For two days, Thome got to play out his childhood fantasy on the big league field.
Thome and the Cleveland Indians rallied Tuesday for a 5-4 victory over the Cubs, sparked by Travis Fryman's game-tying home run in the eighth inning.
"I've heard that when you think of 'fan friendly,' you should think of Wrigley," said Thome, who had three hits. "It was real friendly with all of our fans here. We had a lot of fun."
"These were the two most fun games I've played all year," said Fryman, whose homer landed over the left-field bleachers onto Waveland Avenue.
"I played in Tiger Stadium and I thought that was a nice park," Fryman said. "Everyone told me, 'You've got to come to Wrigley.' They're right."
"This is a great place to play a game," Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said. "I can see why Ernie Banks loved to play baseball here."
After Fryman connected against loser Terry Adams (6-4), pinch-hitter Mark Whiten doubled and scored on a single by Pat Borders, putting Cleveland in front. It was the 12th homer of the year for Fryman, who also doubled home a run earlier.
Eric Plunk (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief for the win, Cleveland's third straight. The Cubs dropped their third in a row and finished a nine-game homestand 3-6.
"I know we can play with that team," Chicago's Mark Grace said. "I know we can beat them. We haven't stepped up to the challenge. You could say, 'Heck, Sammy will take care of us.' Well, Sammy's allowed to go 0-for-5."
Which he did.
Henry Rodriguez hit his second homer in as many games for the Cubs, but Sammy Sosa, one shy of the major league mark for most home runs in a month, went 0-for-5 and is homerless in two straight games.
"Somebody has to step up, and not just me, but everybody," Rodriguez said. "We need Grace, we need everybody. There's no way he can hit a home run every day."
"I can't do it every day," Sosa said. "I can't do it all."
Sosa, who has 30 homers, 17 of them in June, flied out to the wall in left, grounded out twice and popped up twice. He came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, but grounded out, and is now 10-for-72 in his career with the bases loaded _ with no grand slams.
"I don't think he's going up there trying to hit home runs," the Cubs' Jeff Blauser said. "I don't think he's been trying during the whole streak."
Reliever Mike Jackson, brought on to face Sosa with two outs in the ninth, got him on a pop fly for the final out, notching his 16th save of the season.
"Jackson got one of the most dangerous hitters in the league to pop up," Hargrove said. "Having the power hitter up there versus the closer in the ninth, that's what the game is all about."
"We're in the American League, where you have teams with good hitters up and down the lineup," Jackson said. "Going after someone like Sosa isn't anything we haven't done before."