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Sosa's Inside Job Only Part of Story

May 27, 1997|From Associated Press

The key to defeating the Chicago Cubs is keeping Sammy Sosa inside the ballpark. Now, even that doesn't work.

Sosa and Pittsburgh's Tony Womack hit inside-the-park homers five minutes apart in the sixth inning Monday, but the Pirates again struggled to score at home, losing, 2-1, as three Cub pitchers combined on a three-hitter at Pittsburgh.

There had not been two inside-the-park homers in an National League game since Lou Brock and Hector Cruz of St. Louis each did it against San Diego on June 18, 1976. The last time there were two in the same inning in the majors was Aug. 27, 1977, when Toby Harrah and Bump Wills homered on consecutive pitches for Texas.

"Yeah I had one before--in double A, a long time ago," Sosa said.

Sosa doubled and scored the Cubs' first run in the fourth on Shawon Dunston's sacrifice fly before lifting a long fly ball to right-center with one out in the sixth.

Pirates rookie outfielders Adrian Brown and Jose Guillen collided, and Sosa was heading into third by the time Guillen ran down the ball. Second baseman Tony Womack's strong relay throw beat Sosa home, but umpire Gerry Davis ruled a sliding Sosa swiped the plate with his left hand ahead of catcher Jason Kendall's tag.

In the bottom of the inning, Cub center fielder Doug Glanville couldn't make a diving catch of leadoff batter Womack's sinking liner, allowing Womack to score easily.

San Francisco 4, Houston 3--Barry Bonds homered to lead off the ninth inning, lifting the Giants over the Astros at San Francisco.

Bonds connected on a 1-0 pitch from Jose Lima (0-3), driving it into the right-field bleachers for his eighth homer.

Julian Tavarez (1-2) got the final out in the top of the ninth to pick up his first National League win. Tavarez spent four seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to the Giants last November in the Matt Williams deal.

San Francisco starter Kirk Rueter gave up three runs in seven innings and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts. Houston's Shane Reynolds also gave up three runs in six innings.

Down 3-2, the Astros tied it in the fifth. Biggio doubled for his third hit, went to third on a groundout and scored on Luis Gonzalez's fielder's choice.

New York 4, Montreal 3--Rey Ordonez drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the eighth inning as the Mets rallied for the victory at New York.

With New York trailing 3-1, John Olerud and Bernard Gilkey drew one-out walks off Expo starter Jim Bullinger. Ugueth Urbina (2-4) relieved and Carlos Baerga hit an infield single to load the bases.

After Butch Huskey struck out, pinch-hitter Matt Franco singled home two runs to tie the score, 3-3. Ordonez followed with a run-scoring single to give New York the lead.

John Franco pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 opportunities. The Mets have won four of their last five games.

Rookie Cory Lidle (3-0) got the victory, giving up one run in one-plus innings of relief.

Montreal loaded the bases with none out in the eighth, but reliever Greg McMichael got F.P. Santangelo on a fly to right and Joe Orsulak grounded into a double play to end the threat.

Cincinnati 8-8, Philadelphia 5-4--Barry Larkin reached safely in every plate appearance as the Cincinnati swept a doubleheader from the Phillies at Philadelphia, extending their winning streak to a season-high four games.

The sweep left the Reds and Phillies tied for the worst record in the major leagues at 18-31. The winning streak is Cincinnati's longest since last July 22-27, when it won six in a row.

Larkin reached in all seven plate appearances, extending his streak to 12. The National League record for reaching safely is 14 by Pedro Guerrero in 1985. Ted Williams set the American League record of 16 in 1957.

Larkin had a triple, double, three singles and two walks in the doubleheader. He also drove in three runs.

The 16 runs signified a breakout for Cincinnati's struggling offense, which had not scored eight runs in a game since its 10-2 victory over Philadelphia on April 26. The Reds have scored 33 runs in four games against the Phillies this season.

Atlanta 12, San Diego 5--Michael Tucker drove in three runs on two doubles and a triple and scored twice as the Braves won at San Diego. It was their six victory in a row over the Padres.

Tucker was three for five with a walk, Jeff Blauser was three for five with two RBIs, and Kenny Lofton went two for four, drove in two runs and scored twice for the Braves, who had 16 hits. This after they had only 14 hits during their three-game series with the Dodgers.

Five Braves had at least two hits and five had at least two RBIs. Ryan Klesko was the only regular who didn't score a run.




Player: A. Galarraga

Team: Colorado

Performance: 2 for 4, 3 RBIs, double, homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Barry Bonds

Team: San Francisco

Performance: 3 for 4, game-winning homer in ninth

Team's Result: Win


Player: Ron Gant

Team: St. Louis

Performance: 2 for 4, 3 RBI, double, homer

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Doug Strange

Team: Montreal

Performance: 2 for 4, double, homer

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Kevin Foster

Team: Chicago

Performance: 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: F. Cordova

Team: Pittsburgh

Performance: 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 5 strikeouts

Team's Result: Loss

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