Originally created 09/06/98

Sosa slams 58th homer



PITTSBURGH -- Sammy Sosa refused to let Mark McGwire get too big a lead in their home run derby, hitting his 58th in the sixth inning of the Chicago Cubs' game Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Sosa worked the count to 3-1 from rookie left-hander Sean Lawrence before hitting a high drive -- it almost resembled a McGwiresque shot -- into the third-level seats in right field.

The close-to-capacity crowd in Three Rivers Stadium gave him a resounding ovation -- and, yes, a curtain call, too -- that was nearly as loud as that McGwire received while homering twice there Aug. 22-23.

The estimated distance was 417 feet on a homer that gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Earlier, Sosa singled and scored in a two-run second inning and grounded into an inning-ending force play in the third.

It was Sosa's second homer in as many nights in Three Rivers Stadium, both to the opposite field in right. It left him two behind McGwire, who earlier in the day became only the third player in major league history to hit 60 homers in a season with a first-inning homer at home against Cincinnati.

Sosa's shot was his sixth in seven games and his ninth in 13 games. He has 49 homers in the Cubs' last 89 games after once trailing McGwire 24-9.

Sosa, who had never hit more than 40 homers before this season, has established career highs with 58 homers, 140 RBIs, 175 hits and 113 runs scored.