Monday, September 30, 2002

Yankees grab home field

Sosa stopped at 499

The Associated Press

        The New York Yankees clinched home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-1, while Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa finished one home run short of 500 for his career on the final day of Major League Baseball's regular season.

        The Yankees, who finished with baseball's best record at 103-58, will host AL wild-card winner Anaheim in the opener of the best-of-five Division Series on Tuesday.

        Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano failed in his bid to become the fourth player in baseball history to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season, going hitless in five at-bats. Soriano, who finished with 39 home runs and 41 steals, didn't homer in his final 11 games.

        Playoff matchups:

        Oakland will host Minnesota in the opener of the other AL Division Series on Tuesday.

        In the National League, Atlanta will host wild-card winner San Francisco on Wednesday, while defending champion Arizona hosts St. Louis in their opener on Tuesday.

        At Wrigley Field in Chicago, Sosa homered in today's 7-3 win over Pittsburgh, but fell one shy of recording 500 for his career and 50 for the fifth straight season.

        Sosa was trying to become the first player to hit 50 homers in five straight seasons and 18th to get 500 in a career. He won the NL homer title for the second time.


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- Yankees grab home field
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