New York (34-25) at Chicago (32-26)

Breezy Currently: Chicago, IL, US
Temp: 22° F
  • Game info: 3:20 pm EDT Fri Jun 6, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While Sammy Sosa awaits word on his punishment for using a corked bat, the New York Yankees are headed for Wrigley Field for the first time since the 1938 World Series.

Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president in charge of discipline, met with Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker and general manager Jim Hendry at Wrigley Field before returning to New York on Thursday.

A decision on Sosa could come as early as Friday, when the Cubs and Yankees open their weekend series.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m prepared for anything,” Sosa said Thursday.

Sosa is all but certain to appeal. Adding to the hype of the Yankees’ visit, Roger Clemens will go for his 300th career win Saturday against fellow Texan Kerry Wood. The games Saturday and Sunday night will be broadcast nationally, with 90 percent of the country seeing the Clemens-Wood matchup on Fox.

“I think the world would be disappointed if he couldn’t play this weekend,” Baker said. “Go talk to ESPN and Fox and ask if they want Sammy to play this weekend.”

The Cubs come in after taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, including an 8-1 win on Thursday. Sosa hit an RBI single in the first inning and also reached on an error during Chicago’s seven-run third to support the strong pitching of Matt Clement.

Sosa, in a batting tailspin since coming off the disabled list Friday, finished 1-for-4 and is now 4-for-24 over his last six games.

“It’s probably going to take a couple more games before I feel comfortable at the plate,” Sosa said.

The Yankees will try to delay his revival as they look to regain their own consistency. After losing its series at Cincinnati, New York avoided a sweep with a 10-2 win Thursday.

Slumping Hideki Matsui, dropped to seventh in the lineup, responded with a two-run homer and three doubles. New York’s 10 doubles tied the club record and every starter got a hit.

Jose Contreras escaped two bases-loaded threats as he remained perfect in two starts. He gave up five hits in seven innings, including Jason LaRue’s homer in the second.

“I knew we needed a win,” Contreras said through a translator. “We didn’t want to go to Chicago having lost three straight.”

David Wells will be making his second career start against the Cubs, hoping to stick around longer than he did last time. While he was with the White Sox, Wells left due to back spasms after facing just five Cubs batters at Comiskey Park on June 8, 2001—the shortest out of his career. He allowed two runs— one earned—and three hits, and didn’t get an out.

Wells has lost two of his last three starts, but picked up a win with 5 2-3 innings of relief in the Yankees’ 10-9, 17-inning victory at Detroit on Sunday.

Carlos Zambrano looks for another strong start after limiting Houston to three hits in eight innings of the Cubs’ 1-0, 16-inning win last Saturday.

STANDINGS: Yankees - 1st place AL East. Cubs - 1st place (tied), NL Central.

YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Wells (7-2, 3.35 ERA). Making his 12th start of the season, Wells is 7-0 in seven starts when allowing fewer than five runs, and 0-2 in four starts when he has allowed at least five runs.

CUBS PROBABLE STARTER: Zambrano (5-4, 2.69 ERA). The right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA in his last four starts.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Yankees - Alfonso Soriano, .307 avg., 18 HRs, 42 RBIs, 50 runs and 17 SBs. Cubs - Patterson, .321 avg., 11 HRs, 44 RBIs, 37 runs and 10 SBs.

INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Yankees - 1-2. Cubs - 2-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Yankees - SS Derek Jeter doubled in his second at-bat, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games. … CF Matsui was in a 2-for-22 slump before the finale against the Reds. … The Yankees last played in Wrigley Field on Oct. 6, 1938, the second game of New York’s World Series sweep. Cubs - RF Sosa hasn’t homered since May 1. … OF Troy O’Leary is 7-for-23 (.304) with two doubles and two RBIs against LHP Wells. … LF Moises Alou left Thursday’s game in the fifth inning with a sore lower right leg and was to have precautionary X-rays.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Yankees - 21-10 on the road; Cubs - 16-14 at home.

INJURIES: Yankees - 1B Nick Johnson (hand), 15-day DL; OF Bernie Williams (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL. Cubs - LHP Will Ohman (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Dave Veres (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Chiasson (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Wells LAD vs. C. Zambrano PHI
15-7 Record 13-11
4.14 ERA 3.11
101 K 168
20 BB 94
1.23 WHIP 1.32