Sammy Sosa has the bunny hop, the heart tap and the air kisses, his signature moves after launching home runs.
But after Antonio Osuna ended Saturday's game by striking out Sosa on a high changeup with the tying run on third in the White Sox's 5-4 victory over the Cubs, the Sox reliever introduced a move of his own.
Call it the Osuna twist.
Pumping his fist and gyrating his hips, Osuna whipped Sox fans in the crowd of 45,942 into a frenzy by teasing the Cubs and then celebrating in their faces after striking out their best hitter.
"It was the emotions," Osuna said. "I've never done that before. That's for my [newborn] son. Yorvitt, this game was for you."
The Cubs dropped their fifth straight game and fell to 14 games below .500, tying their low-water mark of the season. The Sox won for the fourth time in five games and will have ace Mark Buehrle on the mound for Sunday's series finale.
If the Cubs get swept by their rivals, calls for manager Don Baylor to lose his job certainly will intensify.
"I don't want to touch that," Sosa said. "We haven't been playing the way we're supposed to be playing. But this is not an issue for us. We have to come back here [Sunday] and try to win a game."
Osuna entered in the seventh inning with a one-run lead after throwing 31 pitches in Friday's win. After stranding the tying run on second in the eighth by retiring Roosevelt Brown on a flyout, Osuna was expected to take a seat for the ninth. But manager Jerry Manuel stuck with him, citing the recent workload of Keith Foulke.
Alex Gonzalez led off with a double, and Delino DeShields, pinch-running for Gonzalez, advanced on Joe Girardi's sacrifice, but Corey Patterson flied out to shallow center on Osuna's first pitch.
"I've said it over and over," Baylor said. "We've got to be more selective at the plate."
Bill Mueller drew a walk after falling behind 0-2, setting up the confrontation between Osuna and Sosa. On a 2-2 pitch, Sosa swung early at a high changeup, setting Osuna into orbit.
"He pitched me great," Sosa said. "He didn't make any mistakes. He got me with a high fastball first and then two nasty sliders outside and then came over with a big changeup. What can you do? Tip your hat and I'll see you tomorrow."
Jon Garland (7-5) notched the win, allowing four runs on six hits in six innings.
"Things are starting to perk up," Garland said. "Guys are coming to the field ready to play all the time."
The Cubs also came out ready and manufactured a run in the first. Patterson was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced on a groundout to the right side and scored on Sosa's RBI groundout. Moises Alou hit the first of his two solo homers leading off the second, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Mark Prior threw two hitless innings before Josh Paul led off the third with an infield hit, then advanced to second on Royce Clayton's single past Mueller at third. Ray Durham's run-scoring single made it 2-1, and Frank Thomas tied it up with a sacrifice fly.
Alou's second homer, another solo shot leading off the fourth, put the Cubs briefly ahead, until Thomas' two-run line shot into the Sox bullpen gave the Sox a 4-3 lead in the fifth. It was the 362nd home run of Thomas' career, tying him with Matt Williams for 53rd place on the all-time home run list.
But Garland couldn't find a way to keep Alou off base, and once again he couldn't hold a lead.
Alou doubled leading off the sixth, his third straight extra-base hit leading off an inning. After Garland induced pop outs from Todd Hundley and Chris Stynes, Gonzalez lined his first pitch into center, tying the game 4-4.
Juan Cruz replaced Prior to start the sixth, and immediately handed the Sox the lead. Carlos Lee belted a solo homer to left on a 3-1 pitch. Lee has six home runs in his last 12 games, including three against the Cubs. Lee hit a ninth-inning grand slam in Comiskey Park to beat the Cubs last year.
How does Lee explain his Cub-killing ways?
"Destiny maybe?" Lee said. "Go through every big-league player's stats, and everyone does good against one team. It seems like Barry Bonds kills San Diego. I always seem to do well against the Cubs."
After Lee's homer gave the Sox the lead, Osuna did the rest, twisting the night away.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times