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Lee, Thomas homer in White Sox's victory

6/29/2002

CHICAGO (AP) -- With the fireworks booming and Sammy Sosa
trudging slowly back to the Chicago Cubs dugout, Antonio Osuna
stood on the mound, pumping his fists and pointing his finger in
celebration.

Yeah, emotions run a little high in this crosstown series.

Carlos Lee continued his success against the Cubs with the
go-ahead homer, and Osuna struck out Sosa with the tying run at
third Saturday to preserve the Chicago White Sox's 5-4 victory over
their North Side rivals.

"It didn't do it to Sammy,'' Osuna said of his celebration. "I
did it for myself and for my team. He's a great, great hitter,
Sammy Sosa. There was a lot of emotion.''

Osuna matched his career high by working three innings, striking
out five and allowing only two hits for his fourth save. Frank
Thomas homered and drove in three runs for the White Sox, who got
their fourth victory in five games.

Moises Alou went 4-for-4 and homered twice for the first time in
more than a year, but it wasn't enough to keep the Cubs from
dropping their fifth straight. The Cubs also dropped 14 games below
.500, matching their low mark of the year.

"We're upset,'' said Mark Prior, who lasted only five innings
after throwing 112 pitches. "We all knew we were starting to play
better. Losing three to the Reds and now two here is not the way
you want to play and finish out the first half.''

But the Cubs can't blame anyone but themselves for this slide.
Their bullpen is struggling, and they can't hit in the clutch. They
may not have blown an 8-0 lead like they did Friday, but they
squandered plenty of chances Saturday -- none bigger than in the
ninth inning.

Alex Gonzalez led off with a double, and pinch-runner Delino
DeShields was sacrificed to third. When Corey Patterson flied out
to shallow center, DeShields hesitated, realized he couldn't score
and scampered back to the base.

"When Patterson popped up, I felt pretty confident we had a
good chance to win the ballgame,'' White Sox manager Jerry Manuel
said.

Osuna walked Bill Mueller, pounding his glove as Mueller trotted
to first. That brought up Sosa, who had struck out against Osuna in
the seventh inning.

"He's the best hitter,'' Osuna said. "When he came up, I told
myself, 'No fastballs for Sammy.' So I went to my best pitch, a
changeup.''

Sosa swung mightily but missed, prompting Osuna's celebration.

"I'm not going to make a big deal about that,'' Sosa said. "He
got out a good man. I don't get out easy.''

The ninth-inning dramatics were set up by Lee, who always seems
to have big games against the Cubs. He's hitting .389 with three
homers and nine RBI in five games against them this year. Two
weeks ago at Wrigley Field, he drove in a career-high seven runs
with a grand slam and a three-run homer.

With the game tied at 4, Lee led off the sixth inning with a
homer off Juan Cruz (1-10).

Jon Garland (7-5) got his first win against the team that
drafted him despite giving up four runs and six hits in six
innings.

"Everyone does better against a certain team,'' Lee said.
"Barry Bonds just kills San Diego. Seems like I go good against
the Cubs.''

And doing it in front of the second-largest regular-season crowd
at new Comiskey Park made it even sweeter. There were 45,942 in the
stands Saturday, just shy of the 46,027 who turned out Friday.

"It's really exciting, especially when you get that big a crowd
out there, cheering for you and letting you know you did something
special,'' Lee said.

Alou kept the Cubs close, homering to lead off both the second
and fourth innings. It was the 20th multihomer game of his career,
but the first since June 27, 2001, when he hit two against the
Arizona Diamondbacks while with the Houston Astros.

But Thomas rallied the White Sox with a monstrous homer. Ray
Durham drew a leadoff walk in the fifth, and Thomas worked Prior to
a full count, fouling off four pitches before he finally got one he
liked.

When he saw it, he launched it into the left-field bullpen for a
two-run homer, giving the White Sox a 4-3 lead.

"Maybe I'm not the one-man show I used to be, but that's OK,''
Thomas said. "That's not what baseball is about anyway. I've got
great hitters behind me. This team will be fine.''

Game notes
The Cubs have homered in 12 straight games, their longest
streak of the season. ... Royce Clayton extended his hitting streak
to six games. ... A ball ricocheted off the face mask of home plate
umpire Ed Rapuano in the bottom of the third. White Sox trainer
Herm Schneider checked Rapuano out, and he stayed in the game.