For McGwire, No Liftoff at Astrodome
Mark McGwire went one for four with a single Friday night, remaining at 62 home runs in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-2 loss to the Houston Astros before 52,186 at the Astrodome, the second-largest crowd in the stadium’s history.
McGwire, who has five homers against the Astros this year, is homerless in nine at-bats since hitting the record-breaking No. 62 off Chicago’s Steve Trachsel Tuesday in St. Louis. McGwire grounded out in the first and fourth innings, struck out in the sixth and singled to left in the eighth.
The Astros have won seven in a row and reduced their magic number for clinching the NL Central to two.
Before McGwire left Cincinnati Thursday, he got a couple of gifts from Red owner Marge Schott to give to his 10-year-old son Matt--a red rover beanie baby and a pack of Red player cards. Both were apparently leftovers from Red promotions earlier this season.
Schott also met McGwire before Thursday’s game. As McGwire got ready to hit in batting practice, Schott walked up to him, put her hand on his right forearm and spoke to him for a few moments. McGwire smiled, nodded graciously and repeatedly said, “Thank you.”
Then she asked McGwire to pet her dog, Schottzie 02, and rub his hand across his chest for good luck. McGwire complied, then went hitless in three.
McGwire, meanwhile, doesn’t want his home run record to change the life of his son.
Matt, a Cardinal bat boy when he visits his dad, got to St. Louis in time for homers No. 61 and No. 62. He started school Thursday in Southern California, and McGwire said some television shows came out to film him.
Said McGwire: “He’s a 10-year-old, allow him to be a child, allow him to go to school.”
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