It was a big night for the St. Louis offense, but not for Mark McGwire.
"That's about the wildest thing I've ever experienced," said Ray Lankford, who hit a three-run homer to cap the first. "Tonight was just one of those games that everything went well."
McGwire went 1-for-4 with a walk and has not homered in 28 at-bats since July 28 against Milwaukee. McGwire, who didn't speak with reporters after the game, was given the day off on Wednesday when the Cardinals played at the Brewers.
Sammy Sosa, second to McGwire with 43 homers, went 0-for-3 with a walk.
St. Louis, which rallied from a 3-0 deficit, had its biggest inning since an 11-run eighth in a 16-8 win over San Francisco on May 9, 1996 -- also the last time the Cardinals scored 16 runs. The team record is a 12-run third inning of a 23-3 win against Philadelphia on Sept. 16, 1926.
"That's baseball," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "You see the top half like that -- and you get the 11 spot. I still don't understand it."
It was the biggest inning against Chicago since a 12-run fifth during a 17-15 loss to Montreal at Wrigley Field on Sept. 24, 1985.
Kent Bottenfield (4-5) pitched seven innings, allowing three runs -- one earned -- and five hits. Steve Trachsel (11-6) got just one out, getting pounded for nine runs -- seven earned -- five hits and three walks.
"I get staked to a three-run lead and I immediately walk the leadoff guy I'm my own worst enemy," Trachsel said. "I just pitched pretty poorly."
St. Louis sent 15 batters to the plate in the first against Trachsel and Dave Stevens, piling up two singles, three doubles, one homer and four walks. The Cubs also allowed two men to reach on errors.
"After that first inning there was no chance for the offense to come back," Trachsel said.
Kelly, Jordan and Ray Lankford each scored twice in the inning. McGwire started the scoring with a two-run single after Pat Kelly walked and Brian Jordan hit the first of his three doubles. One out later, Fernando Tatis hit an RBI double, and two more runs scored on Trachsel's throwing error to make it 5-3.
Luis Ordaz followed with an RBI single, and Kelly chased Trachsel with a two-run double. Lankford, 2-for-3 with four RBI, hit a three-run homer, reaching 20 for the fifth season.
"They put the ball in play and found the holes," Cubs manager Jim Riggleman said. "That's just the way it went."
St. Louis added three runs in the third, getting a two-run homer from Ron Gant. Jordan had a two-run double in the sixth.
Chicago went ahead 3-0 in the first on Mark Grace's RBI single and a two-run throwing error by McGwire at first.
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