Sammy Sosa found his power stroke on Sunday, and earned himself a new place in baseball history.
Sosa hit a solo homer in the first inning of the Cubs’ 10-inning, 11-10 loss Sunday, breaking Ernie Banks’ team record of 512 home runs.
“I would have enjoyed it much better if we had won this game,” Sosa said. “It’s something that made me very happy and very proud of myself, coming from nowhere to play baseball in America. And now I’m in the record book.”
Sosa added another shot in the third inning, doubling his season home run total and giving him his 64th multihomer game.
Sosa will be looking to give Clement some run support on Monday.
Clement threw six scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 8-3 win over Pittsburgh, allowing only two first-inning singles. He rebounded nicely from his first start of the season, when he gave up four earned runs and six hits in four innings of a 5-3 loss at Cincinnati on April 8.
“He made the pitches when we needed them,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “His concentration was good, his focus was good. That’s the Matt Clement we know.”
The right-hander had a rough spring, giving up 27 hits and 12 walks over 18 1-3 innings.
“I felt real comfortable going out there,” said Clement, who went 14-12 last season. “You’ve just got to keep faith. You can’t dwell on things that happened, especially stuff that happened in spring training that doesn’t mean anything.”
The Cubs’ loss Sunday was their second straight following a three-game winning streak.