Mark McGwire hit his 35th home run, pulling him within one of major league leader Sammy Sosa, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies, 6-4, yesterday for a three-game sweep in Denver.

McGwire homered in the seventh inning, his eighth in 11 games, then left with tightness in his back. McGwire has 12 homers in July and his 492 career homers are one behind Lou Gehrig, who is 16th on the career list.

Larry Luebbers (1-1) gave up two runs and five hits in five innings to win his first major league game since July 8, 1993, for Cincinnati against the Chicago Cubs. Luebbers, recalled from Class AAA Memphis on Tuesday, walked two and struck out none.

At 50-49, the Cardinals moved above .500 for the first time since they were 29-28 on June 7. St. Louis is 4-0 under acting manager Rene Lachemann, running the team while Tony La Russa recovers from a stomach ailment.

DODGERS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Kevin Brown won a pitching duel with Randy Johnson and Eric Karros hit his 200th career home run as visiting Los Angeles snapped a five-game losing streak.

Brown (11-6) gave up just three hits and an unearned run over eight innings to end Arizona's five-game winning streak and prevent the Diamondbacks from sweeping three from the Dodgers. He struck out seven and walked three.

Karros, who scored both Dodgers runs, led off the sixth with his 23rd home run of the season for what proved to be the game-winner.

Johnson (10-8) failed to get more than a run from his team for the fifth time in seven starts.

METS 5, CUBS 1: Rickey Henderson homered for his 1,000th RBI and Al Leiter (9-7) shut down Chicago for eight innings as New York, at home, extended its winning streak to five.

Cubs starter Dan Serafini (2-2) walked five in the first inning, and the Mets took a 3-0 lead without even getting a hit.

Henderson went 3 for 3 with a walk and two RBI. He homered in the second, drove in another run with an infield single in the fourth and doubled in the seventh.

Leiter allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings, struck out seven and walked none before Jason Isringhausen finished.

Serafini settled down after his wild first, allowing five runs -- four earned -- and four hits in six innings.

BRAVES 5, PHILLIES 4: Ron Gant's three-run double tied the score in the eighth inning but Chipper Jones homered in the 10th as Atlanta earned a split of the four-game series in Philadelphia.

Atlanta's Chipper Jones hit his 24th homer and Ryan Klesko, Randall Simon and Andruw Jones also homered for Atlanta, which led 4-1 in the eighth before Gant's hit off Tom Glavine.

REDS 2, GIANTS 1: Michael Tucker homered in the top of the 14th inning off struggling closer Robb Nen, lifting Cincinnati in San Francisco.

Nen (3-5), who blew his sixth save Saturday when he gave up three ninth-inning runs to the Reds, retired the first two batters he faced but Tucker then drove an 0-1 offering over the center field wall for the game winner.

Stan Belinda (1-1), the last of seven Reds' pitchers, pitched two hitless innings for the victory. The six Reds relievers combined to pitch nine scoreless innings.

MARLINS 4, BREWERS 3: In Miami, Alex Gonzalez tripled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and Florida earned its second series sweep of the season. With the score 3-3, Luis Castillo singled with one out off David Weathers (6-4) and scored on Gonzalez's liner to right-center.

ASTROS 5, PADRES 2: Lance Berkman got his first two major league RBI and Shane Reynolds (12-7) gave up one run and five hits in seven innings as host Houston swept the four-game series, including the completion of the game suspended when Astros Manager Larry Dieker collapsed June 13. Reynolds walked none and struck out six, including Tony Gwynn in the sixth inning for the 1,000 strikeout of his career. Gwynn, 13 hits shy of 3,000, went 0 for 4.

PIRATES 6, EXPOS 1: Jason Schmidt (9-7) pitched a four-hitter and began a five-run seventh inning with a single to lead visiting Pittsburgh. Felipe Alou managed his 1,127th game for the Expos, breaking Gene Mauch's team record.