|Sosa hits 600th; Guerrero and Holliday hit key homers|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2007 21:49|
Meanwhile, two younger sluggers hit key home runs to rally baseball's hottest teams to victories.
Sosa became the fifth member of the 600-homer club, hitting a solo shot in the fifth inning of Texas' 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs, his former team.
``It was something that cannot be explained,'' Sosa said. ``Getting my 600th against the Chicago Cubs, and my first team (was) the Texas Rangers. It's like everything clicked. My emotions, I don't know what they are.''
After driving a 1-2 pitch to right-center for a solo shot in the fifth inning of Texas' 7-3 victory, Slammin' Sammy bounced out of the batter's box with his trademark hop and thrust his right fist into the air before reaching first base. He was mobbed at home plate by his teammates while the scoreboard showed pictures of all five members of the elite club: Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sosa.
The home run came off Jason Marquis (5-4), the 364th pitcher the 38-year-old Sosa has homered off in his 18 major league seasons.
``It was a cutter I left up in the zone,'' Marquis said. ``I went away from my strength and he made me pay for it. Other than the fact that it cost us the game, it doesn't really matter.''
Matt Holliday erased a 1-0 deficit with a two-run shot and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Yankees for the second straight day, 6-1. Vladimir Guerrero's three-run homer was the only hit in Los Angeles' six-run seventh inning, and the Angels rallied past the Houston Astros, 8-4.
The Rockies are 19-7 since May 22, the best in baseball during that time. They cooled off the Yankees, who came to town with 14 wins in their last 17 games.
``It's huge. Two games against the Yankees, we've given up two runs. You can't say enough about the pitching,'' said Holliday.
The pitching was provided by Jeff Francis (7-5), who allowed a run and five hits with one walk, striking out a career-high nine in seven spectacular innings.
``I had more fun tonight than I think I ever had pitching,'' said Francis. ``Pitched well, a crowd like that (48,440), against a team like that in a game like that where we're facing probably a future Hall of Famer.''
Down 4-2, the Angels used a Houston error and four straight walks to tie the game. After a sacrifice fly by Orlando Cabrera, Guerrero hit Dave Borkowski's 1-0 pitch over the left-center fence for his 13th homer this season.
The Angels, tied for the best record in baseball, are 29-11 since May 9.
The news wasn't so good for the Dodgers and Red Sox. Los Angeles lost right-hander Jason Schmidt for the season to shoulder surgery, and Boston's Curt Schilling is headed to the disabled list because of soreness in his right shoulder.
The Cubs traded embattled catcher Michael Barrett and cash to the NL West-leading Padres, who had been involved in two heated dugout exchanges with Cubs pitchers, for backup catcher Rob Bowen and minor league outfielder Kyler Burke.
In other Interleague action, it was Detroit 8, Washington 4; Cleveland 10, Philadelphia 6; Toronto 12, the Los Angeles Dodgers 1; Boston 11, Atlanta 0; St. Louis 7, Kansas City 6, 14 innings; Florida 5, the Chicago White Sox 4; Baltimore 7, San Diego 1; Seattle 7, Pittsburgh 0; Oakland 5, Cincinnati 3; Minnesota 7, the New York Mets 2; and Arizona 7, Tampa Bay 4.
In the only NL game of the night, it was Milwaukee 7, San Francisco 5.
After going into the dugout, Sosa came out for a curtain call. He blew kisses to the crowd and acknowledged the Cubs' dugout by pounding his chest with his fist, and Chicago manager Lou Piniella pointed back toward the slugger. Sosa had never faced the Cubs before the series opener Tuesday night.
Chants of ``Sam-my! Sam-my!'' prompted a second curtain call from Sosa.
``It was a good moment. He should be proud of it,'' Piniella said. ``I wish he would have done it in a losing effort but it's a tremendous feat and he should enjoy the moment.''
Marlins 5, White Sox 4
Pinch-hitter Jason Wood hit a three-run homer off closer Bobby Jenks in the eighth inning for Florida as the host White Sox lost for the 19th time in 24 games.
Taylor Tankersley (4-1) got two outs in the seventh for the win. John Garland (4-5) yielded three hits and three runs, two earned, in seven-plus innings.
Athletics 5, Reds 3
Dan Haren (9-2) won his ninth straight decision and third consecutive start for host Oakland despite giving up two home runs in a game for the second time this year. Marcus McBeth (1-1) took the loss.
Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton homered off Haren in the fourth. Alan Embree worked two perfect innings for his eighth save in nine opportunities.
Diamondbacks 7, Devil Rays 4
Chad Tracy and Eric Byrnes hit three-run homers for host Arizona and Micah Owings (5-1) 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).
Indians 10, Phillies 6
C.C. Sabathia (10-2) pitched six innings for host Cleveland and joined Josh Beckett of Boston and John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels as the majors' only 10-game winners.
Jon Lieber (3-5) left due to a strained right ankle. He gave up seven runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings.
Tigers 8, Nationals 4
Visiting Detroit wrapped up the three-game series by pounding the Washington pitching staff yet again to give Jeremy Bonderman (8-0) his eighth straight victory.
Detroit, which averaged better than 10 runs in the series, scored five runs in the sixth against Washington's bullpen. Carlos Guillen had two hits, including a home run in the fourth.
Blue Jays 12, Dodgers 1
Frank Thomas hit his 497th career home run and Roy Halladay (8-2) won his third consecutive start for host 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.
Twins 6, Mets 2
Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer and Scott Baker (2-2) pitched five effective innings for visiting Minnesota.
Oliver Perez (7-6) allowed four runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings and the Mets lost for the 13th time in 16 games.
Red Sox 11, Braves 0
Julian Tavarez (5-4) pitched seven scoreless innings for visiting Boston, which homered three times in the first two innings.
J.D. Drew homered on the fourth pitch of the game from Buddy Carlyle (1-2). The Red Sox had five homers in all, and 10 of their 15 hits were for extra bases.
Orioles 7, Padres 1
Rookie Jeremy Guthrie (4-1) allowed four hits over eight innings and visiting Baltimore snapped a nine-game losing streak.
It was the first win for interim manager Dave Trembley. He replaced Sam Perlozzo, who was fired on Monday. The Orioles lost 12-6 in the series opener on Tuesday night.
Mariners 7, Pirates 0
Jeff Weaver (1-6) threw a four-hitter as host Seattle ended a six-game losing streak.
Brewers 7, Giants 5
Bill Hall hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs, and host Milwaukee swept the struggling Giants to extend San Francisco's losing streak to seven.
The NL Central-leading Brewers have won seven of eight since a 6-13 stretch. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead against Barry Zito (6-8) and held on despite a Bengie Molina grand slam.
Cardinals 7, Royals 6, 14 innings
Ryan Ludwick homered leading off the bottom of the 14th inning off Jorge de la Rosa (4-8) for host St. Louis.
Kip Wells (3-11) worked the 13th and 14th for the Cardinals.