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Sosa's Homer in Victory Ties Him With McGwire

June 19, 2005|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Tying Mark McGwire on the home run list gave Sammy Sosa a chance to look back to their memorable duel in 1998 -- for a moment.

Sosa then turned his focus to the task at hand, which is keeping the Baltimore Orioles in first place.

Sosa hit his 583rd home run to pull even with McGwire for sixth place on the career list, part of a six-run fourth inning that carried the Orioles past the Colorado Rockies, 7-2, Saturday night.

Sosa's homer off Byung-Hyun Kim was an opposite-field shot that cleared the 25-foot scoreboard in right field.

It was the ninth home run of the year for the former Chicago Cub slugger, who waged an unforgettable race against McGwire to be the first to break Roger Maris' season record of 61.

"In 1998, the year Mark and I went head to head, that was a privilege for me to be there with him," said Sosa, batting .262 with 25 runs batted in.

"And now he's retired, he's sitting home relaxing. To have a chance to tie him today, it's very nice."

McGwire finished with 70 homers that year; Sosa had 66. The record was broken in 2001 by Barry Bonds, who hit 73.

Baltimore's Rafael Palmeiro singled twice to move within 21 hits of joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players in major league history to have 3,000 hits and 500 homers.

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