Hitting his first home run in more than two months wasn't the tough part for Mark McGwire. Trotting around the bases was.
McGwire homered in the first inning and Edgar Renteria hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth, leading the visiting St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
McGwire hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his 31st of the season and first since July 1. He had been limited to one plate appearance in each of the four games since he came off the disabled list last week.
"My knee is really bad," McGwire said. "Every time I put all my weight on it by running, it bites and it feels like it's going to tear."
Cincinnati 7, Chicago 6--Sammy Sosa hit his major league-leading 49th homer but Jason LaRue had a career-high five RBIs, hitting a three-run homer in the second and a two-run double in the fourth for the Reds at Cincinnati.
Ken Griffey Jr. left with a strained left hamstring after colliding with Joe Girardi at home plate in the seventh, trying to score from first on a double by Dmitri Young. Griffey was taken for an MRI and will be evaluated today.
San Francisco 8, Houston 7--Barry Bonds tied the score with a two-run homer off Octavio Dotel in the ninth, and Bill Mueller tripled home the go-ahead run off Mark Valdez in the 10th at Houston.
Philadelphia 5-6, Montreal 2-7--Geoff Blum atoned for his two errors in the opener by hitting a go-ahead, two-run homer off Vicente Padilla (4-6) in the eighth inning of the second game as the Expos gained a split at Philadelphia.
Vladimir Guerrero went six for eight in the doubleheader, with a homer in the first game and two RBIs in the nightcap.
Milwaukee 8, New York 2--Paul Rigdon (3-3) gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 solid innings and Richie Sexson homered at New York, dropping the Mets to 2-8 in September.
San Diego 7, Colorado 2--Woody Williams scattered six hits and John Mabry's two-run single keyed a five-run first inning, leading the Padres at San Diego. Colorado's Todd Helton went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .379. It hadn't been that low since Aug. 9, when it was .378.