Sosa’s Bomb Fuels Padre Meltdown

From Associated Press

Sammy Sosa hit his National League-leading 24th homer, a 447-foot, two-run shot off the second-deck facade of Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego and Leo Gomez also homered Thursday as the Chicago Cubs won, 3-2, to hand the San Diego Padres their 16th loss in 18 games.

Sosa nearly became the 13th player to homer into the second deck. His homer in the sixth inning was hit so high to left-center that neither left fielder Rickey Henderson nor center fielder Steve Finley moved. Brant Brown was aboard on a single, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead.

“That was a bomb,” said winning pitcher Jaime Navarro. “I haven’t seen one like that in a long time. That was a monster shot.”

Gomez hit his 12th homer leading off the fifth inning to start the Cubs’ scoring. Both homers were off Tim Worrell (5-2), who in his previous start beat Navarro (5-7) and the Cubs, 2-1, in Chicago on Saturday to end an eight-game losing streak.


San Diego’s latest losing streak--now five games--has dropped the Padres into last place in the NL West.

Navarro pitched well on Thursday. His only mistake was a pinch-hit, two-run homer by Marc Newfield that made it 3-2 in the eighth. Chris Gomez had reached on shortstop Jose Hernandez’s fielding error before Newfield hit his fourth homer.

Navarro gave up two runs, one earned, and four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none. He yielded only three hits in eight innings in Saturday’s loss, one of them being a two-run homer to Steve Finley.

Bob Patterson got one out in the eighth, and left after giving up a leadoff single in the ninth. Turk Wendell came on and got three outs for his seventh save.

Montreal 8, St. Louis 3--Henry Rodriguez hit his 23rd home run and Moises Alou and Darrin Fletcher also homered as the Expos ended the Cardinals’ five-game winning streak in Montreal.

Alou hit a three-run shot off Todd Stottlemyre (6-5) in the Expos’ four-run first inning that keyed Montreal’s seventh victory in nine games.

Fletcher hit a solo home run in the fourth, his sixth of the season but first since May 11, to give the Expos a 5-1 lead, and Rodriguez hit a two-run shot in the fifth for a 7-1 lead, leaving him one behind Chicago’s Sosa for the league lead.

Kirk Rueter (4-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings to win his second consecutive start.


Cincinnati 5, New York 3--Dave Burba ended his nine-game losing streak, scattering six hits over as many innings at New York as the Reds won their third consecutive game.

Bret Boone and Willie Greene hit solo home runs as Burba (1-8) won for the first time since Sept. 22, 1995, at Philadelphia. Burba gave up all three Mets runs while striking out four and walking three.

Cincinnati’s Jeff Shaw pitched two innings of hitless relief for his second save of the season.

Reggie Sanders went four for four, all singles, for the sixth four-hit game of his career.