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The North Dakota Senate unanimously approved a resolution asking baseball commissioner Bud Selig to reinstate Roger Maris' 61 home runs in 1961 as the major league record.

Maris' mark has been surpassed six times since 1998, but baseball's steroids scandal has called the recent records into question.

"In North Dakota when we think something has been wrong, we try to make it right," said Sen. Joel Heitkamp, a Democrat who sponsored the resolution. "And when it comes to Roger Maris, and when it comes to steroids, and when it comes to how people have taken this record away . . . that's not right."

Maris grew up in Fargo, where he was a high school star in baseball and football.

State senators approved the measure, 45-0. It now moves to the the North Dakota House for additional review.

Mark McGwire broke Maris' record by hitting 70 home runs in 1998, when Sammy Sosa hit 66. In 2001, Barry Bonds broke McGwire's record with 73.


New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera allowed two runs, both on homers, over 1 2/3 innings in a minor league game in Tampa. Rivera gave up a leadoff homer on the first pitch to injured Philadelphia outfielder Marlon Byrd in the first inning of a Triple-A game between Columbus and Scranton. Rivera allowed five hits and struck out three during the 40-pitch outing. Byrd, who was sent down to the Red Barons Thursday, dislocated his right ring finger on March 20.

Dave Roberts, the San Diego Padres' center fielder and leadoff hitter, probably will start the season on the 15-day disabled list because of a lingering groin injury.

The Atlanta Braves traded backup second baseman Nick Green to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for reliever Jorge Sosa. Sosa, 26, a right-hander, was 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA with Tampa Bay this spring and is expected to assume a setup role. Green, 26, hit .273 with three home runs and 26 RBIs for Atlanta last season.

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