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McGwire Closes In on 50-50

September 10, 1997|From Associated Press

Mark McGwire, playing in the Bay Area for the first time since being traded from Oakland to St. Louis, hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to seal the Cardinals' 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

McGwire homered for the 15th time since joining the Cardinals. His shot off Julian Tavarez made it 5-3.

With his next homer, McGwire will join Babe Ruth as the only players to have back-to-back 50-homer seasons. Ruth achieved the feat twice, in 1920-21 and 1927-28.

Gary Gaetti and Ray Lankford also homered for the Cardinals, who snapped the Giants' three-game winning streak.

Rookie Manny Aybar (2-4) won despite committing two errors and a balk that figured in all three Giant runs. He went six innings, allowing three runs and four hits. Dennis Eckersley pitched the ninth for his 34th save.

Philadelphia 1, New York 0--On a sad night for the Phillies following the death of announcer and Hall-of-Fame player Richie Ashburn, Rico Brogna hit an eighth-inning home run against his former team at New York.

"I thought the guys did a good job of keeping their composure and keeping their concentration," Phillie Manager Terry Francona said. "It's something that's not easy to not think about. I even caught myself."

Brogna connected off Dave Mlicki for his 19th homer and raised his RBI total to 77, one more than he had as a Met in 1995. It was only the third hit of the night for the Phillies, who have won four in a row and eight of nine. They finished with four hits.

Tyler Green (4-3) won for the first time in five starts since Aug. 9 and matched his career high with nine strikeouts. He allowed five hits and two walks in eight innings, before Ricky Bottalico pitched the ninth for his 29th save.

Montreal 5, Pittsburgh 4--Henry Rodriguez hit a two-out RBI single to cap a two-run 10th inning that gave the Expos the victory at Montreal.

After the Pirates had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the inning, Mark Grudzielanek started Montreal's rally with a one-out bloop double--his major league-leading 50th double--off Rich Loiselle. Grudzielanek moved up on a groundout and rookie pinch-hitter Jose Vidro hit an RBI single.

Vidro went to third on David Segui's bloop single to center. Rodriguez followed with his game-winning hit.

The Expos have won seven of 11 while the Pirates lost for the fifth time in six games.

Cincinnati 5, Chicago 2--Jon Nunnally singled home a run and Chris Stynes hit a three-run homer as the Cincinnati Reds scored four times in the second inning and held on at Cincinnati.

Nunnally and Stynes, the Reds' most impressive newcomers over the last month, combined for four of the Reds' seven hits off Jeremi Gonzalez (11-7), who couldn't overcome the one bad inning.

Mike Morgan (7-11) allowed a pair of runs on six hits as he led the Reds to their sixth victory in eight games. Jeff Shaw pitched the ninth for his 34th save.

The Cubs lost for only the second time in seven games, falling to 21-50 on the road. The club record for road losses is 56, set in 1956, and they have 11 games left away from Wrigley Field.

Nunnally is hitting .382 in 21 games since taking over in center field for Deion Sanders, who went back to playing football. Stynes has become a regular by hitting .374 since his callup on Aug. 8.

Ryne Sandberg was out of the Cub lineup for a third consecutive game because of back spasms.





Player Team Performance Team's Result A. Galarraga Colorado 4 for 4 Loss Jason Kendall Pittsburgh 3 for 5, 2 doubles Loss Derek Bell Houston 2 for 4, home run, walk, 3 RBIs, 2 runs Win Ray Lankford St. Louis 2 for 4, home run, 2 runs, 1 RBI Win




Player Team Performance Team's Result Tyler Green Philadelphia 8 innings, 0 runs, 5 hits, 9 strikeouts Win John Smoltz Atlanta 8 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 10 strikeouts Win


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