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McDonald Homers in First At-Bat

July 5, 2000

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Keith McDonald became only the third player in St. Louis Cardinals’ history to homer in his first career at-bat.

McDonald, a 27-year-old rookie pinch hitting for Edgar Renteria, connected off Andy Larkin on a 2-2 pitch in the eighth inning Thursday, joining Wally Moon (1954) and Eddie Morgan (1936).

``I’m numb,″ McDonald said. ``I was running with my head down. I didn’t even see it go out and I almost tripped over first base.″

Morgan, who played only one season with the Cardinals, also did it as a pinch hitter.

``I said, `It must be an easy league,″ manager Tony La Russa said. ``What a thrill that must be.″

McDonald’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday, a day after Eli Marrero, the Cardinals’ backup catcher, injured his left thumb with a head-first slide stealing second.

McDonald hit only one homer in 177 at-bats at Memphis and totaled 28 homers in six minor league seasons before this year. He’s not sure what he’ll do with the ball.

``I haven’t even thought about it,″ he said. ``I barely made it around the bases.″

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