There's little doubt that Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood were responsible for drawing the second-largest crowd of the season to Tiger Stadium on Thursday night. Neither one of them disappointed the 30,688 fans.
Sosa broke the major league record for homers in a month and Wood pitched six strong innings without a decision. But it was Tony Clark's three-run homer in the seventh inning that made the difference when the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4.
Clark's homer, an estimated 450-foot blast to dead center field off Terry Mulholland, broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Tigers a two-game sweep of the Cubs, who have lost five straight and 12 of 16.
"To have this kind of feeling in our own ballpark with all these people was great," manager Buddy Bell said after the Tigers' third straight win. "This series came at a good time for us. With people in the stands it should give us some momentum, especially how we played the last couple of games."
Sosa hit his 32nd homer leading off the seventh inning. It was his 19th homer in June, breaking the major league mark of 18 set by Detroit's Rudy York in August 1937. Sosa had broken the NL record of 17 set by San Francisco's Willie Mays in August 1965 on Tuesday night.
Sosa has connected 12 times in his last 13 games, and 23 times with 45 RBIs in the last 26 games.
"I'm happy I'm in the book, but for me it don't mean nothing right now because we lost the game," Sosa said. "I'm still thinking about the game. It would've been much better if we'd have won."
Detroit's Damion Easley homered and Geronimo Berroa, making his Tigers debut, hit a two-run double off Wood.
Henry Rodriguez homered for the fourth straight game and Mickey Morandini also hit a home run for the Cubs.
Matt Anderson (1-0) got two outs in the seventh to win his big league debut. Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Terry Adams (6-5) pitched one-third of an inning, walking two and giving up two runs.
Wood got a no decision for the fourth time in his last seven starts. He went six innings and gave up three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and five walks. He had at least one strikeout in every inning and fanned Joe Oliver three times.
"He's got an outstanding arm and threw the ball outstanding," Clark said. "But (Brian Moehler) threw an outstanding game also and kept us in the ballgame."
Moehler went six-plus innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He remained 7-0 at home, but his Tiger Stadium ERA rose from 1.93 to 2.14.
With the score tied 3-all in the seventh, Adams walked Deivi Cruz and Easley. Mulholland came on and got Bobby Higginson to hit into a force play, but Clark followed with his 17th homer to the deepest part of Tiger Stadim.
"I was fortunate I got something up and over the plate and I got it to carry," Clark said. "I knew I got underneath it and got it up, but I didn't know if it would carry that far."
Morandini hit his second homer in as many nights off Doug Bochtler in the eighth, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
Rodriguez's 17th homer of the season and 100th of his career was a high drive that just missed clearing the right field roof in the second, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
Easley led off the fourth with his 19th home run, a blast into the left field upper deck.
Higginson legged out a one-out double and Luis Gonzalez drew a two-out walk in the sixth. Berroa, obtained Wednesday in a trade with Cleveland, lined an 0-2 pitch into the left-center gap that just eluded center fielder Brant Brown, scoring both runners.
Brown landed hard on his left shoulder and had to leave the game. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
"It's definitely a DL (disabled list) situation," Cubs manager Jim Riggleman said. "It may be a first-degree sprain. We don't know yet."
Sosa homered into the right field upper deck to lead off the seventh. Mark Grace doubled to finish Moehler, and Sean Runyan walked Rodriguez. Anderson came in and gave up a sacrifice to pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez that set up Jeff Blauser's game-tying sacrifice fly.
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