CINCINNATI, SEPT. 7 -- In the greatest one-game offensive display in baseball history, Mark Whiten of the St. Louis Cardinals tied the all-time major league records for home runs and runs batted in in a game tonight by hitting four homers and driving in 12 runs in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium.
Whiten, a 26-year-old outfielder, became the 12th player to hit four home runs in a game. The only other player with 12 RBI in one game was Jim Bottomley of the 1924 Cardinals.The Cardinals won the nightcap of the doubleheader, 15-2, after losing a wild opener, 14-13.
"I don't even have words to explain it, just amazement I guess," Whiten said. "Every time I hit it, I was like amazed."
The last player to hit four homers in a game was Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves in 1986. Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt are among the others to do it.
"I've been around the game 16 years, I've seen some guys do some unbelievable things, but nothing like tonight," Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith said.
Whiten hit a first-inning grand slam off Larry Luebbers. He hit three-run homers off Mike Anderson, in his major league debut, in the sixth and seventh.
The few remaining fans out of a crowd of 22,606 gave Whiten an ovation as he batted in the ninth inning against Reds relief ace Rob Dibble.
With the count 2-0, Dibble threw a sizzling fastball right down the middle. Homer No. 4 went the farthest of all.
"I knew it was history," Dibble said. "I wasn't going to walk him. At 2-0 I said, 'Hey, here it is.' I threw him the best stuff I've got, and he hit it out."
Whiten also tied Nate Colbert's major league record of 13 RBI in a doubleheader, set in 1972.
Nothing in Whiten's career suggested he was capable of anything like this. He'd never had a multihomer game for the Cardinals, never hit more than 15 homers at any level of pro ball. He has 22 home runs and 87 RBI this season.
Whiten, in his major league third season, was acquired from Cleveland on March 31 for pitcher Mark Clark and shortstop Juan Andujar. He began his career with Toronto.
In the first game, right fielder Whiten misplayed Reggie Sanders's liner into a two-run, ninth-inning triple that gave the Reds the victory. The teams used a major league record 15 pitchers in the opener.
The Cardinals knew Whiten's feat called for something special. After the second game, they spread their red travel bags on the clubhouse floor, an impromptu red carpet, and crossed their bats overhead as Whiten strode in holding a plastic bag with the four home run balls.
Said Cardinals Manager Joe Torre: "Tonight was an accomplishment that we probably won't see again."