- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2003

BALTIMORE — Sammy Sosa doubled and scored the Chicago Cubs’ first run, and Shawn Estes pitched seven innings of six-hit ball last night in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Hours after appealing his eight-game suspension for using a corked bat on June3, Sosa went 2-for-5 to raise his batting average to .290. A decision on his punishment could come as soon as today.

If the Cubs get the kind of pitching Estes gave them, they might not miss their stellar cleanup hitter all that much.

Estes (6-5) struck out five, walked two and allowed only one runner past second base. Aided by two double plays, the left-hander handcuffed a team that averaged 6.9 runs over its last 19 games.

Baltimore’s Melvin Mora extended his career-best hitting streak to 21 games and Luis Matos had three hits, but the Orioles absorbed their fifth shutout — the first since May 13.

Antonio Alfonseca and Joe Borowski finished the nine-hitter for Chicago.

Sosa received a warm greeting from the crowd of 32,484 at Camden Yards when he went to right field in the first inning, and the game was interrupted in the bottom of the eighth when a fan ran onto the outfield and bowed to the slugger.

The last time Sosa played in Baltimore was 1991, with the Chicago White Sox.

A leadoff double by Sosa in the second helped the Cubs take a 2-0 lead against Pat Hentgen (1-4). The liner struck the left-field wall, just short of becoming his first homer since May1.

Moises Alou followed with an RBI single before Troy O’Leary singled in a run.

After Alex Gonzalez opened the third with his sixth home run, Corey Patterson tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alou.

Sosa struck out against Jorge Julio in the ninth with two outs and runners on second and third. He’s gone 66 at-bats since his last home run.

Notes: Matos has at least one hit in all 15 games since his recall from Class AAA Ottawa on May 23. … The Cubs had two runners thrown out at the plate. … Estes has induced 16 double-play grounders, including 13 in his victories.

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