Length Disputed, But Blast In Orbit
The grand slam traveled 529 feet. Or 573 feet. Or 9 miles. Estimates varied.
Most witnesses, however, agreed they had never seen anything like Andres Galarraga’s home run Saturday.
It was the longest homer ever at Pro Player Stadium (Miami), the longest in Colorado Rockies history and the longest this season in the major leagues. It came against Kevin Brown, one of the best pitchers in baseball, and it powered Colorado to an 8-4 victory over the Florida Marlins.
“I feel like I’m dreaming, I’m so happy,” Galarraga said. “Never in my imagination did I think I could hit it that far.”
The distance of the homer was first announced as 573 feet, then changed to 529.
Four innings later, both benches cleared when Galarraga charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Dennis Cook. Galarraga was the only player ejected.
The Rockies said Cook hit Galarraga intentionally.
Mickey Mantle is generally credited with the longest home run ever, a 565-foot drive in 1953 off Washington’s Chuck Stobbs at Griffith Stadium. A Yankees official used a tape measure to determine the distance, leading to the term “tape-measure” home run.
In 1926, Babe Ruth hit a homer in Detroit an estimated 600 feet.
Cubs 7, Reds 4 Chicago
Shawon Dunston doubled twice, singled and drove in two runs as Chicago defeated Cincinnati.
Kevin Foster (7-3) matched his 1996 victory total by winning his fourth straight start. He allowed three runs and four hits, all of them doubles, and left after a leadoff walk in the eighth.
Cardinals 6, Dodgers 3 St. Louis
Hot-hitting John Mabry went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and St. Louis took advantage of some shaky Los Angeles fielding for the win.
Todd Stottlemyre (4-3) allowed three runs and six hits in 8-1/3 innings as the Cardinals won for the sixth time in seven games. He had a season-high 10 strikeouts and walked two before being replaced by Dennis Eckersley, who got the final two outs for his 11th save.
Expos 4, Pirates 2 Pittsburgh
Rondell White and Darrin Fletcher homered in succession in the first inning, then singled to start a two-run fourth to lead Montreal past Pittsburgh.
Dustin Hermanson (2-3) won for the first time since beating Chicago in his first major league start.
Mets 10, Phillies 3 New York
Carlos Baerga went 4 for 5 and drove in four runs as New York moved seven games over .500 for the first time since 1991 with a win over Philadelphia.
After completing April at 12-14, the Mets went 18-9 in May and reached the 30-win mark faster than the World Series champion New York Yankees.
Padres 12, Astros 5 Houston
Wally Joyner and John Flaherty each drove in three runs, sending San Diego past Houston.
The Padres, despite Tony Gwynn sitting out with a hamstring injury, scored four times in the first inning. They chased Shane Reynolds (4-5) in the second with four more runs for an 8-1 lead.
Giants 6, Braves 4 Atlanta
San Francisco overcame seven walks in one-plus innings by starter William VanLandingham and came through with another comeback victory, beating Atlanta.
The Giants’ bullpen allowed only one run and seven hits after VanLandingham’s disastrous start, and San Francisco broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh on Jeff Kent’s run-scoring infield single.
Clearing the bases
Quinton McCracken tied a Rockies record with his 13th consecutive stolen base. … St. Louis’ Todd Stottlemyre is 1-2 at Busch Stadium with an ERA of 7.40 and 3-1 on the road with a 2.43 ERA. … Saturday’s loss was Cincinnati’s 500th all-time defeat at Wrigley Field. The Reds are now 409-500 in Chicago.
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