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Sosa: one run, 3 strikeouts and a loss

The Associated Press

Blown away early by a 100 mph fastball, Sammy Sosa eventually caught up with Randy Johnson.

Tuesday, August 17, 1999

Blown away early by a 100 mph fastball, Sammy Sosa eventually caught up with Randy Johnson.

Sosa hit a 456-foot shot for his 47th home run, tying him with Mark McGwire for the major league lead Monday night in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 10-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, on his way to 66 homers, Sosa also hit No. 47 on Aug. 16. But he’s ahead of that pace – he’s reached the mark in 117 Cubs games this year, compared to 124 games last year.

”I don’t feel pressure. I have to say I know what to do,” Sosa said. ”I don’t go up there every day expecting to have a great game. I hit a home run, but I also struck out three times. That’s just part of the game.”

Sosa struck out in five straight at-bats against Johnson before connecting in the sixth inning at Bank One Ballpark. Sosa fanned in his final at-bat against the Big Unit, too.

”You’ve got to strike him out 10 or 15 times to equal a distance on a home run like that,” Johnson said. ”But I think we have a mutual respect for one another, just like me and McGwire. He knows what I’m capable of doing and I know what he’s capable of doing, and we’ve gotten to see both sides of that.”

Johnson fanned 11 in eight innings, and reached double-digits in strikeouts for the sixth straight start.

Johnson leads the majors with 284 strikeouts, 99 behind Nolan Ryan’s single-season record. If he stays on his regular schedule, he’ll get nine more starts.

Along with lowering his NL-leading ERA to 2.58, Johnson (12-8) hit a two-run double over Sosa’s head in center field.

Matt Williams hit a pair of two-run homers and Steve Finley also homered for the West-leading Diamondbacks.

Mets 4, Padres 3

Edgardo Alfonzo homered in the 10th inning and New York limited San Diego to two hits.

Rookie Octavio Dotel, trying to pitch the first no-hitter in Mets’ history, held the Padres hitless until Phil Nevin’s three-run homer in the seventh.

Mike Piazza homered for the fourth straight game and Rickey Henderson also connected. The Mets won their sixth in a row against San Diego.

Astros 2, Brewers 0

Jose Lima improved to 8-0 lifetime against Milwaukee as Houston won at the Astrodome.

Lima and Billy Wagner combined on a two-hitter as the Brewers were shut out for the second straight day.

Astros third baseman Ken Caminiti came off the 60-day disabled list and went 0-for-3. But outfielder Derek Bell strained his left groin muscle and was expected to go on the DL.

Cardinals 4, Phillies 3

Craig Paquette got the big hit at Busch Stadium for the second day in row, connecting for a three-run homer in the sixth inning that sent St. Louis over Philadelphia.

A day earlier, Paquette got a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cubs 6-5. In 13 games since being acquired from the Mets on July 31, he has four home runs and 12 RBIs.

McGwire went 0-for-3 with a walk. Still, he stayed on pace with his record 70-homer season.

Braves 14, Rockies 6

Eddie Perez hit a pair of two-run homers and Jose Hernandez had five RBIs as Atlanta romped at Coors Field.

Hernandez, Brian Hunter and Gerald Williams also homered for the Braves. Greg Maddux (15-6) won his fifth straight decision.

Bobby Jones (6-10) gave up five runs in the first inning. After the game, Colorado sent him down to the minors.

Giants 7, Expos 4

Barry Bonds hit his 18th home run and a double, leading rookie Joe Nathan and San Francisco over visiting Montreal.

Nathan (3-2), recalled from the minors earlier in the day, gave up three hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Tony Armas Jr. (0-1) lost in his major league debut. Acquired as part of the trade that sent Pedro Martinez to Boston, he allowed one earned run in six innings.

Marlins 7, Dodgers 5

Preston Wilson, who leads major league rookies with 20 home runs, hit a grand slam as Florida won at Dodger Stadium.

Down 3-2, Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning. But Trenidad Hubbard was called for interference on Eric Young’s grounder, resulting in a double play, and Dodgers manager Davey Johnson was ejected for arguing second-base umpire Mike Winters’ ruling.