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McGwire Goes Deep for 51st Home Run

September 15, 1997|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — No matter how close he gets to Roger Maris' single-season home run record, Mark McGwire says he won't try to hit homers.

"Never done that, and I never will," he said Sunday after hitting his 51st in the Cardinals' 10-4 victory over the San Diego Padres. "It doesn't work."

McGwire, the first player with consecutive 50-homer seasons since Babe Ruth in 1927-28, connected off Joey Hamilton (11-6) in the sixth inning, moving one short of his career high, set last season. McGwire has 17 homers in 37 games since St. Louis acquired him from Oakland on July 31, and has 14 games remaining to chase Maris' record of 61.

"I think the worse thing we can do is talk about anything," St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa said. "You got to just take care of his next at-bat. With his talent, anything's possible. But I think we really ought to just help him along by concentrating on tomorrow's game and seeing that he gets four good at-bats."

San Diego Manager Bruce Bochy said the odds are against McGwire making it this year.

"There aren't enough games left," Bochy said. "But you never know. If he went on a streak, he might make it interesting."

McGwire also singled off Marc Kroon (0-1) leading off the eighth, starting a seven-run inning. The Cardinals tied the score when Dmitri Young singled off Tim Worrell.

David Bell hit a two-run double for a 6-4 lead. Eli Marrero followed with a two-run single and another run scored on second baseman Craig Shipley's error. Plantier got his third run batted in of the day when he walked with the bases loaded.

Tony Fossas (2-6) got three outs in the eighth inning for the victory.

Tony Gwynn hit his 45th double in the first inning to tie the Padre record Steve Finley set last season. Gwynn, who also singled, is 15 shy of the team hits record of 218 he set in 1987. He had two hits and raised his batting average to .366, three points behind National League leader Larry Walker.

San Diego starter Joey Hamilton gave up three runs--two earned--and four hits in seven innings.



WHO: St. Louis Cardinals

WHERE: at St. Louis

WHEN: Today: 5 p.m.

Tuesday: 5 p.m.

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