Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa was angry Monday about a published report questioning whether countryman Jose Lima grooved a pitch to him during the Houston Astros' lopsided victory the previous day.
Sosa, who entered Monday's game with 51 homers, two behind Mark McGwire in the chase of Roger Maris' record of 61, hit two solo homers Sunday off Lima, his friend from the Dominican Republic.
Sosa's first homer came on a 3-2 changeup in the fifth and cut Houston's lead to 4-2. He connected again in the eighth on a high 1-0 fastball when the Astros were ahead 13-2. Both homers came with the wind blowing out.
"I'm kind of mad, myself," Sosa said of a report in Monday's Chicago Tribune suggesting the last home run could raise questions about whether Lima grooved the pitch.
"This is not a gift, it's about going out there and playing," Sosa said. "I've been hitting home runs all year long. It's disappointing to read that. This is not about friendship. Nobody gives you nothing. This is baseball, it's not about friendship or relationships."
Lima admitted he enjoyed watching Sosa's first homer, but pointed out the changeup was a pitch Sosa often struck out on in the past.
Of the second homer Lima said: "Leading 13-2, I'm not going to throw a slider or a changeup to him. If I walk him with four sliders or four changeups, they're going to boo me.
"That wuldn't bother me, but I would feel bad myself. I would feel like a chicken," he added.
"I hit a tough pitch high in my face," Sosa said.
Sosa reiterated McGwire is still the favorite to pass Maris or will at least be the first to get there.
"If I'm the second one, it's a beautiful country," Sosa said.
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