Willie McGee hit two home runs, and pinch-hitter Curt Ford added a three-run double as the Cardinals beat Steve Carlton and the San Francisco Giants, 8-3, Monday night at St. Louis.
The loss knocked the Giants out of a first-place tie with the Houston Astros in the National League West.
Carlton, who hit a three-run homer in the second inning, fell to 4-10 overall, including 0-2 in three starts for the Giants. He gave up three earned runs on five hits in six innings.
McGee connected for a solo homer in the first inning, hitting a 3-and-1 pitch into the upper deck in left field. He added a two-run shot in the fourth. It was the first time McGee had homered twice in a game since Game 3 of the 1982 World Series against Milwaukee, and marked the first two-homer game by a Cardinal since David Green on July 27, 1984.
McGee's first-inning homer was the first hit into the upper deck at Busch Stadium since Cincinnati's Nick Esasky did it on Aug. 14, 1984. The run marked the seventh consecutive game the Cardinals have scored in the first inning.
"Willie really smoked that one," St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog said. "We have four homers in our last five games and no stolen bases. It's been a crazy year, ain't it?"
Said McGee, who has three homers in his last four at-bats: "I can't explain it. It's baseball. I'm just trying to do my job and do what they want.
"Usually, he owns me, but today was just my day. Steve Carlton was a great pitcher, is a great pitcher and will be a Hall of Famer."
Rookie left-hander Greg Mathews (5-2) got the victory but left after being hit below the right elbow by reliever Jeff Robinson in the seventh. Mathews allowed just four hits.
Houston 8, Montreal 7--Jose Cruz singled home Denny Walling with the winning run in the ninth inning at Houston.
Cruz went 4 for 5, including a homer and double, and drove in three runs. Glenn Davis also drove in three runs as Houston won its fourth straight game.
Billy Hatcher opened the Astros' ninth with a single off Jeff Reardon (6-5) and stole second. Walling walked, and Davis singled to left to score Hatcher and send Walling to second. Pinch-hitter Jim Pankovits beat out a bunt to load the bases, and Cruz then singled down the right-field line for his fourth hit of the game to score Walling.
Charles Kerfeld worked the final two innings to improve his record to 7-1.
New York 4, Cincinnati 2--Gary Carter hit a two-run single at Cincinnati, and the Mets spoiled the return of Mario Soto (3-8), who had been on the disabled list since June 19 with shoulder problems.
Rick Aguilera (3-3) gave up eight hits in eight innings and struck out a career-high nine. Jesse Orosco worked the final inning for his 13th save.
Philadelphia 3, Atlanta 1--Mike Schmidt's two-out, two-run single broke a ninth-inning tie at Atlanta.
With one out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Tom Foley singled against Jeff Dedmon (3-5). Gary Redus followed with a grounder back to the mound, but Dedmon threw wide to second for an error. After an out, Juan Samuel was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.
Schmidt, who had been intentionally walked twice earlier in the game, singled to left.
Kent Tekulve (3-1) got the victory, and Steve Bedrosian worked the ninth for his 12th save.
Chicago 6, San Diego 1--Jamie Moyer made a bid to stay on the Cub roster by throwing eight innings of shutout ball atChicago.
The rookie left-hander, shelled in his last outing against the Dodgers, limited the Padres to five hits. He gave way to Lee Smith, who pitched the ninth and permitted an RBI double by Steve Garvey to spoil the shutout.
Moyer (2-2), who had a 9.37 ERA entering the game, did not allow a San Diego runner past second base. The loss was the Padres' fourth straight and dropped them one game below .500.