One day after a much-needed win, Sosa and the Cubs will try to complete a two-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
Sosa hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning Wednesday, helping Chicago overcome a two-run deficit to beat the Reds 5-4 in the series opener.
After getting swept in a two-game set against the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs said they needed the emotional lift they got from Wednesday’s win.
“Hopefully it can be a turning point,” Cubs starter Matt Clement said. “You lose that game, and the negatives just keep going.”
Sosa said the win also showed the fans that the Cubs can still be contenders.
“We’re not struggling,” Sosa said. “We just lost a couple of games. We are competitors. We come here every day and try to do our job. Sometimes it’s not going to be the way you want it.”
Before hitting his 18th homer of the season to put the Cubs ahead, Sosa was booed when he struck out twice with runners on base.
“It’s not disappointing, but it’s something that surprised me. It was like, ‘Wow. What have I done?”’ Sosa said. “They want you to come through. It’s not going to happen every time they wish.”
As the Cubs try to sweep the Reds, Greg Maddux will look to continue his march to 300 career wins.
The 38-year-old right-hander pitched his first shutout in three years Saturday, limiting the Milwaukee Brewers to six hits in a 5-0 victory—the 297th of his career.
“There was a lot of balls down the middle, but they were hit right at people,” Maddux said. “A few of the double-plays today were mistake pitches. Sometimes the ball bounces your way.”
Cubs manager Dusty Baker said he usually does not expect the 17-year veteran to pitch into the ninth inning.
“He said ordinarily he doesn’t go that far, but he said he felt great,” Baker said. “Some days, your limits are higher than others, and today was a high limit day for him.”
The Reds had won three of four before Wednesday. Despite outhitting Chicago 10-6, they fell a half-game behind the Cubs in the NL Central race.
Jason La Rue and Wily Mo Pena both homered for Cincinnati.