Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, Keith McDonald, and the Cardinals all had a Fourth of July to remember. The Cardinals drilled their closest competition, Cincinnati, in the opener of their three game series 14-3. Edmonds hit a pair of home runs, including one in the first inning, as the Cards jumped knocked out Reds starter Ron Villone with six runs in the opening frame. Edmonds homered again in the sixth, and rookie catcher Keith McDonald hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, after spending seven years in the minors. Andy Benes allowed two runs in six innings to improve to 9-3. The Cards now lead Cincinnati by nine games. Pat Hentgen will start tonight against Pete Harnisch. First baseman Mark McGwire, who leads the majors with 30 homers, was the only Cardinal voted to start in the all-star game.
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