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McGwire Reaches 57 Homers

September 28, 1997|From Associated Press

Although he's as close as he has ever been to Roger Maris, Mark McGwire knows the chase is over.

McGwire hit his 56th and 57th home runs in the Cardinals' 12-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at St. Louis, the most homers hit in one season since Maris set the record with 61 in 1961.

Needing four in the finale today to tie Maris, McGwire will face Cub starter Steve Trachsel, who has given up an NL-high 31 homers. Only 10 players have homered four times in a game since 1900.

"There's nothing to shoot for--what's there to shoot for?" said McGwire, who walked in his three other plate appearances Saturday. "If I get a hit, I get a hit. That's the way it goes."

McGwire's two home runs kept him one ahead of Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. for the major league lead. Griffey hit his 56th against Oakland on Saturday.

Only four players have hit more home runs in a season than McGwire: Maris, Babe Ruth twice (60 in 1927 and 59 in '21), Hank Greenberg (58 in 1938) and Jimmie Foxx (58 in 1932).

The crowd of 43,142 gave McGwire a standing ovation after both homers. Both times, he stepped out of the dugout to tip his batting helmet and wave to the crowd.

The Cubs seemed uninterested in pitching to McGwire early. Chicago starter Rodney Myers walked McGwire in the first on four pitches. Myers, who gave up four runs in only 1 1/3 innings, walked McGwire again in the second. Later in the inning, McGwire stole his third base of the season and only the 10th of his career.

"Thirty-30 next year," he joked.

Philadelphia 8, Florida 7--Rookie Scott Rolen, the likely rookie of the year, hit his second homer of the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning for the win.

Former Phillie Darren Daulton hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Marlins a 7-6 lead. It was No. 14 for Daulton, traded to Florida on July 21.

Bobby Bonilla drove in four runs for the Marlins.

New York 2, Atlanta 1--Alberto Castillo hit a one-out double in the ninth inning that scored Luis Lopez with the winning run at New York.

Met starter Rick Reed gave up one run and four hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked one. Joe Crawford pitched the ninth inning for the win.

John Smoltz, the Game 3 starter in the playoffs, yielded two hits in six shutout innings, struck out eight and walked two.

For the second game in a row, Brave Manager Bobby Cox had six starters out of the lineup by the sixth inning.

Houston 8, Pittsburgh 1--Shane Reynolds beat the Pirates for the seventh time in eight career decisions to lead the Astros at Houston.

Reynolds, scheduled to pitch Game 3 of the playoffs against Atlanta, gave up one run and six hits in five innings, struck out five and walked none.

"The last four or five starts, I've been improving," he said. "It makes me feel better going into the playoffs about being able to help this team."

Montreal 8, Cincinnati 5--Hensley Meulens homered and matched his career high with four RBIs in the win at Montreal.

Meulens went three for four and walked. Mike Thurman got the win, his first major-league victory in his second start, by yielding two runs and two hits in five innings.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Willie McGee St. Louis 4 for 5, 4 RBIs Win Scott Rolen Philadelphia 3 for 5, 2 home runs, Win 3 RBIs, 2 runs Mark McGwire St. Louis 2 for 2, 56th and 57th Win home runs, three walks H. Meulens Montreal 3 for 4, home run, Win 4 RBIs, 2 runs




Player Team Performance Team's Result Rick Reed New York 8 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, Win 1 walk, 6 strikeouts Wilson Alvarez San Francisco 7 innings, 2 hits, Win 0 runs, 9 strikeouts


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