Mark McGwire hit his major league-leading eighth home run and pinch-hitter Ron Gant broke a fifth-inning tie with a three-run shot, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 Friday night in St. Louis.
All of McGwire's home runs this year have come at home. Since the Cardinals acquired him from Oakland last July 31, he has 21 homers in 33 games at Busch Stadium.BREWERS 5, GIANTS 2: Marquis Grissom and Mark Loretta hit two-run doubles and Jose Mercedes (1-0) pitched six solid innings before leaving with a strained shoulder.
Mercedes, who missed his previous start when he thought the game began an hour after it actually did, gave up two runs and four hits. He was hurt of a futile dive back to first when he was picked off, and was listed as day-to-day.
DODGERS 11, CUBS 3: Mike Piazza homered and drove in four runs, and Chan Ho Park (2-0) allowed two runs and two hits in six innings before leaving with a stiff back. Frank Lankford finished the four-hitter for his first career save.
Todd Hollandsworth and Todd Zeile also homered for the Dodgers, 8-3 after an 0-4 start. Piazza, booed in his home opener because of contract negotiations, is hitting .298 with four homers and 15 RBIs.
PADRES 7, PIRATES 5: Greg Vaughn hit a tie-breaking two-run homer off Jeff Tabaka (0-1) as San Diego won for the 10th time in 11 games. The Padres took a 3-0 lead then fell behind 5-3 before rallying.
The Padres withstood Joey Ham-il-ton's first subpar start of the season to improve the majors' best record to 13-3, the best start in their 30 seasons.
REDS 4, METS 3: Barry Larkin drove in two runs and scored the go-ahead run to break a 3-all tie in the fifth. Larkin, who hit a double and triple, scored on Dmitri Young's single off Bobby Jones (0-2).
ASTROS 5, EXPOS 3: John Halama (1-1) got his first major league victory on his fourth try and Craig Biggio drove in two runs with a homer and a double.
Houston broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the fifth off Dustin Her-man-son (1-2), helping drop Montreal to 4-11. The Expos made three errors - two by third baseman Shane Andrews - leading to two unearned runs.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, MARLINS 5: At Phoenix, Arizona won consecutive games for the first time as the defending World Series champions dropped to 4-12. Only the expansion Diamondbacks (4-13) have a worse record in the National League.
BRAVES-ROCKIES, POSTPONED: At Denver, Friday night's Atlanta-Colorado game was postponed by a combination of rain and snow with the score 1-1 in the middle of the third inning, and the game will be made up as part of a split doubleheader Sunday.