The Florida Marlins did their best to create a homey atmosphere -- their mascot danced on the field, their P.A. announcer did the lineups, they even wore white pants.
Chased out of Florida by Hurricane Ivan, the Marlins staged an eighth-inning rally yesterday to beat the Montreal Expos in a strange setting at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field.
"Yeah, you got to feel like we're at home, even when we're in a different city. We still want to get back home to our houses and hopefully Ivan won't cause any more havoc," catcher Paul Lo Duca said after the Marlins scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Expos, 6-3.
"It was a little weird early but once you get on the field, everything is fine, you just go back to playing baseball," Lo Duca said.
"You miss your crowd and you miss going home right now. Now we go back to the hotel an hour away. That's a little difficult."
Florida, two games behind wild-card leader San Francisco, will play the Expos at U.S. Cellular again today.
The Marlins announced after yesterday's game that the teams will play a doubleheader in Miami at 3:05 p.m. tomorrow, and a single game Thursday night.
Before yesterday, the last NL game in an AL ballpark was in 1946, when the Boston Braves played several games at Fenway Park because a paint job on the seats at Braves Field had not dried, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
A small but spirited crowd announced at 4,003 transformed the home park of the White Sox into a foul-ball chaser's paradise. With the upper deck closed, most of the fans who spent $15 for a ticket -- $5 going to hurricane relief -- sat behind the dugouts and close to the field.
* CUBS 7, PIRATES 2: Sammy Sosa homered for the first time in more than two weeks and Derrek Lee drove in three runs as host Chicago moved within a half-game of San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.
Moises Alou and Neifi Perez also homered for the Cubs, who took advantage of rookie Frank Brooks in his first major league start. Chicago tagged Brooks (0-1) for five runs -- four earned -- in just one inning.
After Perez, Chicago's second batter, homered into the stands in left, Lee drove in two runs with a single, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead. Sosa followed with a two-run homer, his first since Aug. 26. It was Sosa's 30th homer of the season, giving him 10 straight seasons with 30 or more.
That was more than enough support for Greg Maddux (14-9). He scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out two while walking just one.
* REDS 4, PHILLIES 3: Jason LaRue drove in the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice in the eighth inning to help snap visiting Philadelphia's six-game winning streak.
Wily Mo Pena led off the eighth against reliever Felix Rodriguez (5-8) with a double into the right-center field gap and moved to third on pinch hitter Darren Bragg's sacrifice. LaRue followed with a sharp grounder to second baseman Placido Polanco, who made a diving backhanded stop but couldn't get up and throw in time to get Pena at the plate.
Joe Valentine (2-3) got the final out in the eighth for the win, and Danny Graves pitched the ninth for his 39th save.
* METS 9-1, BRAVES 7-7: J.D. Drew had four hits and three RBI, and Paul Byrd pitched eight strong innings to help Atlanta split a day-night doubleheader in New York, where only about 1,000 fans showed up at the start of the first game.
Mike Piazza and Richard Hidalgo homered in the opener as the Mets scored five times in the sixth inning to earn the win.
* ROCKIES 9, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Vinny Castilla reached 300 career homers and 1,000 RBI with two of Colorado's five home runs in Phoenix.