On a day when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa both homered, Ray Lankford was the unlikely hitting star.

After striking out in his first five at-bats, Lankford hit a game-tying two-run homer in the 11th inning and a game-winning RBI single in the 13th to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a wild 9-8 victory against the Chicago Cubs.Sosa hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth, his 44th, off reliever Rich Croushore to erase a 5-3 St. Louis lead and set the stage for extra innings where the Cubs twice took leads only to have closer Rod Beck blow them by allowing Lankford's homer in the 11th and a solo shot to Eli Marrero in the 12th.

McGwire hit his major league-leading 46th homer leading off the fourth to end his longest home run drought of the season at 29 at-bats.

BRAVES 14, GIANTS 6: At San Francisco, Keith Lockhart, Andres Galarraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones and Greg Colbrunn homered as part of a season-high 20-hit outburst as Atlanta routed San Francisco.

The five homers pushed Atlanta's NL-leading total to 161.

METS 4, ROCKIES 3: At Denver, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two-run home run and Armando Reynoso scattered 10 hits in seven innings against his former team as New York won.

John Olerud went 2-for-4 for the Mets, who trail the Chicago Cubs by a half-game in the NL wild-card race.

REDS 4, BREWERS 0: At Cincinnati, Dennis Reyes won his second consecutive start for Cincinnati and the Reds provided an encore to their 17-run victory over Milwaukee by beating the Brewers.

The Reds took advantage of a coaching mistake and three double plays to give the Brewers their fourth straight loss.

EXPOS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3: At Montreal, Shane Andrews homered for the second game in a row and Dustin Hermanson pitched seven solid innings to lead Montreal to a win over Arizona.

Andrews hit a three-run shot off Amaury Telemaco (4-6) in the fifth as Montreal won for the fifth time in its last six games.

ASTROS 7, PHILLIES 6: At Houston, Scott Rolen's error allowed the tying run to score and Mark Leiter hit Richard Hidalgo with a pitch to force in the winning run as the Houston scored twice in the ninth to beat Philadelphia.

Bill Spiers led off the inning with a double off Leiter (6-3) and Derek Bell followed with a single. Jeff Bagwell hit a grounder to third, but Rolen threw past catcher Bobby Estalella for an error, allowing Spiers to score and putting runners at second and third.

DODGERS 2, PIRATES 1: At Los Angeles, Eric Young hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning to cap a two-run rally as Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh.

L.A. spoiled a strong pitching performance by Jon Lieber, who left after allowing Eric Karros' leadoff single in the ninth.


YANKEES 14, ROYALS 1: At New York, Jorge Posada drove in a career-high six runs and Scott Brosius capped a six-run sixth inning with a three-run homer to lift Orlando Hernandez and New York to a victory over Kansas City.

The Yankees have outscored the Royals 36-5 in the first three games of the series and have scored 71 runs in their last seven games.

MARINERS 9, TIGERS 3: At Detroit, Russ Davis hit two homers and Alex Rodriguez continued his torrid hitting at Tiger Stadium as Seattle beat Detroit.

Rob Ducey and Edgar Martinez also homered for the Mariners, who have won three straight and five of their last six.

BLUE JAYS 6, ATHLETICS 5 (10 innings): At Toronto, Mark Dalesandro hit a bases-loaded, one-out infield single in the 10th to push Toronto past Oakland.

Dalesandro, pinch hitting for Felipe Crespo, hit a high chopper to shortstop Miguel Tejada, with Jose Canseco beating the throw to plate.

INDIANS 6, DEVIL RAYS 2: At St. Petersburg, Fla., Charles Nagy pitched three-hit ball for eight innings and Brian Giles hit a solo homer in Cleveland's victory over Tampa Bay.

Nagy (10-7) allowed a second-inning home run by Bubba Trammell, a single by Wade Boggs in the third, and Mike DiFelice's triple in the eighth. The right-hander struck out two and walked one.

WHITE SOX 7-5, ANGELS 5-3: At Chicago, Mike Cameron led off the ninth inning with a home run to complete Chicago's doubleheader sweep.

In the first game, Albert Belle hit a two-run double and scored on Robin Ventura's double in a six-run third.

RED SOX 11, RANGERS 1: At Arlington, Texas, Darren Bragg was 4-for-6 with two homers and Tim Wakefield pitched eight strong innings as the Boston Red Sox routed Texas to end the Rangers' six-game winning streak.

Wakefield (14-5) allowed one run on seven hits, struck out three and walked two for his eighth victory in last 11 starts.

ORIOLES 6, TWINS 3: At Minneapolis, Rafael Palmeiro hit a three-run homer, his 35th of the season, and Brady Anderson added a two-run shot as Baltimore beat Minnesota.

Eric Davis also extended his hitting streak to 24 games for the Orioles, helping Baltimore win its fifth straight game.



Going for the record

The race to overtake Roger Maris' 1961 home-run record

Maris' record on this date in 1961 42

Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals 46

Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners 41

Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs 44

Greg Vaughn, San Diego Padres 39

Home run record, Maris, NY Yankees 61