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Sosa's 34th Shocks Twins


Sammy Sosa's slump is over and so apparently is the slide that knocked the Chicago Cubs all the way into last place.

Sosa hit his major league-leading 34th homer and doubled to key a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning as Chicago rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 11-10 Friday.

The Cubs and Twins went through five lead changes before Henry Rodriguez, who homered in the eighth, singled with the bases loaded over the drawn-in Minnesota outfield with no outs to win the game.

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Game Summary

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  • The Cubs won their fourth in a row despite losing pitchers Jon Lieber and Matt Karchner to injuries.

    "We came back all the time last year and I don't see how we can't do it this year," Rodriguez said. "We always know we can come back anytime."

    "We battled every inning with pitching and hitting," Sosa said. "They kept coming and we kept coming."

    Coming out of the All-Star break, Sosa was in an 0-for-12 slump. But Friday he went 4-for-5, and his second double of the day tied it in the ninth. Sosa reached out and poked what Twins pitcher Mike Trombley called a waste pitch into right field.

    "I almost threw that pitch (away) on purpose," Trombley said. "Halfway through my motion, I said to myself, `This might not be a good pitch."'

    Sosa was pleased with the result.

    Chicgo's Manny Alexander tags out Cristian Guzman.>
    Chicago's Manny Alexander tags out Cristian Guzman.(AP)

    "He got me two strikes and I said I got to make contact. He threw it on the outside corner and I had a check swing. It was the funniest double I ever hit in my life but I'll take it right there," Sosa said.

    Terry Adams (3-2) got the victory despite giving up three runs in the top of the ninth. Ron Coomer homered, Jacque Jones hit an RBI single and Todd Walker drove in a run with a grounder as the Twins took a 10-8 lead.

    Jeff Blauser led off the Cubs ninth with a homer against Trombley (3-6). It was his Trombley's sixth blown save in 19 chances.

    After Curtis Goodwin's bunt single and a single by Mark Grace put runners at the corners, Sosa reached out and hit an RBI double to right field that made it 10-all.

    Travis Miller relieved Trombley and intentionally walked Jose Hernandez to load the bases. Rodriguez's fly-ball single won it.

    Rodriguez hit a solo homer, his 17th, for an 8-7 lead in the eighth.

    Sosa's homer, his second in as many days, was his 100th since opening day 1998 and capped a four-run first.

    Lieber left in the fifth inning after Torii Hunter lined a ball off his pitching forearm. Lieber sustained a bruise and X-Rays will be taken tomorrow, although he said initial exams showed no broken bone.

    Karchner was forced to leave an inning later when he re-injured his groin.

    "The last time I injured it (last Friday against the White Sox), I felt something pop. But the pain went away. This time the pain didn't go away."

    Sosa's 410-foot homer to center off Eric Milton gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead in the first. Rookie Chad Allen's two-run homer put the Twins ahead 5-4 in the fifth.

    Gary Gaetti hit his first homer since June 13, a three-run shot in the Cubs sixth.

    Notes

    • Muhammad Ali, with the help of Ernie Banks, sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch. The crowd of 39,249 serenaded the boxing great with chants of "Ali, Ali." He returned the gesture with some enthusiastic shadow boxing.
    • Cubs reliever Rod Beck, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow May 22, will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Iowa on Saturday.
    • Cubs OF Glenallen Hill was scratched from the lineup with a stiff lower back.
    • The Twins are 1-4 at Wrigley Field snce interleague play began in 1997.

      ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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