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Mac's 51st Not Enough, Again!

Having watched his team blow another lead, Mark McGwire wasn't in the mood to reflect on his latest brush with history.

McGwire hit his 51st home run, tying Sammy Sosa for the major league lead, but the Montreal Expos rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 Tuesday night.

McGwire matched Lou Gehrig's record of 493 home runs by a first baseman. McGwire has hit 15 additional homers while playing other positions.

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Game Summary

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  • "I don't even know who's next and I don't really care," McGwire said. "It has no bearing on what I do that day. I'm paid to play the game, I'm not paid to look at history. That's the way I look at things."

    McGwire hit a two-run shot in the first inning, a 435-foot shot to center field. He hit No. 51 in the Cardinals' 127th game; last year, he hit No. 51 in the 126th game and did not connect again until the 129th game.

    "All my impressions of all that stuff will mean a lot when I'm retired," McGwire said. "I have a lot of playing left and that's about it. There's no time to reflect on that, so I've still got a few years to play."

    Vladimir Guerrero extended his Montreal record hitting streak to 29 games, one behind Arizona's Luis Gonzalez for the longest in the majors this year.

    The crowd of 17,142 topped the Expos' average of 9,595 at Olympic Stadium.

    Jose Vidro's two-run single in the seventh drove in the tying and go-ahead runs for Montreal. The Expos added four runs in the eighth.

    Javier Vazquez (7-6) was the winner. Ugueth Urbina got his 30th save, he second straight season he reached that mark.

    Vidro went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs. His two-out single off Kent Bottenfield (16-6) put the Expos ahead 4-3, and he also singled home a run in the eighth.

    "I was very patient with that at-bat," Vidro said of his two-run single. "He threw me four breaking pitches in a row and I was even in the count 2-2 with Vladimir behind me so I knew I was going to get a good pitch to hit there. Eventually I got it and I didn't miss."

    Guerrero singled in the first. Montreal's Rondell White went 3-for-4 with an RBI single and an intentional walk.

    Bottenfield failed in his second bid to become the first NL pitcher to win 17 games. Bottenfield allowed seven runs including four in the eighth on 11 hits in 7 2-3 innings.

    With J.D. Drew on first, McGwire connected on a 2-2 pitch from Vazquez to draw even with Sosa, who went homerless in Chicago's 12-4 loss to San Francisco earlier in the day.

    McGwire went 2-for-3 with a walk.

    Fernando Tatis and Adam Kennedy hit doubles that put St. Louis ahead 3-0 in the fourth.

    White's RBI single with two outs in the fifth cut St. Louis' lead to 3-1. Montreal drew to within one in the sixth on Brad Fullmer's run-scoring double.

    Notes: The Cardinals traded LHP Kent Mercker to Boston for two minor leaguers, LHP Mike Matthews and catcher David Benham. Matthews was assigned to Double-A Arkansas, and Benham to Class A Potomac.

  • Bottenfield was bidding to become just the third Cardinals pitcher to win 17 games in the '90s. Andy Benes was 18-10 in 1996 and Bob Tewksbury went 17-10 in 1993.
  • Vazquez has allowed a team-high 19 homers over 19 starts.
  • Guerrero is hitting .383 over the course of the streak with 46 hits in 120 at-bats, including 12 doubles, one triple, nine homers and 23 RBIs.
  • Vidro's four hits tied his career high for the third time.

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

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