6th Longest Home Run Game Recap
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 1
ST. LOUIS (Jul 18, 1998 - 4:16 EDT) -- Mark McGwire made the most of his only two swings.
McGwire hit his 41st and 42nd home runs to set a major league record for most homers by the end of July as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Friday night.
"I kept telling myself tonight to be aggressive, and if I saw a pitch I could take a whack at to take a whack at it," McGwire said. "I swung the bat twice tonight. I saw two strikes and hit two home runs."
He hit a 511-foot solo homer into the upper deck off Brian Bohanon (2-6) with two out in the first on the first pitch he saw, his first homer in five games. McGwire hit another solo shot in the eighth off Antonio Osuna to break the July mark held by Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx.
The homer off Bohanon was the fourth-longest since they started estimating distances at Busch Stadium in 1988. McGwire also hit the other three, including the record 545-foot shot against Florida on May 16.
"You're not going to see a more beautiful swing on a home run than that first one," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "It was just classic. I'd replay that over and over again for people if they want to know how Mark does it."
Just don't show the tape to Bohanon -- or McGwire.
"I don't diagnose things like that," McGwire said. "You see it and you swing. I'm not a player that sits around and diagnoses a swing."
It was the fifth multi-homer game this year and 48th of his career for McGwire, who moved within one homer of the Cardinals record set by Johnny Mize in 1940.
McGwire walked in his other two plate appearances, giving him a major league-leading 99 for the season. Bohanon admitted he wasn't going to give McGwire any more whacks.
"He got me in the first at-bat and in the second-at bat, I decided I wasn't going to let him hit," Bohanon said. "I decided to take my chances with Brian Jordan. I hate doing that, but I felt like it was the best situation."
McGwire has four homers in nine career at-bats against Bohanon.
"He's one of the batters that I struggle against," Bohanon said. "He hits my fastball, he hits my change-up, he hits my curveball. He's just such a dangerous threat any time he comes up. With the power he has, Yellowstone ain't going to hold him."
St. Louis starter Juan Acevedo (5-2) shut the Dodgers out for six innings on three hits. Acevedo has a 1.41 ERA in his last four starts, allowing five earned runs in 32 innings.
John Frascatore worked a perfect seventh and Rick Croushore went the last two innings to pick up his fifth save. Croushore allowed Charles Johnson's 13th homer with one out in the eighth for the Dodgers' only run.
Catcher Eli Marrero, batting ninth for the Cardinals, drove in two insurance runs with a two-out double off Osuna in the seventh.
After throwing one pitch to Gary Sheffield to begin the seventh, Acevedo left because of stiffness in his right elbow. He retired nine batters in a row from the third through the fifth before Bohanon led off the sixth with a single to center.
Notes: Sheffield walked to lead off the second inning, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 29 games. ... St. Louis purchased the contract of second baseman Pat Kelly from Triple-A Memphis. He was 0-for-2 in his debut with a walk and a run. ... Raul Mondesi is batting .358 (24-for-67) with five home runs and 16 RBIs since moving to the third spot in Los Angeles' lineup. ... St. Louis left-hander Donovan Osborne allowed one earned run in two innings in his first rehabilitation start at Double-A Arkansas on Friday night. He is returning from a left shoulder injury.