ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Mark McGwire broke his own record for reaching 40 home runs the fastest when he hit two for the Cardinals in Sunday's game against the Houston Astros.

McGwire hit his 39th on the first pitch from Sean Bergman in the first inning off the wall beyond the visitor's bullpen in left field, a drive estimated at 405 feet. He hit No. 40 on a 2-1 pitch from Scott Elarton leading off the seventh.

McGwire reached 40 home runs in 281 at-bats, topping his mark of 294 at-bats in 1996, when he finished with 52.

McGwire has 427 career homers, passing Billy Williams for 23rd on the list. He's only three away from the Cardinals' single-season record of 43 set by Johnny Mize in 1939.

It was his 47th career multi-homer game, passing Harmon Killebrew and Mickey Mantle for eighth on the career list. He has four multihomer games this year.

McGwire had no homers or RBIs in July and was homerless in 21 at-bats before his two-run, upper-deck shot in the 11th inning won Saturday's game 4-3. He has 63 home runs and 132 RBIs in 135 career games with the Cardinals and 34 homers in 66 career games at Busch Stadium.