Power pitcher. Power hitter. The 95 mph fastball of rookie Kerry Wood against the prolific home-run stroke of Mark McGwire.
"I didn't want to get caught up in that," said Wood, the Chicago Cubs' 20-year-old right-hander. "I have a lot of respect for him, he's just a great hitter. He's always in the back of your mind, but I couldn't put too much emphasis on just McGwire. I had to get the other guys out, too."Wood did that Thursday on a foggy night at Wrigley Field, pitching Chicago to an 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals with seven strong innings. He struck out McGwire twice, but McGwire later hit his 11th homer, tying him for the major league lead with Vinny Castilla and Ken Griffey Jr.
"He was impressive, just as advertised," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Wood.
The loudest reaction from the crowd all night came when Wood faced McGwire, especially in the first after the first two Cardinals reached base. McGwire then took three straight strikes.
McGwire broke through against reliever Marc Pisciotta in the eighth, hitting a two-run homer through the fog.
"The fog made it interesting between the seventh and eighth innings," said Chicago's Mickey Morandini, who drove in four runs, three with a bases-loaded double in the seventh.
BRAVES 6, GIANTS 0: Denny Neagle pitched a five-hitter and Andres Galarraga tied a Braves franchise record with his 10th homer in April as Atlanta won at home.
Neagle (3-1), who allowed nine runs in his previous 15 innings, improved to 9-1 lifetime against San Francisco.
Javy Lopez hit a three-run homer off Orel Her-shi-ser (0-3), pitching against Atlanta for the first time since the 1995 World Series.
ROCKIES 4, METS 0: Darryl Kile pitched a four-hitter as Colorado sent host New York to its fifth consecutive loss.
Kile (3-3), who pitched a no-hitter against the Mets in 1993 while with Houston, did not give up a hit until Luis Lopez singled with one out in the sixth inning.
Kile struck out eight in his seventh career shutout. He is 8-2 lifetime against the Mets.
DODGERS 14, PIRATES 6: Eric Karros had four hits and four RBIs and helped Los Angeles pull away late at Pittsburgh.
The Dodgers trailed 6-5 until scoring four runs in the eighth inning and adding five more in the ninth.
Reliever Brad Clontz (2-0) won despite giving up his first hit in 112/3 innings this season - Kevin Young's two-run homer in the seventh.
PADRES 4, MARLINS 1: Pitcher Pete Smith drove in a run and teamed with three relievers on a four-hitter as San Diego won at Miami.
The Padres, who have the best record in the NL, are 10-4 on the road. They started a season-long 11-game road trip.
ATHLETICS 5, INDIANS 2: The Oakland Athletics were expecting big things from rookie Ben Grieve this season, and he hasn't disappointed them.
One night after going 5-for-5, Grieve hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer to help the A's beat the Indians.
"I've just been the guy to hit the ball in the right place at the right time lately," said Grieve, who is batting 0.314 with 16 RBIs and two homers. "I was happy but not surprised it went out. I know I'm capable of hitting the ball out of the park."
Grieve, who scored four runs and drove in two against Cleveland on Wednesday night, hit a towering shot to right off Paul Assenmacher (1-3) in the eighth to snap a 2-2 tie and help Oakland win its fifth straight.
TIGERS 7, RANGERS 2: Brian Moehler pitched a six-hitter and Damion Easley drove in four runs at Tiger Stadium as Detroit snapped the Texas' five-game winning streak.
Moehler (2-2) struck out six and walked two in his third career complete game in 39 starts. It was Detroit's first complete game since Scott Sanders pitched a one-hitter against Texas last Sept. 9.
Bobby Witt (3-1) failed to last five innings for the first time this season, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in four-plus innings. Will Clark homered for Texas.
DEVIL RAYS 2, TWINS 0: Rolando Arrojo pitched a three-hitter for his first complete game as Tampa Bay stopped a six-game losing streak.
Arrojo (3-2) struck out five and walked two in his sixth career start. Todd Walker got all three Minnesota hits: singles in the fourth and ninth innings and a double off the left-field wall in the sixth.
Minnesota lost for the seventh time in its last eight home games. Starter LaTroy Hawkins (0-3) gave up two runs and five hits in 42/3 innings.
ORIOLES 4, WHITE SOX 1: Joe Carter and Jeffrey Hammonds homered to support Jimmy Key (4-1), who pitched seven strong innings to improve to 21-7 against Chicago.
Key allowed one run and four hits as visiting Baltimore stopped a four-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in 15 games. Scott Eyre (1-3) gave up four runs and five hits in 62/3 innings.
ROYALS 7, BLUE JAYS 4: Hal Morris had two hits and drove in three runs as Kansas City took a 6-0 lead at Toronto and hung on to complete a two-game sweep.
Morris went 2-for-5 with a double and single, raising his average against the Blue Jays this season to 0.636 (14-for-22).
Glendon Rusch (3-3) allowed four runs and six hits in 61/3 innings, and Jeff Montgomery pitched the ninth for his fifth save. Juan Guzman (1-4) allowed six runs and seven hits in 32/3 innings.
ANGELS 7, RED SOX 2: Ken Hill won his third straight start, and Cecil Fielder, Darin Erstad and Dave Hollins homered as the Anaheim Angels completed a 6-1 road trip.
The Red Sox, who won 10 of their first 11 home games, have lost two of their last three at Fenway Park.
Hill (5-1) allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out two in 71/3 innings, the fifth time in his six starts that he's lasted at least six innings.
YANKEES 9, MARINERS 8: Tino Martinez singled home the winning run in the 10th inning as New York overcame a two-homer game by Ken Griffey Jr. to beat Seattle.
Martinez, Tim Raines and Darryl Strawberry homered for the host Yankees, which rallied after blowing a 7-4 lead to win for the 16th time in 18 games.
Griffey's pair of homers boosted his season total to 11, tying him with St. Louis' Mark McGwire and Colorado's Vinny Castilla for the major league lead. Alex Rodriguez also homered for the Mariners, who have lost four of five.