Greg Maddux pitched around three rain delays for his 296th career win, and Sammy Sosa backed him with a homer and a great sliding catch as the Chicago Cubs defeated the White Sox, 4-2, yesterday at wet Wrigley Field.

The game was called after it was delayed a fourth time, for 77 minutes, after the top of the sixth inning. Umpires inspected the field, as did managers Ozzie Guillen and Dusty Baker, before the game was declared over because of unplayable conditions.

Returning to the mound after delays of 31, 15 and 59 minutes, Maddux (7-6) gave up five hits and two runs in 51/3 innings.

Sosa's 14th homer of the season and 553rd of his career came through a driving rain and cleared the right field wall just before the game was halted for a third time in the bottom of the fifth.

In the top of the sixth, Maddux gave up a single to Willie Harris and a bunt single to Aaron Rowand before an RBI single by Jose Valentin cut the lead to 4-1.

Michael Wuertz relieved and, as it began to rain again, Paul Konerko singled to load the bases before Timo Perez hit a sacrifice fly.

When Joe Crede hit a shallow fly to right, Sosa came sprinting in through the rain to make a sliding catch to stop the rally. The game was then delayed a fourth time.

"As you saw, they were making a comeback," Cubs infielder Todd Walker said. "Good time to quit."

* METS 10, YANKEES 9: The Mets rushed out of the dugout and mobbed Shane Spencer at first base in jubilation. It could have been a scene after the final out of the World Series.

This one merely put the Mets in position to win the regular season "Subway Series" for the first time.

Spencer's bases-loaded dribbler between the mound and first base traveled only 40 feet or so, but drove in the winning run to cap an afternoon of comebacks at Shea Stadium.

Coming a day after the Mets' 11-2 rout, the ending had the season-best crowd of 55,120 looking ahead to Sunday with shouts of "Sweep!" Fans also took note of the Yankees' three wins over the Red Sox earlier in the week, yelling: "We're not Boston!"

The Yankees loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth and were one pitch from taking the lead after John Franco (2-4) went to a 3-0 count on pinch hitter Jorge Posada.

But Posada took a strike, then took another fastball at the knees for strike two, a pitch he thought should have been ball four. Franco came back with another fastball, this one lower.

After a tiny delay, plate umpire Chuck Meriwether called it strike three.

"That was the game basically right there," Mets Manager Art Howe said, "because you-know-who [reliever Mariano Rivera] is coming in if they score there."

* PADRES 5, ROYALS 4: Adam Eaton took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning for San Diego and didn't even get the win at home.

Kansas City rallied for four runs in the eighth. But Khalil Greene had a sacrifice fly that accounted for the winning run in the bottom of the inning.

Eaton, trying for the first no-hitter in Padres history, held Kansas City hitless until Dee Brown doubled off the left-field fence leading off the eighth.

* ATHLETICS 6, GIANTS 2: Mark McLemore's tiebreaking RBI single sparked a four-run ninth inning as Oakland rallied on the road.

Manager Ken Macha waited until just before the game to put McLemore in the lineup. The veteran utility player has been bothered by a balky right knee.

* CARDINALS 8, MARINERS 1: Jason Marquis followed Woody Williams's lead, shutting down Seattle before and after an hour-long rain delay.

Marquis worked 21/3 innings before the downpour and 32/3 innings after it in St. Louis.

Williams did the same on Friday after a two-hour delay.

"He had a good, relaxed way about him," Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa said of Marquis.

* DEVIL RAYS 6, MARLINS 1: In Miami, Victor Zambrano gave up four hits in seven shutout innings and drove in his first career run for Tampa Bay.

The Devil Rays improved to 30-10 since May 20.

* PIRATES 5, BREWERS 3: Randall Simon's opposite-field groundball double drove in two runs to break a sixth-inning tie at home.

Jason Bay, coming off an eight-RBI performance in the second game of Friday's doubleheader, added an RBI single to help the Pirates win their ninth in 11 games.

* REDS 4, INDIANS 2: Paul Wilson won for the first time in more than a month, D'Angelo Jimenez hit a two-run homer and host Cincinnati rebounded from its worst loss of the season.

Wilson (8-2) limited Cleveland to two runs in 62/3 innings, one night after the Indians set a season high for runs against five Reds' pitchers in a 15-2 win.

* RED SOX 6, BRAVES 1: Curt Schilling stopped another Boston losing streak by pitching a six-hitter, Nomar Garciaparra homered and Doug Mirabelli had a grand slam in Atlanta.

Johnny Damon also connected for the Red Sox, who were coming off a pair of painful losses in extra innings to the Yankees and Braves the previous two nights.

* BLUE JAYS 2, EXPOS 0: In San Juan, Puerto Rico, Roy Halladay showed his Cy Young form for Toronto.

Halladay (7-5), winner of the AL Cy Young Award last year, gave up only five hits.

Montreal, which has the worst offense in baseball, was shut out for the 11th time this season, most in the major leagues. The attendance was 8,831, the second night in a row the attendance dropped below 9,000.

* DODGERS 8, ANGELS 5: Adrian Beltre hit two of his team's four homers and visiting Los Angeles scored in each of the first five innings.

Eric Gagne, the fifth Dodgers pitcher, pitched a perfect ninth to extend his major league record for consecutive saves to 84.

The Angels honored the College World Series-winning Cal State-Fullerton baseball team in a pre-game ceremony.

* ASTROS 10, RANGERS 8: Morgan Ensberg hit a grand slam, and Mike Lamb and Raul Chavez each drove in two runs for host Houston.

The Rangers and Astros combined for 13 runs in the nearly hour-long fifth inning.

* ROCKIES 11, TIGERS 6: Vinny Castilla had three RBI and Preston Wilson put an emphatic end to his slump with a two-run homer in Denver.

* TWINS 8, DIAMONDBACKS 4: Doug Mientkiewicz drove in three runs with a home run and double to help visiting Minnesota.