Sammy Sosa is in another home run race with Mark McGwire.

Sosa hit a pair of homers to raise his major league-leading total to 40 and Gary Gaetti hit his 11th career grand slam as the Cubs beat the New York Mets 17-10 yesterday in Chicago.

Sosa had reclaimed the major league lead with his 38th on Friday, but McGwire answered later that night with his 38th in the St. Louis Cardinals' game against Colorado.

"He'll probably hit two tonight," Sosa said of McGwire. McGwire hit a two-run homer, his 39th, in the third inning of the Cardinals' game against the Rockies last night.

Last year, McGwire led the majors in homers most of the season, and he and Sosa captured the nation's attention with their long-ball heroics.

"That's what the fans are looking for," Sosa said. "I feel great that we're doing it again. I hope he continues to get hot and I continue to do my job."

Sosa hit a 3-2 pitch from starter Octavio Dotel over the right field bleachers onto Sheffield Avenue in the second inning to open a 9-3 lead.

He led off the eighth with his second homer, hitting a 3-2 pitch from Dennis Cook onto Waveland Avenue over the left field bleachers.

CARDINALS 6, ROCKIES 5: In St. Louis, Mark McGwire hit his 496th career home run and J.D. Drew broke a sixth-inning tie with a solo shot. The teams combined for five homers in the third inning, tying a major league record that's been accomplished 19 times.

Todd Helton, Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla homered in a four-batter span in the top of the third to put Colorado ahead 4-0. The Cardinals answered with back-to-back homers by McGwire and Fernando Tatis to cut the gap to 4-3.

DIAMONDBACKS 4, DODGERS 2: Randy Johnson pitched a six-hitter for his major league-leading ninth complete game as visiting Arizona won its fifth straight.

Johnson (11-8) struck out 12 and walked one to win for only the second time in his last eight decisions. Johnson had given up seven earned runs in his last six losses, but Arizona only scored five runs in those games. The Diamondbacks won for the 10th time in their last 11 games.

GIANTS 11, REDS 1: While Barry Bonds supplied the offense with two homers, Shawn Estes (7-6) shut down Cincinnati for a second consecutive start. He held the Reds to one run on three hits in eight innings last Sunday on a 66-degree afternoon in San Francisco and was just as tough on a 99-degree evening in Cincinnati.

ASTROS 8, PADRES 5: Jeff Bagwell hit two home runs and rookie Lance Berkman hit his first two major league homers, extending host San Diego's losing streak to nine games. The Astros are 8-0 against the Padres this season.

BRAVES 8, PHILLIES 6: Brian Jordan hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs as host Atlanta reclaimed first place in the NL East.

PIRATES 4, MARLINS 2: Dale Sveum, his career seemingly over when the Yankees demoted him to bullpen coach last season, hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning for host Pittsburgh.

EXPOS 4, BREWERS 2: Vladimir Guerrero's ninth-inning double scored Michael Barrett to lift visiting Montreal.