Sammy Sosa may not be talking to the media right now, but his message is getting through at the plate.
On Tuesday, Sosa hit two of the Cubs’ six homers, powering them to a 9-1 win in the series opener. It was his first multi-homer game of the season and 59th of his career.
Sosa, who has only nine homers this season, declined to talk to reporters after the game. On Friday, he said he isn’t going to talk to the media for 2-to-3 weeks.
Cubs manager Dusty Baker isn’t sure whether Sosa is more relaxed since boycotting the media. Earlier this month, Sosa was suspended for seven games for using a corked bat.
“I don’t know. I have yet to talk to him about it, but I will,” Baker said.
As the Cubs try to extend their winning streak to three games, they will be looking for a much better effort from starter Shawn Estes.
The 30-year-old left-hander had his worst outing of the season Friday. Lasting just one inning in a 12-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, he allowed six runs, two hits and walked four.
“I hope I wake up tomorrow and realize it was a dream. It was one of those outings you don’t want to remember,” Estes said. “There are no excuses. I just didn’t get the job done and it’s a tough way to start a series in a game against your rivals.”
The Brewers, who scored their lone run Tuesday on a homer by Geoff Jenkins, have lost two straight and five of seven.
STANDINGS: Brewers - 6th place, 11 GB, NL Central. Cubs - 1st place, NL Central.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ben Sheets (6-6, 4.21 ERA). Sheets pitched eight strong innings Friday, but did not get a decision in the Brewers’ 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. He allowed just two unearned runs and three hits while striking out eight and walking one. Sheets had allowed at least three runs in each of his six previous starts. The 24-year-old right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.45 ERA in seven career outings against the Cubs.
CUBS PROBABLE STARTER: Estes (6-6, 5.80 ERA). In nine career games against the Brewers, Estes is 4-2 with a 5.19 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .300 avg.; Richie Sexson, 21 HRs and 49 runs; Jenkins, 53 RBIs; Eric Young, 16 SBs. Cubs - Corey Patterson, .307 avg., 13 HRs, 53 RBIs, 45 runs and 13 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cubs, 6-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Brewers - 2B Young is batting .412 (14-for-34) in his career against LHP Estes. … OF Scott Podsednik is hitting .314 (48-for-153) with two home runs and 14 RBIs since moving to the starting lineup on May 13. … The Brewers are 24-2 when leading after eight innings. Cubs - 1B Eric Karros is 6-for-13 (.462) with three homers in his career against RHP Sheets. … C Damian Miller left Tuesday’s game with a bruised right foot in the fifth inning. … The Cubs have been in first place or within a game of first every day since April 13.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Brewers - 15-18 on the road; Cubs - 20-17 at home.
INJURIES: Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL. Cubs - IF Hee Seop Choi (concussion), 15-day DL; LHP Will Ohman (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Dave Veres (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Chiasson (elbow), 60-day DL.