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Glenallen Hill, Cubs Slam Giants


The San Francisco Giants probably wish Glenallen Hill was still on their team.
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  • Hill, pinch hitting for pitcher Kevin Tapani, hit a grand slam Thursday as the Chicago Cubs beat the Giants 7-3. It was the third homer of the year for Hill and the fifth grand slam of his career.

    "To me, the opponent has no face. I don't buy into this `old team' stuff," said Hill, who spent three seasons in San Francisco. "I was looking to make contact. I didn't want to strike out and I got a big hit."

    The Cubs came into the game trailing the New York Mets by a game in the NL wild-card race. San Francisco began the day 21/2 games behind.

    Tapani (15-7) gave up four hits and three runs -- including two homers -- in five innings. He also struck out five and walked three. The Cubs shelled Russ Ortiz (1-3) for seven hits and five runs over 4 2/3 innings. He also walked four and struck out five.

    Sammy Sosa was quiet a day after hitting his 48th home run, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

    "Sammy's carried us," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Today, we got big at-bats by a lot of people. We'll use Sammy tomorrow."

    Lanc Johnson and Jeff Blauser hit RBI singles in the fourth inning to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead, but San Francisco came back with a three-run fifth. Brent Mayne led off with a double, moving to third and scoring on fielder's choices. Bill Mueller and Barry Bonds then hit consecutive homers.

    It was Bonds' 25th homer of the year and 399th of his career. He needs one more to become the first player in major-league history to hit 400 home runs and steal 400 bases. Bonds refused to comment after the game.

    After Mark Grace struck out to start the Cubs' fifth, Henry Rodriguez and Jose Hernandez singled. The Giants got Hernandez on a fielder's choice that put Tyler Houston on base, and Ortiz loaded the bases when he hit Blauser with a pitch.

    Tapani, batting only .161, was pulled in favor of Hill, who is a career .323 pinch hitter. That prompted manager Dusty Baker to replace Ortiz with right-hander Julian Tavarez.

    "How

    Quickest to 50 home runs
    Player
    Club
    Year
    Team Games
    Mark McGwire
    St. Louis
    1998
    125
    Babe Ruth
    NY-A
    1921
    125
    Roger Maris
    NY-A
    1961
    125
    Jimmie Foxx
    Phi-A
    1932
    135
    Hank Greenberg
    Det
    1938
    135
    Mickey Mantle
    NY-A
    1961
    136
    Babe Ruth
    NY-A
    1927
    138
    Babe Ruth
    NY-A
    1928
    140
    Ralph Kiner
    Pit
    1949
    143
    Albert Belle
    Cle
    1995
    143
    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Sea
    1997
    143
    Cubs OF Sammy Sosa has 48 HRs through 127 games (through games of Thursday, August 20, 1998).
    many times can a guy get out of trouble? He was in trouble almost every inning," Baker said, explaining why he pulled Ortiz.

    But after working the count to 3-2, Tavarez threw a fastball that Hill put over the left-field fence.

    "It was two outs, a 3-2 count. What choice did I have?" Tavarez said. "I'm not going to walk him. I'm going to make him swing. It was a good at-bat for him."

    The crowd of 37,803 yelled with a fervor usually reserved for Sosa's homers. The ovation continued even after Hill returned to the dugout, and he waved to the crowd before isappearing down the steps.

    "It feels good when you don't start and you come off the bench and have an effect," Hill said. "(Pinch hitting) is all or nothing, so every time you come through, it's another notch in your belt."

    The Cubs got one more run in the eighth on an RBI single from Grace. Gary Gaetti, who signed with the Cubs on Wednesday, struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

    Notes

  • Hill's pinch-hit grand slam was the 22nd by a Chicago Cub. The lastcame on April 19, 1991, by Andre Dawson against Pittsburgh.
  • J.T. Snow got asecond chance at the plate in the fourth inning. The Cubs walked off the fieldand the Giants started coming out of their dugout after Tyler Houston appearedto throw Snow out at first, but home plate umpire Pat Connors ruled the ballhad hit Snow's bat twice. Tapani then walked Snow, loading the bases, but gotout of the inning on a fielder's choice.
  • The Cubs passed the two millionmark in home attendance Thursday.
  • Fans were treated to numerous loudfly-bys during the game by planes in town for the annual Air and Water Show on Chicago's lakefront.

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