Cubs 9, Brewers 2

Preview | Box Score | Recap

MILWAUKEE (AP)—After a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, manager Dusty Baker was asked if the Chicago Cubs are finally in the midst of the hot streak he had said was inevitable.

“I don’t know yet. We’re in the process,” Baker said Sunday after a 9-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 42,127, most of them wearing Cubs gear. “I’ll let you know whenever it ends how hot it is. But right now we’re in the process. Guys are feeling good.”

The Cubs lead the NL Central by a half game over Houston and 1 1/2 games over St. Louis.

Randall Simon homered twice and drove in five runs and Sammy Sosa added a solo shot to help Kerry Wood (12-11) win for the first time in a month.

“We just continue to play good baseball. Hopefully we can keep that going, but it was fun,” Wood said of his first victory since an Aug. 6 decision over San Diego.

The Cubs led 5-0 after Simon’s three-run homer in the third inning. He added a second two-run shot, his 15th of the season, to make it 9-2 in the seventh after Sammy Sosa had a solo homer to lead off the inning.

Simon had the first two-homer game of his career.

“When there are men in scoring position, you have to drive them in,” Simon said, adding, “That’s my family’s food out there.”

Wood gave up eight hits and two runs in seven innings and had six strikeouts to raise his major league-leading total to 234.

Doug Davis (2-1), 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in his first four starts for Milwaukee, allowed five runs on four hits in four innings. He said the first homer by Simon crushed him.

“It was probably a pitch I shouldn’t have thrown, that I would like back. I pretty much put threw it right down the middle for him. I just said, `Here, hit it.’ And he hit it,” Davis said.

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a groundout by Sosa and a sacrifice fly by Ramirez which was dropped by left fielder Brooks Kieschnick for an error. Kieschnick was making his first major league start in the outfield.

Sosa’s grounder scored Tom Goodwin, who opened the game with a walk, and Tony Womack, who doubled, came home on the fly ball.

Milwaukee made it 5-1 in the fourth inning on a double by Bill Hall, and Richie Sexson’s 38th homer to lead off the sixth made it 5-2.

“The problem with a club like that, with all the pitching they’ve got, it’s a tough hole to climb out of,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “It seems like everybody they bring in throws 96, 97 miles an hour. It’s hard when you’redown a couple of runs early.”

Notes

Milwaukee has won 14 of its last 19 games. … The Cubs went 7-0 record at Miller Park this season. … Wood hit 2B Keith Ginter the first two times he batted. Ginter has been struck 15 times this year. … The five RBIs tied Simon’s career-high. … The Brewers had a crowd of 42,127, their thirdconsecutive sellout as the series drew many fans from Chicago.

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