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Mac's 2 HRs Not Enough


Mark McGwire's power wasn't enough to beat an Arizona team that didn't get a single extra-base hit.

The Diamondbacks used 15 singles, four run-scoring groundouts and a sacrifice fly to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-5 Friday night despite a two-homer, five-RBI game by McGwire.

"We did the little things we had to do," said Luis Gonzalez, who drove in three runs for Arizona.

The Diamondbacks had scored a total of one run in their previous two games and had lost five of six to fall a game behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West. But they bounced back after getting swept at home by Cincinnati in a three-game series.

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Game Summary

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  • "I don't think this team was ever fazed," Gonzalez said. "Regardless of what people write and say around the city, we still have confidence in this locker room. We never lost confidence."

    McGwire hit his 24th and 25th home runs for his 56th career multihomer game, moving ahead of Jimmie Foxx for fourth on the career list. He declined to talk about the homers but did comment on teammate Joe McEwing, who set a Cardinals rookie record by extending his hitting streak to 23 games.

    "Chicks can start digging singles instead of long balls," McGwire said, referring to a line in a popular TV commercial.

    Brian Anderson (2-1) gave up both homers to McGwire, but held the rest of the Cardinals to five hits and struck out a career-high eight in 6 2-3 innings.

    "The fastball had a little extra on it," Anderson said. "I had real good stuff."

    McEwing, who doubled in the seventh, has the longest active hitting streak in the majors. It's the longest by an NL rookie since Jerome Walton hit in 30 straight in 1989 for the Chicago Cubs.

    Cardinals starter Darren Oliver (4-6) allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings, failing to win for his seventh straight start. He walked the bases loaded in a four-run fifth that put the Diamondbacks ahead 6-2. In his last five starts, Oliver has allowed 29 earned runs in 25 2-3 innings for a 10.17 ERA.

    "None of the rallies were easy to take,"> manager Tony La Russa said. "You put guys on base with walks and throw the ball to the middle RBI guys, you get burned."

    Steve Finley drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks and Tony Womack reached base all five times with three singles and two walks. Womack scored two runs scored, but was caught stealing twice.

    McGwire's homer in the first landed in the bullpen beyond the left-field wall, a drive estimated at 392 feet. He topped that with a 432-footer in the fifth, a ball that bounced off the Stadium Club window just below the upper deck in left.

    "Not too many balls hit that hard," Anderson said. "It's unbelievable."

    McGwire added an RBI infield single in the ninth for his first five-RBI game of the year.

    McGwire had 10 multihomer games in his record 70-homer season last year, including a three-homer game against Arizona on April 14. He has seven homers and 15 RBIs in 35 career at-bats against the Diamondbacks.

    Notes:

  • Babe Ruth has the most multihomer games with 72, followed by Willie Mays with 63 and Hank Aaron with 62.
  • Womack has been caught stealing only five times in 41 attempts.
  • Former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog made a rare appearance at the park, watching the game from the press box after a signing for his new book. Also in attendance was Phil Ozersky, the fan who caught McGwire's 70th homer and sold it for $3.2 million.
  • Oliver has 44 strikeouts and 42 walks in 96 1-3 innings.
  • The Cardinals have lost four of five.
  • J.D. Drew had three hits for St. Louis.
  • McEwing is batting .323 (33-for-102) during his hitting streak. Johnny Mize had a 22-game hitting streak as a Cardinals rookie in 1936.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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