September 8, 1998, in a game against Sosa's Cubs and with members of the Maris family in attendance, McGwire hit Steve Trachsel's pitch 341 feet - his shortest home run of the season - just over the left field wall, breaking the record for the most home runs ever hit in a single season. The ball did not even make it to the stands, and the crew member who found it later gave the ball to McGwire.
Afterwards, however, McGwire went six consecutive games without a home run, allowing Sosa to tie him again at 62 after hitting four home runs in three games against the Milwaukee Brewers. The two battled back and forth for the lead, and entering the final series of the season on September 25, were tied at 65 home runs. Sosa hit a 462 foot home run off Houston Astros pitcher Jose Lima for his 66th home run of the season. McGwire, however, while the Cardinals hosted the Montreal Expos, hit five home runs against five different pitchers, setting the record at 70 with a 370 foot home run off Carl Pavano.