McGwire Smacks No. 45, but Cardinals Lose
Darrin Jackson said he wasn’t discouraged when Mark McGwire hit his major league-leading 45th home run after Ray Lankford’s grand slam in the eighth.
The five-run inning, capped by McGwire’s second opposite-field home run of the year, gave the St. Louis Cardinals a two-run lead with three outs to go Tuesday night at St. Louis.
“We were only down by two runs and the way this game was going I didn’t think it was over yet,” Jackson said.
Jackson was right. He hit another grand slam in the ninth to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 13-10 victory.
Jackson said he didn’t know what the mood was on the bench after the Cardinals’ home runs, but Brewers Manager Phil Garner said the dugout was very quiet.
“We were down after those two home runs, but you wouldn’t believe how up we were after Darrin’s hit,” Garner said.
McGwire, who entered the game with only one hit--a home run Sunday--in his last 20 at-bats, added to his team-record home run total with his 100th run batted in. He also had a single, a walk and a sacrifice fly in five trips to the plate.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” McGwire said when asked about his home run.
McGwire said the Cardinals were not playing like a contender.
“If you want to be a playoff contending team you have to win those games,” he said.
His 408-foot solo shot in the eighth inning off left-hander Mike Myers followed Lankford’s 17th homer, putting the Cardinals ahead, 10-8.
Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa wasn’t surprised by McGwire’s opposite-field blast.
“He can hit it anywhere in this ballpark against any type of pitching,” La Russa said.
La Russa was upset with his bullpen for giving up 10 runs in the last five innings.
“It was as bad as we’ve pitched,” he said. “This was below major league standards.”
McGwire’s 25th homer in St. Louis tied the team record set by Johnny Mize in 1940. On Sunday, McGwire broke Mize’s team record for homers.
The Brewers scored five runs in the ninth off Rick Croushore (0-2).
Arizona 7, Chicago 5--Sammy Sosa hit his second grand slam in as many nights, and career-high 41st home run, but it wasn’t enough as the Diamondbacks held off the Cubs at Phoenix.
Sosa, who has four home runs in three games, had the longest streak of homers without a grand slam from the start of his career (246) before he hit one in the Cubs’ 6-2 victory Monday night.
Three at-bats later, he hit another, clearing the left-field wall with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to put the Cubs ahead, 5-3. He became the 16th major leaguer to hit a grand slam in consecutive games and second this year.
Sosa, who went two for five, has three homers and 10 RBIs in two games in Bank One Ballpark, giving him a National League-leading 106 RBIs. He trails McGwire by four home runs.
San Francisco 7, Montreal 1--Kirk Rueter pitched a two-hitter and singled in the go-ahead run, and Bill Mueller added a two-run double in the seventh inning to give the Giants the victory at Montreal.
Rueter (11-6) gave up only a one-out infield single to Terry Jones in the first inning and Orlando Cabrera’s leadoff single to center in the ninth. He struck out three and walked two. While pitching for Montreal, Rueter pitched his only career one-hitter against the Giants on Aug. 27, 1995.
Rueter, who lost his three previous starts since the All-Star break, slapped a single to center off Javier Vazquez (3-9) to score Brent Mayne and collect his first RBI of the season in the seventh.
Cincinnati 13, Atlanta 1--The Braves set up four runs for the Reds with a sloppy second inning, and Mark Wohlers had another out-of-control relief appearance that let the Reds pull away at Cincinnati.
Red right-hander Pete Harnisch, making his second start since signing a contract extension, left the game after three innings because of a strained right triceps. There was no estimate on how long he’ll be sidelined.
The Braves made three mistakes in a four-run second inning that put the Reds in control, and Wohlers threw only 10 strikes in 31 pitches, retired three batters, gave up one hit and walked five.
Houston 7, Florida 3--Sean Bergman pitched eight strong innings and hit a two-run double to lead the Astros at Houston.
Craig Biggio and Carl Everett each had two hits and an RBI as Houston improved to 4-0 against Florida.
Bergman (10-5), who gave up two runs and seven hits, was replaced by Trever Miller after giving up Todd Zeile’s two-run homer with no outs in the ninth.
Colorado 12, Pittsburgh 6--Larry Walker homered twice and had an infield single to take over the NL batting lead as the Rockies won at Denver.
It was Walker’s 18th career multi-homer game and his sixth against the Pirates, who have lost four of five. Walker has at least two hits in eight of Colorado’s last 10 games to raise his average to .340.
In a game featuring the NL’s top three hitters, Pittsburgh’s Jason Kendall went one for four to drop to .339, and Colorado’s Dante Bichette went two for five to remain at .336.