Sosa was watching in right field when McGwire hit a 3-0 pitch from Andrew Lorraine into the shrubbery over the center field wall, a drive estimated at 424 feet that gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 1-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs. It was his first homer on that count in at least two seasons.
Besides putting some distance between Sosa in his bid to win consecutive home run titles, McGwire hit the 521st of his career to tie Willie McCovey and Ted Williams.
McGwire has hit 244 home runs the last four seasons, an average of 61 per season. Sixty-one was the record held by Roger Maris for 37 seasons before McGwire hit 70 and Sosa 66 last year.
In the 1990s McGwire has hit 404 home runs, 22 more than Ken Griffey Jr.
McGwire entered the game 0-for-1 with a walk against Lorraine.
Neither McGwire nor Sosa came close to a home run on Friday night, the first game of the season-ending three-game series between the Cardinals and Cubs.
McGwire's last three homers have been to straightaway center.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed