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Sosa hits 600th homer as Rangers top Cubs

Jun 21, 2007 - 5:33 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Sammy Sosa finally hit a home run against the Chicago Cubs to join a group famous for hitting lots of them.

Sosa hit his 600th career home run on Wednesday night to lead the Texas Rangers past his former team, the Chicago Cubs, 7-3.

Sosa launched a 1-2 pitch into the Rangers bullpen in right-center field for a solo home run off of Cubs starter Jason Marquis in the fifth inning.

"So proud, not only for myself, but for all the people behind me," Sosa said of his emotions while circling the bases. "Hitting my 600th, against the Chicago Cubs, everything clicked. Today was a special day. I just want to say thank you to Texas for giving me the opportunity to step up to the plate and giving me a chance. They supported me 100 percent and they believed in me.

"It couldn't have happened to a better guy, especially when some people wrote him off," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We saw he had something left in him and he's been a model citizen and a model teammate."

Marquis (5-4) became Sosa's 364th victim. It was Sosa's first blast against the Cubs, for whom he played 13 seasons and hit 545 of his 600 homers. Sosa has now hit one against every major league club.

"Other than the fact that it cost us the game, it doesn't really matter," Marquis said. "It's always exciting to see history being made in any sport or in a part of life. He's been a great player for a long time. Congratulations to him but I still have to do a better job of making better pitches."

Sosa, who didn't play baseball last season but received a spring training tryout with the Rangers this year, was greeted by his teammates at the plate after his milestone blast made him the fifth player to reach the 600 mark. Sosa joins Hank Aaron (755), Barry Bonds (748), Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660) in the exclusive club.

"It's a great joy to be there with the greatest," Sosa said. "When I'm leaving this world, at least people will remember me, and I like that. It's a milestone that unfortunately has a few more guys coming, but for myself, reaching that milestone is great. It reminds me of '98 when I hit 62. It was the same. I feel great, because you don't see milestones like that every day."

"This is the culmination of tons of great seasons and I couldn't be happier for the guy," said Michael Young, who had three hits for Texas. "It really is a just an incredible accomplishment. The guy took a year off from the big leagues and he hasn't missed a beat. That's saying a lot. Sammy came back and has really had just a great first half. When you think about it, what he's accomplished is amazing. He's one of five guys to accomplish this, the first Latino player."

Sosa, who hit number 599 last Friday night, had gone hitless in his previous 13 at-bats over four games, but got all of Marquis' slider. Rangers reliever Akinori Otsuka ended up with the ball after it bounced around the bullpen.

"I got it," Otsuka said, joking that he would have to negotiate with Sosa before giving it to him. "I was warming up, stretching, but I looked up and saw his home run coming into the bullpen, and I was ready. I was very excited."

Texas outfielder Frank Catalanotto followed Sosa with another home run into the bullpen in right-center, giving the Rangers a 6-1 lead. It was the Rangers' third set of back-to-back homers this season and Catalanotto's 75th career home run.

"It was probably the last thing we all thought was going to happen, but to be able to do that, it was pretty exciting," Catalanotto said. "And I don't think it took away from what Sammy had done. To hit 600 homers is amazing."

Marquis left after the fifth, having allowed six runs - four earned - on five hits with four walks. Chicago committed three errors in the first three innings, contributing to the Rangers' 3-0 lead.

"He didn't pitch well at all," Piniella said of Marquis. "He needs to step it up. He's not throwing the ball like he was early in the year and it's showing in the performance. We were actually pretty sloppy there. We didn't play well. We didn't do a very good job."

Texas went ahead, 2-0, in the first inning after Marquis walked the first two batters and Michael Young followed with a single into left to load the bases. With Sosa up next, the stage was set for a dramatic entry into the 600 club, but the 37,564 in attendance, snapping pictures with every pitch of Sosa's at-bat, had to wait four more innings.

Sosa's grounder to third base went off Mark DeRosa's glove, scoring Kenny Lofton from third, and Ian Kinsler then scored on when Catalanotto grounded into a double play.

DeRosa left the game after the inning with a minor eye injury not related to his error.

"DeRosa lost sight in his left eye for about 10 or 12 minutes - completely," Piniella said. "But he got his vision back in about 15 minutes. We had to take him out precautionary. But he's OK now. He should be able to go tomorrow."

The Rangers added another run in the second when Lofton's grounder went through first baseman Derrek Lee's legs, enabling Brad Wilkerson to score from third. Ramon Vazquez's groundout in the fourth inning brought Wilkerson home to push the lead to 4-0.

Former Ranger Alfonso Soriano hit a solo home run off the left field foul pole against Texas starter Kameron Loe (3-6) in the top of the fifth.

In the seventh, Chicago got two runs back, as Loe walked Ryan Theriot with two outs, then surrendered a two-run home run to Koyie Hill. It was Hill's first home run of the season and second of his career. It also chased Loe, who gave up three runs on six hits and struck out four to win his second straight start after losing six consecutive decisions.

"Kameron threw the ball really well," Texas catcher Gerald Laird said. "He worked ahead and when he fell behind, he got himself back ahead with his off-speed stuff and got these guys swinging. When he works ahead, his ball moves so much, he's basically in control, and the last couple of outings, that's what he's been doing, getting ahead and putting guys away."

Catalanotto added an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Kinsler, to restore a four-run cushion for Texas.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 8 3
    TEXAS 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 x 7 9 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - JASON MARQUIS, SCOTT EYRE (6TH), MIKE WUERTZ (7TH), WILL OHMAN
    (8TH) AND KOYIE HILL
    TEX - KAMERON LOE, FRANK FRANCISCO (7TH), C.J. WILSON
    (8TH) AND GERALD LA

    Jun 20 11:28 PM
  • 10
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 11:27 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANK CATALANOTTO SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F CATALANOTTO ON FIRST, M YOUNG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    TEXAS 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J HAIRSTON JR (.239, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 11:01 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KOYIE HILL (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF KAMERON LOE SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, TEXAS 6
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.298, 2-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 10:39 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FRANK CATALANOTTO (5) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 5TH OFF JASON MARQUIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, TEXAS 6
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.361, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 10:11 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SAMMY SOSA (12) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF JASON MARQUIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, TEXAS 5
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.181, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 10:08 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (12) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF KAMERON LOE.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, TEXAS 4
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: F PIE (.241, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 10:00 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RAMON VAZQUEZ SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G LAIRD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    TEXAS 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: K LOFTON (.278, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 9:57 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY DERREK LEE ALLOWED BRAD WILKERSON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K LOFTON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.237, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 9:12 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    FRANK CATALANOTTO HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M YOUNG ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.370, 1 HR, 11 RBI)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 8:54 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MARK DEROSA ALLOWED KENNY LOFTON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SOSA ON FIRST, M YOUNG ON SECOND, I
    KINSLER ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.184, 4 HR, 16 RBI)

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 8:53 PM
  • 5
    roots
    whiteyk Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. RangersJun 20 2:21 PM