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Sosa moves past Schmidt on homer list

5/16/2004

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs sure like Petco
Park.

Sosa hit his 549th home run Saturday night to pass Mike Schmidt
and take sole possession of ninth place on the career list, leading
the Cubs to a 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres.

The two-run shot off Adam Eaton with two outs in the fifth
inning was estimated at 434 feet, the longest homer in 21 games at
Petco Park. The ball landed in the far end of the third-floor
balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building, which helps form
the left-field corner.

"It's good motivation, something that I'm so happy to be in
that position to pass Mr. Mike Schmidt," Sosa said. "But I was
happier because we won the game.

"We've got to keep playing great," added Sosa, who led the
Cubs to their third straight win. "I know I'm not going to stop
there. I've got to continue on and on. Right now everything is
going great my way."

Aramis Ramirez added a three-run shot in the fifth, the 100th of
his career. Moises Alou had a solo homer among his four hits, and
scored three times. He finished 4-for-5.

The Cubs hit two homers in Friday night's 6-1 win, including one
by Sosa.

Saturday's power barrage made a winner of Sergio Mitre (2-2),
who grew up in the San Diego area and played at a junior college
just up the street from Petco Park.

Sosa's 10th homer came on a 2-1 count, one pitch after rookie
shortstop Khalil Greene couldn't hold onto a foul ball down the
left-field line while trying to make a difficult over-the-shoulder
catch.

Sosa's homer gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead.

"They're pitching me tough," Sosa said. "They only made two
mistakes. I'm the type of person who never gives up."

Next up on the career list is Reggie Jackson with 563. Sosa hit
No. 548 on Friday night off Ismael Valdez in a 6-1 Cubs win.

"I had one strike and tried to go inside and I got the ball
down a little bit," Eaton said. "That's when he can do a lot of
damage -- a low-ball hitter. I think he guessed right."

Ramirez's shot, his ninth, also went to left field and gave the
Cubs a five-run lead. Alou homered to left on an 0-2 pitch with two
outs in the third, his ninth.

Mitre lasted six innings, allowing three runs and six hits,
striking out three and walking three. He gave up Ramon Hernandez's
solo homer in the sixth, his third, and Brian Giles' two-run single
in the third.

"It was very exciting to pitch in my hometown and in a new
stadium," Mitre said.

LaTroy Hawkins retired the final four batters for his third save
in four chances.

The Padres closed the gap on an RBI single by Ryan Klesko in the
seventh and an RBI double by Sean Burroughs in the eighth.

Eaton (1-4) allowed seven runs and nine hits in five innings,
struck out four and walked two.

"I'm extremely close," Eaton said. "I'm not worried about
what I'm doing out on the mound."

Said Bochy: "His stuff is really good. That's not the problem.
He's missing some spots. It's his command. They took advantage of a
few pitches."

Game notes
Padres LHP Sterling Hitchcock, on the DL since April 15
with a broken rib, threw a 60-pitch, four-inning simulated game and
said he felt fine. Hitchcock is scheduled to make two starts for
Triple-A Portland, two relief appearances and then rejoin the
Padres, as a reliever. He came out of spring training as the No. 5
starter, but got hurt before he made a start. ... Cubs 1B Derrek
Lee didn't start, but came in during a double-switch in the
seventh. Todd Hollandsworth started at 1B.