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It's a Cinch: Gwynn Gets 200 Hits Again

September 14, 1997|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Tony Gwynn has achieved his personal goal for the season, and it's not another batting title.

"When the season started, this is what I wanted to do," Gwynn said after reaching 200 hits for the first time since 1989 and helping the San Diego Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-3, Saturday. "I wanted to see if I could do it again. Anything else now is gravy as far as I'm concerned."

Gwynn, who reached 200 for the fifth time, had 197 in the strike-shortened 1995 season after finishing with 164 in 1994, also cut short by the walkout.

After going two for five with two RBIs Saturday, Gwynn was batting .366 and was only four points behind league-leading Larry Walker of Colorado. Another batting title would be his eighth, matching the league record of Honus Wagner.

"It's funny because our fans and my teammates are all pulling for me," Gwynn said. "To me, it's not that big of a deal. What's the difference between seven and eight?"

Gwynn, who leads the major leagues in hits, had a run-scoring groundout off rookie Sean Lowe in the first and got hit No. 200 to drive in a run in the third. He singled and scored in the fourth to reach 300 total bases for the third time.

Lowe, who had not previously faced the future Hall of Famer, was impressed.

"I know he's a great hitter, but he does the little things too," Lowe said. "I guess I know more about him now."

Manager Bruce Bochy knows all about him, and he also was impressed.

"It's incredible what he's done," Bochy said. "He continues to amaze all of us. He'll say he's not been swinging the bat well, but today he did."

Mark McGwire remained stuck at 50 home runs for the second game, going one for four with a walk and two strikeouts.

The Cardinals committed four errors, matching their season high.

"We didn't play well defensively," Manager Tony La Russa said. "But our pitcher wasn't throwing well, either. He kept falling behind in the count and his pitches were too high."



WHO: St. Louis Cardinals

WHERE: at St. Louis

WHEN: Monday, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, 5 p.m.

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