run was his first since June 24, 1996, at Florida. ... The Wrigley Field crowd, largest this season, was boosted by a pregame giveaway of 10,000 Beanie Babies ``Cubbie″ toys to children.