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Sosa gets three homers, nine RBIs

©Associated Press

August 11, 2002

DENVER -- Sammy Sosa hit three three-run homers to tie a franchise record with nine RBIs then left in the sixth inning as Chicago routed Colorado 15-1 on Saturday.

DENVER -- Sammy Sosa hit three three-run homers to tie a franchise record with nine RBIs then left in the sixth inning as Chicago routed Colorado 15-1 on Saturday.

Sosa connected in successive at-bats in the third, fourth and fifth innings at Coors Field. He took over the major-league lead with 38 homers and matched Johnny Mize's record of six career three-homer games.

The nine RBIs were a career high for Sosa and tied the club mark set by Heinie Zimmerman in 1911. Sosa also became the fifth player with home runs in three consecutive innings.

But Sosa came out, with no apparent injury, before getting a chance to match the major-league record of four homers in a game, accomplished by Seattle's Mike Cameron and Los Angeles' Shawn Green already this season.

Twice last season, Sosa left games early after hitting his third home run.

The Cubs, shut out by Colorado 2-0 on Friday, got 20 hits, including six homers.

Moises Alou had four hits and two homers, and Fred McGriff homered immediately after Sosa's first homer. The 15 runs and 20 hits were season highs.

The beneficiary of all of the offense was rookie Mark Prior. He went six innings, allowing five hits and one run with eight strikeouts.

Sosa's first two drives, off Shawn Chacon, were estimated at 490 and 468 feet.

The 490-footer to right-center was the third-longest in Coors Field history, trailing only a 496-foot shot by Mike Piazza and a 493-footer by Larry Walker, both in 1997.

With runners on first and second in the third inning, Sosa connected on a 3-and-2 pitch.

With runners at first and second in the fourth, he homered to center to give the Cubs an 8-0 lead.

Again with runners on first and second in the fifth, Sosa homered off Mark Corey.

That blow, at 411 feet, barely cleared the leftfield wall and gave the Cubs a 14-1 lead.

Bonds sets walks record

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds set the major-league record for intentional walks in a season and Benito Santiago hit a grand slam for the Giants, who beat the Pirates 8-3.

A day after hitting his 600th homer, Bonds drew three intentional walks in four innings as the Pirates attempted to protect a 3-0 lead.

Bonds has 46 intentional walks this season, breaking Willie McCovey's 1969 record. His three intentional walks also tied the record for a nine-inning game.

Santiago followed Bonds' third walk in the seventh with his eighth career slam against reliever Mike Lincoln (0-3).

"I didn't like that, man," Santiago said. "I didn't like that whole thing. Hitting behind this man is a lot of pressure. I just tried to hit a fly ball that time, and the ball got up. It went a little farther than I thought. It felt good."

Winner Manny Aybar (1-0) pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings.

Jeff Kent drove in three runs for the Giants, who won for the fifth time in seven games and kept pace in the wild-card race.

DIAMONDBACKS 9, MARLINS 2: Randy Johnson struck out 14, passing Tom Seaver for fifth on the career list for host Arizona.

Johnson (17-4), who pitched complete games in his past two starts, went eight innings. He gave up five hits and walked two in his fourth consecutive victory.

Johnson finished with a major-league-leading 240 strikeouts this season, 10 more than teammate Curt Schilling, who is scheduled to pitch today.

He moved past Schilling by striking out five in the first two innings. His third of the game, against Preston Wilson for the first out of the second, was No. 3,641 and moved him ahead of Seaver.

Johnson ended the day with 3,652 strikeouts.

ASTROS 8, BRAVES 5: Rookie Kirk Saarloos won his fifth consecutive start and slumping Lance Berkman returned to the lineup and drove in two runs for host Houston.

The largest crowd of the season in Houston -- 43,332 -- saw the Astros send the East leaders to only their third loss in 12 games.

Saarloos (5-2) went 52/3 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits. He is 5-0 with a 2.90 ERA in five starts since being recalled from Triple A on July 20.

Berkman was in a 10-for-44 slump when manager Jimy Williams gave him a day off Friday, one of only three games the Astros outfielder hasn't started this season.

Berkman responded with a run-scoring triple in the third and a run-scoring double in the fourth. He also scored twice.

CARDINALS 5, METS 4: Albert Pujols hit a grand slam and host St. Louis earned its second win in 10 games. Pujols connected in the first for his second slam of the season.

After the Mets came back to tie it, the Cards scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jim Edmonds.

Eli Marrero led off with a double against Steve Reed (2-5), moved to third on Edgar Renteria's sacrifice bunt and scored on Edmonds' fly.

REDS 9, PADRES 0: Every starter except Russell Branyan had a hit for host Cincinnati. Jason LaRue led the way with a double, run-scoring single, sacrifice fly and homer.

Ryan Dempster escaped two bases-loaded threats during a make-or-break start, giving up four hits and four walks in six innings. He pitched so poorly in his first five starts since coming from Florida (1-3, 11.74 ERA) he was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation.

BREWERS 5, EXPOS 2: Jose Cabrera pitched six solid innings for host Milwaukee. Cabrera entered with a 6.14 ERA as a starter but gave up only homers to Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Vidro.

Eric Young singled four times and scored twice as the Brewers ended a five-game losing streak against the Expos.

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