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Sosa Hits Homer No. 599

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- Sammy Sosa hit his 599th career homer Friday night, a grand slam that left him one shy of an elusive mark that seemed all but out of reach a year ago.

The 38-year-old slugger hit his ninth career grand slam off Cincinnati's Matt Belisle in the fifth inning, making his trademark hop when the ball headed for the stands. The Texas Rangers outfielder ended a drought of 70 at-bats since his last homer, on
May 22.

With his next one, Sosa will become only the fifth player in major league history to reach 600. Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays are the only other players ahead of him.

Sosa's latest came against the team that has given up more of his homers than any other, in a ballpark where he had one of his greatest moments and one of his most uncomfortable.

He hit his 500th homer at Great American Ball Park four games after it opened in 2003, giving the field its first historic hit. After his suspension for using a corked bat later that season, Sosa returned at Great American and homered after getting loudly and repeatedly booed by fans who once adored him.

He was booed again Friday in his first appearance at the ballpark in nearly three years. He had a run-scoring single in the first inning off Belisle, then struck out and hit his first grand slam since Sept. 15, 2004.

The homer was his 53rd against Cincinnati, his highest total against any team.
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