Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Sosa slams 600th homer against Cubs

AGENCIES , ARLINGTON, TEXAS

Sammy Sosa became the fifth member of the 600-homer club on Wednesday, hitting a solo shot in the fifth inning of Texas' 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs, his former team.

Playing for the Rangers after a year out of baseball, Sosa homered off Jason Marquis (5-4) to join Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays in the elite group.

Sosa played for the Cubs from 1992-2004, winning the 1998 National League MVP award and making seven All-Star teams while hitting 545 homers with Chicago.

It was Sosa's 12th homer in 62 games this season. He hit his first big league homer with the Rangers in 1989. Sosa has homered against every major league team in his career.

Sosa, who had gone off the boil after reaching No. 598, hit a solo home run off Jason Marquis in the fifth inning.

He circled the bases to a standing ovation and was called out for a pair of curtain calls.

Sosa started his career with the Rangers but did most of his damage with the Cubs from 1992 to 2004.

"I'm never going to forget this night," Sosa told reporters. "Tonight was something that brings a lot of joy. I'm very thrilled to have that opportunity to come here and hit number 600, especially here."

Sosa joined Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays in the elite 600 club.

The ball, which traveled an estimated 120m, landed in the Texas bullpen in right centerfield and was retrieved by reliever Akinori Otsuka.

Frank Catalanotto followed Sosa's blast with the 75th homer of his career to give the Rangers a 6-1 lead.

Blue Jays 12, Dodgers 1

At Toronto, Frank Thomas hit his 497th career home run and Roy Halladay won his third consecutive start for Toronto.

Gregg Zaun and Matt Stairs hit back-to-back homers in the third for the Blue Jays, who scored a season-high eight runs in the second inning.

Thomas had the biggest hit, a grand slam that chased Taiwanese starter Kuo Hong-chih (郭泓志) after one-and-two-third innings. The grand slam was Thomas' second of the season and the 10th of his career.

Marlins 5, White Sox 4

At Chicago, pinch-hitter Jason Wood hit a three-run homer off closer Bobby Jenks in the eighth inning, and Florida dealt Chicago its 19th loss in 24 games.

Chicago starter Jon Garland had given up two hits entering the eighth and the White Sox held a 2-1 lead. Aaron Boone opened the inning with a single and shortstop Juan Uribe made his second error on a bunt to put two on.

Athletics 5, Reds 3

In Oakland, California, Nick Swisher walked with the bases loaded in the seventh to tie the game, then Oakland's Eric Chavez followed with a sacrifice fly.

Dan Haren (9-2) won his ninth straight decision and third consecutive start despite giving up two home runs in a game for the second time this year.

Diamondbacks 7, Devil Rays 4

In Phoenix, Chad Tracy and Eric Byrnes hit three-run homers for Arizona and Micah Owings won his fourth straight decision.

Byrnes went 4-for-5 with a double and two singles. His homer was in the fourth off starter James Shields (6-2). Byrnes matched a franchise mark with hits in seven consecutive at-bats going back to Tuesday night. It's been done three other times. The streak ended with a grounder to the pitcher in the eighth.

Indians 10, Phillies 6

At Cleveland, Casey Blake put Cleveland ahead of Philadelphia with a two-run single in an eight-run sixth inning.

C.C. Sabathia (10-2) pitched six innings and joined Josh Beckett of Boston and John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels as the majors' only 10-game winners.

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