Lance Berkman might be more than just a long shot in this year's home run race.
For more than a month, the Houston Astros outfielder has kept pace with Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and the rest of baseball's elite sluggers.
Berkman homered twice Sunday to tie Sosa for the major league lead with 13, sending the Astros to a 12-1 rout of the New York Mets.
``Check with me in September and we'll see who's still up there,'' Berkman said. ``I'm not anything like Bonds or Sosa.''
Except in the batter's box.
The 26-year-old switch-hitter ripped a solo homer and a three-run shot for his second multihomer game this season and the ninth of his career.
Berkman, who hit .331 with 34 homers in an All-Star season last year, also drove in a run with a double and leads the majors with 35 RBIs. He went 3-for-5 Sunday to raise his average above .300 for the first time this season at .301.
``Sometimes the swing is there. Sometimes it's not,'' Berkman said. ``It's kind of frustrating. It's just been peaks and valleys this year. I just want to be consistent, and that hasn't been the case. I'm tinkering with my stance and swing all the time. I went up there with five different approaches and I only felt comfortable twice.''