Sosa will play right field Tuesday

Updated: June 14, 2004, 9:03 PM ET
Associated Press

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Sammy Sosa hit an RBI single off the center-field wall for the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx on Sunday as he began a three-day rehabilitation assignment with the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate.

Sosa has been on the disabled list since May 16 with a sprained ligament in his lower back brought on by two sneezes.

Sammy Sosa

He was pulled from the lineup after a rain delay of nearly two hours.

"I feel great," Sosa said. "I felt kind of funny the first at-bat. I was seeing the ball pretty good. I need to see for myself and find out how my back feels. And, you know, I think I'm on my way to the major leagues."

West Tenn beat the Birmingham Barons 2-1.

Sosa was hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs for the Cubs when he was injured. He has 549 home runs, ninth on the career list.

Batting leadoff as the Diamond Jaxx's designated hitter, Sosa went 1-for-2 with a strikeout and a walk. His single gave West Tenn a 1-0 lead in the fifth before the game was delayed.

Sosa will be the designated hitter again Monday and play right field on Tuesday before returning to Chicago.

He accepted his first minor league assignment since 1992 because he was hitless in his first 11 at-bats last year after coming off the disabled list.

"Last year I had a tough time getting back into my groove," he said. "I thought, 'This time, I'm going to the minor leagues ... so I can come back ready to go."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press