Series: Game 3 of 3

Chicago won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 9
Montreal 2Final
Chicago 3
Game 2: Tuesday, September 10
Montreal 6Final
Chicago 2
Game 3: Wednesday, September 11
Montreal 3Final
Chicago 6

Expos 3

(71-75, 29-46 away)

Cubs 6

(62-84, 34-41 home)

    2:20 PM ET, September 11, 2002

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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    MON 000003000 3 - -
    CHC 40011000 - 6 - -

    W: A. Benes (2-1)

    L: M. Yoshii (4-9)

    S: A. Alfonseca (18)

    Sosa homers, ends 6-for-34 slump

    CHICAGO (AP) -- For the last 10 days, Sammy Sosa has been tweaking his swing here and there, trying to find his old groove again.

    Looks like he's got it.

    Sosa ended his offensive slump with his 495th career home run Wednesday, going 3-for-4 as the Chicago Cubs beat the Montreal Expos 6-3.

    "Today was a great day,'' Sosa said. "Hopefully I started to find myself again and do those things I usually do.''

    Mark Bellhorn led off the game with a homer and Kevin Orie drove in a pair of runs for the Cubs, who won for only the second time in six games.

    Jose Vidro had two RBI for the Expos, but it wasn't enough to keep Masato Yoshii (4-9) from losing his fourth straight start since Aug. 21. Yoshii allowed six runs -- four earned -- and six hits in five innings.

    "He was all right, but anytime the defense behind him gives up three runs, that hurts,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said.

    Alan Benes (2-1) strengthened his case for being part of the Cubs' rotation next year. Rebounding from a bad start over the weekend, when he lasted just 2 2-3 innings, he scattered three runs and seven hits over seven innings. He struck out five while walking none.

    Antonio Alfonseca pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 24 chances.

    "I would love to be here and I would love to have the opportunity to come in and compete for a job in spring training,'' said Benes, who missed most of the last four years recovering from shoulder surgery. "This gives me a chance to go out and show them what I can do.''

    The one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was marked with a 20-minute pregame ceremony featuring bagpipes and local schoolchildren reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Many fans wore patriotic clothing, and large U.S. flags hung from the rooftops across the street.

    There was a moment of silence during the seventh-inning stretch, and the game had a more somber feel than normal. Only 20,503 showed up, a sparse crowd even for an Expos-Cubs game in September.

    "It was special today,'' Sosa said. "I was thinking to myself that we're here today, showing our respects. It could have been any one of us. You just take a minute and think about it.''

    But once the game began, Sosa was in a zone.

    He'd been in a 6-for-34 slump since missing nine games with a strained back. He'd homered only once, and that was back on Sept. 2.

    But he was the Sosa of old Wednesday, singling in his first two at-bats and homering in the fifth inning. He needs one RBI to become the third NL player with eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons.

    "I've been jumping at the plate, which is something I don't do too often,'' he said. "I was trying to find myself and today I found myself more relaxed.''

    So were the rest of the Cubs, tagging Yoshii and the Expos for four runs in the first inning. Bellhorn started it off with a homer to right-center on the first pitch. After Sosa singled and Hee Seop Choi drew a walk, Roosevelt Brown singled to load the bases with only one out.

    Chris Stynes then hit a grounder to shortstop that should have been an easy double play, but Orlando Cabrera bobbled the pickup and the throw, allowing two runs to score. Orie followed with a sacrifice fly, and the Cubs had a 4-0 lead.

    The Expos scored three runs with two outs in the sixth. Endy Chavez and Jamey Carroll singled, and Vidro followed with a two-run double past a diving Bellhorn. Guerrero singled, cutting Chicago's lead to 6-3.

    "Anytime you get down that far, it is really tough to come back from any ballclub,'' Robinson said. "Especially when we help them score runs, it makes it even more difficult.''

    Game notes

    Expos 3B Jamey Carroll, promoted to the major leagues for the first time Tuesday, got his first hit. He went 2-for-3. ... Bellhorn's other leadoff homer came on July 26 off Chuck Finley of St. Louis. ... Choi struck out three times.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press