ST. LOUIS -- Craig Paquette's RBI single off the glove of reliever Mark Gardner gave the St. Louis Cardinals -- seven runs down in the fifth inning -- an 11-10 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.
Gardner (4-3) hit Mark McGwire with a pitch to start the ninth and Eli Marrero pinch ran. Ray Lankford singled with one out and Paquette followed with a one-hopper to the mound that appeared to handcuff Gardner. But the ball squibbed away near the third-base line.
McGwire tied Mike Schmidt for seventh place on the career home run list, hitting No. 548 in the fourth inning.
Shawon Dunston tied his career high with six RBIs, and his eighth-inning three-run homer -- his second home run of the game -- brought the Cardinals back from a seven-run deficit to a 10-9 lead. Dunston, who batted leadoff for the first time all season, also homered in the seventh and had a two-run double in the fifth.
Jeff Kent had a three-run homer to ignite the Giants' eight-run fifth against Pat Hentgen, and tied it at 10 with an RBI single off Dave Veres (1-2) in the ninth. A shaky outing from Shawn Estes helped the Cardinals climb back into the game.
Dunston's sixth homer came on an 0-1 count against Felix Rodriguez and with an assist from left fielder Barry Bonds. Bonds made a leaping attempt at the wall, but the ball bounced off the heel of his glove and over the wall as Bonds sagged.
McGwire's first homer in three games produced the game's first run with two outs in the fourth. His 26th of the season tied Bonds for the major league lead. It also was the Cardinals' first hit off Estes, who contributed a two-run double in the fifth to give him eight RBIs.
Estes struggled after the Giants sent 13 batters to the plate, failing to retire any of the five batters he faced in the bottom half of the inning. He walked Larry Sutton with the bases loaded, threw a bases-loaded wild pitch, then exited after giving up Dunston's two-run double.
McGwire's homer came on a 2-0 pitch and traveled an estimated 475 feet to straightaway center, giving him 101 homers and 214 RBIs in 212 career games at Busch Stadium. He's on pace to hit 59 homers this season after hitting 65 last year and a record 70 in 1998.
Braves 6, Cubs 4
ATLANTA -- Terry Mulholland won for the fourth time in six starts, and Quilvio Veras and Reggie Sanders had two RBIs each to lead the Atlanta Braves over the Chicago Cubs.
Veras, who went 2-for-3 and scored two runs, hit his eighth career leadoff homer. He put Atlanta up 6-2 with an RBI single in the fourth.
Expos 6, Pirates 5
MONTREAL -- Jose Vidro homered and had three RBIs as Montreal held on to gain a four-game split with Pittsburgh.
Vidro, who went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .368, hit an RBI single in the first off Todd Ritchie (4-4), a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the second and a leadoff single in the eighth.
Brewers 6, Marlins 1
MIAMI -- John Snyder pitched two-hit shutout ball over six innings, and Charlie Hayes hit a two-run homer, leading Milwaukee over Florida for a split of the four-game series.
Snyder (3-2), who has won his last three starts, gave up just two singles. He struck out four and walked six.
Mets 5, Phillies 4
NEW YORK -- Jay Payton hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Mets avoided a three-game sweep by the Phillies.
Payton's homer off starter Cliff Politte appeared to skim the top of right fielder Bobby Abreu's glove and go over the wall.
Derek Bell and Melvin Mora also homered, and Glendon Rusch (5-5) pitched seven strong innings for the Mets. Rusch allowed two runs, seven hits, struck out five and walked one.
Astros 6, Dodgers 3
HOUSTON -- Scott Elarton stayed unbeaten in four decisions at home and Lance Berkman went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer as Houston beat Los Angeles.
Gary Sheffield hit his fourth homer in three days against the Astros, raising his season total to 24. There have been 116 home runs in 34 games at Enron Field, just two short of last season's total in the Astrodome.
Reds 5, Rockies 3
CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. homered and Steve Parris (3-10) got his first victory since May 9 for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati won for only the third time in 15 games, a slump that's dropped the Reds deep into second place in the NL Central. They'd lost four consecutive series before taking two of three from Colorado.
The Rockies fell a game behind idle Arizona in the NL West as they lost for only the fourth time in 12 games. They head to Arizona for a weekend series.
The Reds' rotation has been their main problem during the skid, going 0-10 with a 6.54 ERA in 15 games. Kevin Jarvis (2-2), making his first start against his former team, was the loser.
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