Barry Bonds hit his career-high 50th homer, reaching the mark faster than any player ever, and pitcher Livan Hernandez also homered in going 4-for-4 Saturday as the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 9-4. Sammy Sosa hit his 41st home run for the Cubs. He homered three times Thursday at Wrigley Field. Bonds’ three-run homer capped a six-run second inning. That was enough for Hernandez (11-11), who won his fifth straight decision. Hernandez, who drove in three runs and scored three, was the first pitcher to get four hits in a game since Colorado’s John Thomson on June 1, 1997. Hernandez has 12 hits in his last 13 at-bats. Still ahead of Mark McGwire’s pace when he hit 70 in 1998, Bonds reached his 50th in the Giants’ 117th game. Sosa was previously the fastest to 50, doing it in 121 games in 1999. Bonds, who hit 49 homers last season, now has 544 for his career, four behind Mike Schmidt for eighth place. Cardinals 6, Mets 3 In New York, Mark McGwire moved past Harmon Killebrew into fifth place with his 574th career homer, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets. McGwire’s last 10 hits have all been homers, the longest such streak in at least the past 25 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. There is no research done before that. McGwire, who didn’t start the past three games because of a sore knee, hit a two-run shot off Glendon Rusch (6-7) in the fifth inning for his 20th homer of the season and first since Aug. 1. Phillies 7, Dodgers 3 In Philadelphia, Travis Lee hit a grand slam and Robert Person pitched seven solid innings as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scott Rolen had three hits, including a homer, and Johnny Estrada also homered for Philadelphia, which tied Atlanta for the NL East lead. The Dodgers dropped a half-game behind Arizona in the NL West. Diamondbacks 3, Braves 1 In Atlanta, The Arizona Diamondbacks finally won a game without Curt Schilling or Randy Johnson, beating the Atlanta Braves when an infield grounder scored two runs. Miguel Batista (7-7) went five innings, allowing five hits and an unearned run. Relievers Bobby Witt, Troy Brohawn, Bret Prinze and Byung-Hyun Kim combined for four perfect innings, with Kim earning his 10th save. Arizona won for the first time since July 25 in a game started by someone other than Schilling (17-5) or Johnson (15-5).
Brewers 6, Expos 0 In Montreal, Mac Suzuki pitched seven scoreless innings, and Luis Lopez hit a three-run double to ignite Milwaukee’s five-run fourth inning as the Brewers beat Montreal. Richie Sexson hit his 29th homer in the fifth as Milwaukee clinched its first series win since winning two-of-three in San Francisco from July 6-8. Reds 7, Rockies 3 In Cincinnati, Dmitri Young singled home the go-ahead run and Adam Dunn added a two-run double, rallying the Cincinnati past Colorado. Aaron Boone and Jason LaRue hit solo homers, and Ken Griffey Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games as the Reds beat the Rockies at home for the first time this season. Colorado swept a three-game series at Cinergy Field from June 15-17, and hasn’t won three in a row since. The Rockies have lost 21 of their last 26 road games. The Reds got only their 18th victory in 58 home games this season.
Padres 6, Pirates 2 In Pittsburgh, Tony Gwynn hit his first home run in more than a year as San Diego beat Pittsburgh. Gwynn, limited to pinch hitting because of a sore right knee, started for the first time since July 19. He connected off Joe Beimel (5-8) in a three-run sixth inning. Gwynn went 2-for-3 and has seven hits in his last 11 at-bats. Marlins 13, Astros 5 In Miami, Preston Wilson, Mike Lowell and Kevin Millar drove in three runs apiece as Florida routed Houston. The 13 runs were the most the Marlins have scored this season. They also finished with 18 hits. Ryan Dempster won his third consecutive start despite giving up three home runs in six shaky innings. Orioles squashes Cone’s 7-game winning streak Cal Ripken and the Baltimore Orioles ended David Cone’s seven-game winning streak Saturday, using a solid pitching performance by rookie Josh Towers to beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2. Ripken had three hits as the Orioles dealt the reeling Red Sox their fourth straight defeat and sixth consecutive loss on the road. Manny Ramirez hit his 36th home run for Boston. Cone (7-2) gave up five hits and four runs — two earned — in four innings. He walked four and threw 86 pitches in his shortest stint since May 28. Cone was 7-0 in 13 starts since his only loss, on May 23 against the New York Yankees. Boston had won each of his last 12 starts, and the right-hander was 6-0 following a Red Sox loss. Towers (7-7) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. Willis Roberts, the fourth Baltimore pitcher, worked the ninth for his second save.
Devil Rays 4, Twins 3 In St. Petersburg, Florida, Jared Sandberg hit his first major league homer and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Minnesota Twins. Sandberg, the nephew of former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, is the Devil Rays’ all-time minor league home run leader with 78. The Twins started the day tied with Cleveland for first place in the AL Central. Minnesota has lost 19 of its last 26 games. Brent Abernathy hit a two-run homer for Tampa Bay, which won back-to-back games for the first time since July 21-22. Royals 4, Tigers 1 In Kansas City, Missouri, Chris George got his first major league victory, holding Detroit to three hits over seven innings. Raul Ibanez and Dave McCarty, filling in for the injured Mike Sweeney, each hit two run homers. Sweeney hurt his knuckles and right wrist during a brawl Friday night with the Tigers and missed his first game since Aug. 3, 2000. The left-handed George (1-3), who lost his first three starts, retired his final 14 batters, struck out four and walked none. Rangers 6, Indians 5 In Arlington, Texas, Rafael Palmeiro hit a two-run double in the eighth inning off Cleveland reliever John Rocker as Texas rallied to extend the Indians’ losing streak to three games. Texas trailed 4-2 before loading the bases in the eighth off Rocker (3-5), who walked the first two batters he faced and then hit Alex Rodriguez with a full-count pitch. After Rocker balked to allow one run to score, Palmeiro doubled into the right-field corner. Mariners 4, White Sox 3 In Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki singled in two runs and Mark McLemore followed with an RBI single off closer Keith Foulke with two outs in the ninth inning, giving Seattle a win over Chicago. The win allowed the Mariners to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season. The White Sox rallied to beat Seattle 8-6 with five runs off closer Kazuhiro Sasaki in the ninth Friday night.