PITTSBURGH, April 20 (UPI) -- Salomon Torres knocked Sammy Sosa out of the game with a fastball to the helmet in the fourth and allowed just one hit over five innings Sunday as the Pittsburgh Pirates salvaged the finale of a three-game series with an 8-2 victory.
The Chicago the loss was secondary to the condition of Sosa, who earlier hit his 504th career home run to tie Eddie Murray for 17th place on the all-time list.
Sosa's two-run blast in the first inning came off Pirates starter Josh Fogg, who left the game after the first due to a left oblique strain.
Torres (2-0) took over from there and silenced the Cubs' bats over the next five innings. But he stunned his fellow Dominican with a pitch that went behind the slugger's helmet ear hole in the fourth inning as Sosa tried to spin out of the way.
"I've never gotten hit like that before. The helmet saved me," Sosa said. "I was surprised more than hurt when the ball hit the helmet. You don't expect a pitcher to come in up there."
Sosa dropped to his knees and stared at Torres but did not get up and charge the mound. Trainers quickly attended to Sosa, who appeared dazed as Cubs trainer Dave Tumbas asked him a series of questions.
Neurological tests taken at Allegheny General Hospital were negative and Sosa was cleared by doctors and expects to play in Tuesday's game against San Francisco.
"I was dazed for a while and I'm just going to take a day off tomorrow," Sosa said. "The doctor said I'll be OK."
Before the game, Sosa and Torres exchanged greetings near the Pirates' bullpen.
"I think everyone knew that it wasn't on purpose, just a ball that got away," Torres said. "I've been studying Sammy and I know he likes to extend his arms. I was just trying to throw inside, I'm sure he knew that too. I'm glad that I received news that he's OK, nothing serious."
Cubs Manager Dusty Baker used to manage Torres in San Francisco and also believed the beaning of Sosa was not intentional, although he harkened back to an incident in which Torres hit Charlie Hayes with a pitch and broke his jaw in three places in 1995.
"I don't think Solomon was trying to hit him (Sosa), but if you want to throw inside, you'll have to do a little better," Baker said. "It's the second time I've seen that (from him). The first time Tores was pitching for me, one of those same pitches hit Charlie Hayes and he missed the rest of the season at Colorado.
"If you can't pitch inside, you shouldn't be throwing the ball up and in like that."
Cubs reliever Juan Cruz decided to retaliate, throwing a pitch inside to Torres before hitting the pitcher on the leg in the sixth inning. Both benches were warned and no incidents ensued. Torres did not return to pitch the seventh.
Joe Beimel, Brian Boehringer and Scott Sauerbeck each threw a scoreless inning for the Pirates.
Sosa's two-run homer in the first was all the Cubs would get and was the only inning for Fogg, who injured an abdominal muscle in his previous start.
"Once he got on the mound, you could tell he didn't have anything," Pirates Manager Lloyd McClendon said of Fogg.
But the Pirates had Torres on call.
"They told me a couple of days ago they might need me for this game," Torres said. "We knew Fogg was hurting and I went over their batter closely on Saturday night just in case I had to pitch."
The Pirates had three runs or fewer in 12 of their previous 13 games, but scored five in the second inning alone against Cubs starter Shawn Estes (1-2). Pokey Reese and Kenny Lofton, who went three for five, each had two-run singles in the inning.