It's frightening to imagine what their fans might do if the Cubs ever win it all again.
Chicago's Bleacher Bums welcomed back their beloved Cubbies for the first time since the All-Star break by turning Wrigley Field's outfield into a sea of garbage during a 9-5 win over the Montreal Expos.Sammy Sosa hit his 37th homer in a six-run eighth inning Wednesday night as the Cubs won their fourth straight. Following Sosa's three-run shot, his first homer since July 17, some fans in the sellout crowd of 39,179 tossed cups and other debris onto the field.
"They must have been starving for baseball - we've been gone 13 days," said Cubs closer Rod Beck. "It's nice to see them excited, but there's a time and place for that, and it's across the street in the bars."
While the garbage was piling up, five fans ran onto the field at different times, briefly halting play each time. And if they didn't have enough to celebrate, Henry Rodriguez followed Sosa's homer with his 24th.
"They were throwing everything," Rodriguez said. "They were even throwing themselves."
Sosa needs just three homers to match his career high of 40 set in 1996.
"I don't want to start thinking about home runs," Sosa said. "Every time I do that, I get out of control. I want to do things my way. The home runs will come. If I go out and make contact, things will happen."
What happened after Sosa's latest homer embarrassed Cubs manager Jim Riggleman.
"Obviously, everybody's excited about what Sammy's doing," said Riggleman, who called up to the public address announcer to ask fans to restrain themselves. "The Expos pitchers shouldn't have to wait. Their outfielders shouldn't have to tread through that stuff."
Terry Adams (7-5) got the victory with one inning of relief.
PADRES 9, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Greg Vaughn hit his 36th homer, a three-run shot, and Andy Ashby tied for the NL lead with his 14th victory.
Wally Joyner also hit a three-run homer for the Padres, a shot in the first off Willie Blair (4-14).
CARDINALS 3, GIANTS 2: Bobby Witt threw five solid innings for his first NL victory since 1995 and Gary Gaetti hit a two-run homer for St. Louis.
Mark McGwire, who leads the majors with 43 homers, went 0-for-4 for St. Louis.
BRAVES 14, PHILLIES 2: Andres Galarraga homered twice and Tom Gla-vine (14-4) struck out 10 to improve to 8-1 in road starts.
Galarraga has 32 homers and seven two-homer games this year. The Braves, shut out by Kerry Wood and the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, recovered to pound out 16 hits.
METS 6, BREWERS 1 (2nd game); METS 7, BREWERS 5 (1st game): Ed-gardo Alfonzo, the hero of the first game, and Todd Pratt each drove in two runs to back Hideo Nomo (4-8) as New York completed the sweep.
In the first game, Alfonzo's two-run double capped a three-run ninth-inning rally. Dennis Cook (5-3) got the victory in relief and John Franco got his 19th save.
PIRATES 6, MARLINS 4: Todd Van Pop-pel pitched 6 1-3 innings to win his NL debut, and Tony Womack went 3-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 16.
DODGERS 6, ASTROS 4: Gary Sheffield and Eric Karros homered on consecutive pitches by Jose Lima in the fifth inning and Brian Bohanon (3-6) earned his first victory in three starts with the Dodgers since coming over in a trade with the Mets.
ORIOLES 5, ATHLETICS 4: The Baltimore Orioles are making their bosses look smart. One day after management decided to keep the team together for a possible playoff run, the Orioles continued their winning ways with a victory over Oakland.
The Orioles, who had a terrible first half of the season despite the majors' largest payroll at $69 million, have won 12 of 13 since the All-Star break to move within a game of .500 (50-51) for the first time since May 16.
YANKEES 13, TIGERS 2: Chuck Knoblauch, Darryl Strawberry and Jorge Posada homered, and Orlando Hernandez won again for the Yankees.
BLUE JAYS 4, WHITE SOX 0: Roger Clemens pitched eight shutout innings to win his seventh straight decision and Jose Canseco hit his 27th homer for the Blue Jays.
DEVIL RAYS 7, MARINERS 5: Bobby Smith's two-run single capped Tampa Bay's four-run seventh-inning rally against Randy Johnson.
ROYALS 7, RANGERS 4: Dean Palmer's three-run homer helped the Royals overcome three RBIs by Juan Gonzalez.
Palmer's fifth-inning shot off Aaron Sele (12-7) made a winner of Pat Rapp (9-9), who retired 13 consecutive batters before being ejected by first base umpire Eric Cooper for arguing.
INDIANS 4, RED SOX 3: Jim Thome's 27th homer capped a three-run rally in the seventh that gave Charles Nagy his first win since May 31.
ANGELS 5, TWINS 3: Garret Anderson's two-run double in the ninth inning gave the Anaheim Angels just their fifth win in July.