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Cardinals 3, Giants 2

July 23, 1998

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Bobby Witt threw five solid innings for his first NL victory since 1995 and Gary Gaetti hit a two-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the slumping San Francisco Giants 3-2 Wednesday night.

Mark McGwire, who leads the majors with 43 homers, went 0-for-4 for St. Louis. He grounded into a double play in the first, struck out looking in the third, flied to right in the sixth and popped to third in the eighth.

Witt, starting in place of the injured Juan Acevedo, allowed two runs on four hits, walked three and struck out four. He was making his first start for the Cardinals since being acquired in a June 22 trade with Texas.

Witt (1-1), who spent the 1996-97 with the Rangers, got his previous NL victory while pitching for the Florida Marlins. John Frascatore followed Witt with 2 2-3 scoreless innings, and Rick Croushore got the final four outs for his sixth save.

Gaetti hit his 10th homer of the season in the second. Brian Jordan led off the fourth with his 17th homer, a shot over the bleachers in left field.

Darryl Hamilton had a two-run single in the second for the Giants, who have lost 10 of 12 games since the All-Star break.

Kirk Rueter (10-6), who retired the last 10 batters he faced, allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings while losing his third straight start since the All-Star break. He had won six straight decisions before the break.

Notes: The Cardinals placed right-hander Acevedo on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow and recalled right-hander Curtis King from Memphis of the Pacific Coast League. ... Hamilton has hit in nine straight games. ... Left fielder Ron Gant was scratched from the Cardinals’ starting lineup with a strained right hamstring. ... McGwire homered on 13 of his 22 batting practice swings, including at least 10 shots that went more than 400 feet.

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