Sosa finishes spring training with 12 home runs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 1999

The Associated Press

Sammy Sosa won the spring training home run title, hitting his 12th on the final day as the Chicago Cubs lost to the Minnesota Twins 8-6 Sunday.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999

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Sammy Sosa won the spring training home run title, hitting his 12th on the final day as the Chicago Cubs lost to the Minnesota Twins 8-6 Sunday.

Sosa’s leadoff homer in the ninth at New Orleans gave him 12 in 32 exhibition games. Mark McGwire, who beat Sosa 70-66 for the home run title – and record – last year, finished with nine in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 29 games. Russ Davis of the Seattle hit nine in his team’s 32 games.

Minnesota came back when Denny Hocking and Darrell Nicholas opened the ninth with singles off Scott Watkins and Marty Cordova hit a two-out, opposite-field homer on a two-strike pitch.

Cordova went 3-for-5. Benito Santiago was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, including a solo homer, and Lance Johnson hit two doubles for the Cubs.

Blue Jays 4, SkyChiefs 2

At Dunedin, Fla., Shawn Green homered twice and drove in three runs, and Kelvim Escobar allowed one run and five hits in six innings against Toronto’s Triple-A Syracuse farm team.

Astros 4, Zephyrs 3

At Metairie, La., Carl Everett hit solo homers against Wade Miller and Richard Hidalgo hit a two-run homer off Bob Scanlan to carry Houston over Triple-A New Orleans. Astros starter Sean Bergman gave up two runs and four hits in six innings.

Charleston 9, Devil Rays 1

At Charleston, S.C., Bryan Rekar pitched five shutout innings as the Class A Charleston River Dogs beat their parent, Tampa Bay, which was making the first appearance by a major league team in Charleston in 40 years. Rekar, who made 15 starts for the Devil Rays last season, allowed five hits and struck out four. Charleston scored eight runs in the first two innings off Devil Rays starter Barrett Wright.

Dodgers 8, Yankees 4

At Los Angeles, Eric Karros hit a three-run homer in the first inning for the second time in three days as Los Angeles completed a two-game sweep of the defending World Series champions. The victory was the third straight and 13th in 17 games for the Dodgers, who went 21-9-1 and tied the team record for spring wins set in 1988, when the Dodgers most recently won the World Series. The Yankees finished the exhibition season with a 14-19 record including losses in eight of their final 10 games.

Diamondbacks 4, Indians 2

At Phoenix, Travis Lee doubled off the 376-foot sign in right field to drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.

Lee was 2-for-4 and scored twice. Damian Miller drove Lee across with a two-out single in the eighth. Lee also singled and scored in Arizona’s two-run first inning.

Both runs in the eighth came off reliever Steve Reed, who had given up just one earned run in 10 innings this spring.

Angels 2, Cal St.-Fullerton 1

At Anaheim, Calif., Kevin Costner realized one of his biggest dreams – playing in a big league baseball game. He also realized one of his biggest fears – making an error to lose the game.

Costner dropped a popup in the sixth inning, and it led to the go-ahead run as the Anaheim Angels beat his alma mater, Cal State Fullerton, 2-1 in their exhibition finale at Edison International Field.

Costner was hitless in three at-bats. But he made two tough plays at shortstop, and even pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out rookie Jeb Daugherty and retiring Angels manager Terry Collins on a ground ball in the eighth.