ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Mark McGwire ended his season as mightily as he started it.

McGwire hit his 69th and 70th homers on the season's last day, a fitting finale for a record-smashing year he began with a grand slam on opening day

Big Mac, who hit five homers on the final weekend, connected against Montreal rookie Mike Thurman in the third inning Sunday, then homered off Carl Pavano for No. 70 in the seventh. McGwire moved four ahead of Sammy Sosa and nine _ nine! _ in front of Roger Maris' old record.

Big Mac hit a 1-1 fastball 377 feet into the left-field seats at 2:10 p.m. CDT for No. 69. After stomping on home plate, he took a few slow steps, then made several salutes to the crowd.

The usual sellout crowd that had stood well before his at-bat demanded and got not one, but two, curtain calls.

Kerry Woodson, a 22-year-old body shop worker from Maryland Heights, Mo., wound up with the ball and said he didn't know what he would do with it.

``I reached up, closed my eyes, and it landed in my glove,'' Woodson said. ``It's a dream come true. I hope he doesn't hit any more today.''

He didn't get his wish.

MORE