Mark McGwire hit a pair of three-run homers and matched a career high with six RBI, but the Chicago White Sox beat the Cardinals, 9-8, last night in St. Louis.
McGwire has 31 home runs, three behind major league leader Sammy Sosa. McGwire's fourth multi-homer game of the season gave him 57 in his career. However, McGwire said he takes no satisfaction from a game like this one.
"Why should I?" McGwire asked. "I never have and I never will."
Magglio Ordonez homered, doubled and drove in four runs for Chicago. Ray Durham went 4 for 5 with a homer and scored three times as the White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak. Jaime Navarro (7-7) ended his three-game skid. He won despite allowing six runs and eight hits in six-plus innings.
Bobby Howry gave up a run in the ninth in getting his 14th save. McGwire grounded out with a runner at second and, after Ray Lankford hit an RBI single, Howry struck out Fernando Tatis. Juan Acevedo (4-4) remained winless in nine starts. He gave up eight hits, six for extra bases, and left after Ordonez's two-run double in the fifth put Chicago ahead 6-4.
McGwire connected for homer No. 30 in the first inning. He homered again in the seventh to make it 8-7 against Bill Simas, who had not allowed a run in his previous 14 innings. "The pitching carries you," McGwire said. "You can have the greatest offense in the world, but pitching is going to get you to the World Series."
BREWERS 2-10, ROYALS 0-12: The crumpled side of Miller Park literally looming over them, the Brewers started the second half of its season with a win. The atmosphere was far from festive, however. Milwaukee lost the second game of the doubleheader, which was scheduled after a construction accident forced the postponement of Thursday's game. Three workers died Wednesday when a giant crane fell into the side of Miller Park, the state-of-the-art facility being built only yards from County Stadium's outfield bleachers.
"When something like this happens, all you can do is focus on baseball and try to remember what happened with your play," Milwaukee Manager Phil Garner said. "It's just a tragedy, but we have to continue to play."
Both teams and the sparse crowd observed a moment of silence before the game, and the County Stadium flag flew at half-staff. The Brewers are not allowing fans to sit in the outfield bleachers -- the area of the old park closest to the accident scene -- until further notice.
The Brewers also will soon begin wearing a patch honoring the three ironworkers. County Stadium was nearly empty for the first game, and the vacant bleachers gave the game a funereal aura.
"You think about the lives. . . . it's just a shocking, emotional setback," Brewers General Manager Sal Bando said. "But it's not going to stop us from what we've planned to do."
In the opener, Steve Woodard pitched eight innings of three-hit ball and won his seventh straight decision. "I was able to throw three pitches for strikes, and they didn't have a clue what was coming," he said.
In the second game, the Brewers blew a 7-0 lead by making a season-high five errors.
CUBS 11, TWINS 10: Sammy Sosa hit his major league-leading 34th homer and doubled to key a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to help lift host Chicago. Sosa went 4 for 5, and his second double of the day tied it in the ninth. Henry Rodriguez, who homered in the eighth, then singled over the drawn-in outfield with no outs. Muhammad Ali, with the help of Ernie Banks, sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch. The crowd of 39,249 serenaded the boxing great with chants of "Ali, Ali." He returned the gesture with some enthusiastic shadow boxing. After the game, Ali made his way around the Cubs' locker room, doing magic tricks for the players with a handkerchief.
BRAVES 10, YANKEES 7: In New York, Andruw Jones homered twice, including a go-ahead, three-run shot off Mariano Rivera in the ninth after Ryan Klesko's game-tying single. Klesko also homered twice and drove in four runs as Atlanta overcame Greg Maddux's quickest unscheduled exit in three years and beat New York for the second straight night. Chipper Jones added a solo homer for the Braves.
"I like the stadium, the way the fans root against you," Andruw Jones said. "It pumps you up. You hit a home run and it shuts them up."
PHILLIES 5, RED SOX 4: Robert Person struck out eight and Scott Rolen's two-run homer broke a sixth-inning tie in Boston. Person (3-2) gave up three runs, five hits and three walks in six innings.
METS 9, DEVIL RAYS 7: Matt Franco hit a two-run homer and Mike Piazza continued his torrid hitting for visiting New York, going 3 for 4 with two RBI. Edgardo Alfonzo also drove in two runs for the Mets, who squandered leads twice before pulling away with two runs in the sixth and Franco's homer off Rick White in the seventh. "We've scored a lot of runs the past couple of nights without the middle of our order doing a lot of damage," Mets Manager Bobby Valentine said. "That's the sign of a good team."
PIRATES 11, INDIANS 3: Brian Giles homered against his former Cleveland teammates and Ed Sprague, another ex-American Leaguer, added a two-run homer in the romp in Pittsburgh. "It was just one of those nights," Indians Manager Mike Hargrove said.
MARLINS 4, BLUE JAYS 2: Alex Gonzalez drove in two runs, including a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh, as visiting Florida continued its interleague success. The Marlins are 30-15 since interleague play began in 1997, including 10-4 this season. "There's nothing mystical about it, Florida Manager John Boles said. "If I knew the answer to it we'd try to bottle it."
ROCKIES 6, REDS 2: Pedro Astacio singled three times and allowed only four hits in eight-plus innings in Cincinnati. Astacio (9-8) retired 13 batters in a row before Dmitri Young homered in the ninth.
ASTROS 2, TIGERS 1: Craig Biggio's two-out single in the ninth gave host Houston the victory, its fifth straight, moving them back into first place in the NL Central.
RANGERS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 8: In Arlington, Tex., Todd Zeile drew a bases-loaded walk from Dan Plesac with no outs in the ninth. It was the second straight game the Rangers beat the Diamondbacks on the last pitch. Mark McLemore hit a three-run double for a 3-2 victory Thursday night.
DODGERS 3, ANGELS 1: In Anaheim, Calif., Ismael Valdes won his third straight and Todd Hollandsworth homered.
ATHLETICS 4, GIANTS 2: In Oakland, Gil Heredia allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings, and Ben Grieve and Jason Giambi homered.
PADRES 2, MARINERS 1: Sterling Hitchcock pitched seven shutout innings in the Mariners' first indoor game at Safeco Field. The retractable roof on the new $517.6 million stadium was closed because it was raining.
CAPTION: Sammy Sosa hops to attention after smacking 34th homer, a three-run shot in first off Twins' Eric Milton.
CAPTION: Members of the Brewers observe moment of silence for three construction workers killed Wednesday at Miller Park.