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WHIFF KINGS

McGwire Goes Down Swinging Four Times

September 20, 1998|From Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Mark McGwire's only shot Saturday night was the one he took in his ribs.

McGwire was 0 for 4 in the St. Louis Cardinals' 7-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out four times and getting hit by a pitch.

McGwire, who struck out four times in a game for the first time this season, remained at 64 homers, one ahead of Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs. McGwire has left the plate without making contact 311 times this season: a National League-record 156 walks, 149 strikeouts and six times when he was hit by a pitch.

A sellout crowd of 54,132, the largest at County Stadium in six seasons, saw an impressive long-ball display in batting practice, when McGwire hit nine homers in 18 swings.

Two of his batting-practice homers cleared the left-field bleachers, drives estimated at 480 feet. At one point he sent five in a row into the seats.

McGwire was plunked in the ribs by Steve Woodard (10-12) in the first, right after Brian Jordan hit his 24th homer. He took a called third strike on a 2-2 breaking ball to start the third, chased a breaking ball well out of the zone in the fifth, then struck out swinging in the sixth and ninth.

Jordan had three hits and two runs batted in, Fernando Tatis hit his seventh homer and pinch-hitter John Mabry had a two-run double to put the Cardinals ahead, 5-4, in the fifth. Delino DeShields had a run-scoring single and Jordan had an RBI single in the sixth.

Jose Jimenez (2-0) has won both of his career starts. He gave up four runs--three earned--and eight hits in five innings. Juan Acevedo finished for his 12th save.

Woodard gave up seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts. He got his fourth RBI of the year with a single in the Brewers' three-run second.

Mike Matheny and Fernando Vina also drove in runs in the second, and Jeremy Burnitz had a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

In the series final today, McGwire will face Scott Karl. McGwire is five for 18 in his career against Karl with nine walks, and this year he has a double, five walks and three strikeouts in 11 at-bats.

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