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Cubs Beat Sox For 8th Straight


Sammy Sosa gave Derrick White a tip that helped the Cubs beat their crosstown rivals.

White, pinch-hitting in the sixth, hit his first major-league homer in five years and Sosa hit his ninth in eight games in the next inning Saturday, leading the Chicago Cubs to their eighth straight win, 7-6 over the Chicago White Sox.

"Sammy told me to look for something that's up," said White. "The pitch was over the plate and up. I tried to hit it and I hit it pretty good."

He certainly did, hitting it 410 feet over the fence behind the left-field bleachers. The two-run shot that put the Cubs ahead 6-5 was White's first since 1993 when he played for Montreal.

"It was special coming against the Sox," said White, who was called up from Iowa on May 28 after spending most of his career in the minors.

The win gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead in interleague play with the White Sox after losing two of three in last season's inaugural meetings at Comiskey Park.

"It was kind of a college football game out there. Every pitch had a reaction from the fans," said Robin Ventura, who went 2-for-4 for the White Sox.

A crowd of 38,232, up about 200 from Friday's game but still some 600 shy of a sellout, turned out with fans from both sides of town cheering on their favorites.

"It was another huge win for us today," said Cub manager Jim Riggleman. "For the fans, they should certainly be pleased with what they see. Both the Sox and Cub fan has got to be happy with their ballclubs in this series."

The Cubs won Friday's game 6-5 in 12 innings on Brant Brown's homer.

Sosa hit his 18th, a solo shot, into the center-field bleachers in the seventh to make it 7-5.

"It was a one-run game then and it gave us a little leeway. We needed it," Riggleman said.

Kevin Tapani (8-3) gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings. Rod Beck allowed an RBI single to Frank Thomas in the ninth before getting Albert Belle to ground into a double play for his 16th save.

Scott Eyre (1-6) gave up six runs four earned and six hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out six.

"It's fun to pitch here because it's the Cubs," said Eyre. "The crowd was great. I heard a lot of people yelling for me and a lot yelling at me."

The White Sox went ahead 1-0 in the third on Mike Caruso's RBI double.

The Cubs scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, one on an error by first baseman Thomas on Manny Alexander's grounder. Chicago loaded the bases on Terrell Lowery's single and a walk to Sammy Sosa and Jeff Blauser followed with a two-out, two-run single.

Jose Hernandez led off the Cub fourth with his sixth homer, a shot over the fence behind the left-field bleachers.

The hite Sox cut it to 4-2 on Caruso's RBI single in the fifth, and took a 5-4 lead in the sixth.

Ventura tripled and scored on Wil Cordero's sacrifice fly to center. With two outs, Magglio Ordonez singled and Charlie O'Brien followed with his third homer.

Notes:

  • Cubs first baseman Mark Grace sat out the game with a sore right instep. Riggleman said he could play Sunday.
  • The Cubs moved into a tie with the Astros atop the NL Central with Houston's loss Friday night and manager Jim Riggleman says it feels good to be there. "I'd never minimize what we've done to this point ... (but) it's only one stage of the season." It's the latest in the season during the 1990s that the team has been in first.
  • Belle went 0-for-5 and had his hitting streak stopped at 11 games.
  • The Cubs haven't made an error in eight straight games.
  • Hall of Famer Billy Williams, the Cubs hitting coach, sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the Harry Caray memorial seventh-inning stretch.

    ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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