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Five Cards Homer In Red Bird's Win


Believe It or Not Department: The St. Louis Cardinals hit five home runs, and Mark McGwire didn't have any of them.

"I would have taken the odds on that one," said Tom Lampkin, who hit a three-run shot in a 10-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. "I would have bet on that one.

"But that's why you've got nine guys, and the guys on the bench. We picked him up today; he's been picking us up all year."

Ray Lankford, who leads the team with 11 home runs since the All-Star break - one more than McGwire - hit his 22nd and Lampkin hit his sixth for the Cardinals. Both were three-run shots.

Delino DeShields, Brian Jordan and Fernando Tatis added solo shots as the Cardinals had their second five-homer game this season. Meanwhile, McGwire barely got to swing his bat.

"They hit five home runs and he didn't have any, so I'd just rather not talk about him," Pirates manager Gene LaMont said. "But we didn't pitch around him."

McGwire didn't have an official at-bat, walking three times, getting nicked by a pitch and scoring twice before getting a rest after the sixth inning. McGwire also didn't take batting practice before the game, but mumbled "I'm fine" en route to the shower and manager Tony La Russa said he took his slugger out to give Pat Kelly a look in left field. John Mabry moved from left field to first base.

McGwire missed three games in Junes with back problems.

McGwire had nine consecutive at-bats without putting a ball in play three strikeouts, five walks and one hit by pitch after ending a similar 13-at-bat sequence with his major league-leading 47th home run on Tuesday.

That inactivity, and the fact he has two homers in a 44-at-bat stretch over the last 13 games, has put McGwire behind Roger Maris' record pace in the home-run chase for the first time. Maris hit two home runs in his 119th game in 1961, connecting off Juan Pizarro and Billy Pierce of the Chicago White Sox to give him 48 homers.

This was the Cardinals' 120th game. Maris didn't hit No. 49 until the Yankees' 123rd game.

Donovan Osborne (2-2) won for the first time since April 27, allowing two runs and eight hits in six innings. Osborne had six strikeouts, four of them called, and walked none in his second start since coming off the disabled list from shoulder and groin injuries.

When a reporter asked whether he felt 100 percent, Osborne replied: "I looked good, didn't I? It was 100 percent to me.

"I'm finally getting in a groove."

Jon Lieber (8-13) allowed homers to DeShields and Lampkin as well as an RBI double to Mabry in the Cardinals' five-run third. Lankford, who also leads the team with 39 RBIs since the break, made it 8-2 with his homer off Elmer Dessens. St. ouis' cleanup hitter has profited from teams shying away from McGwire.

"If they're going to walk him, we've got to make it backfire," Lankford said. "The thing is, I've got to make sure I'm ready."

Jordan and Tatis homered of Javier Martinez in the sixth and seventh, respectively.

Kevin Young had two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates. Manny Martinez doubled twice, scored twice and drove in a run, and Jason Kendall was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Freddy Garcia homered in the eighth.

The Cardinals are only 3-11 in the last 14 games against the Pirates, and had lost the first two meetings this year. Pittsburgh's five-game winning streak at Busch Stadium ended.

Notes:

  • The game began 10 minutes late because the Cardinals' batting practice session ended late and the Pirates demanded equal time.
  • The Cardinals held their second Beanie Baby night, with freebies for fans 15 and under, and both have been sellouts. Friday's crowd was 47,836.
  • Lieber, who walked none in his previous two starts, walked two in the first and had three in three innings.

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