The Cardinals will welcome McGwire back to Busch on Saturday, when the legendary slugger makes his first appearance at the stadium since his retirement after the 2001 season. McGwire will throw out the first pitch in front of what is expected to be a near-sellout crowd.
“He was the modern-day Babe Ruth,” St. Louis center fielder Jim Edmonds said of McGwire. “That’s the way people perceived him.
“Mark was the last giant of the sport, and to play in this town, he was twice as big. It seems like this town is ready to embrace a hero, and he was that guy.”
The Cardinals set the stage for McGwire’s return Friday night, blasting four home runs in a 13-5 rout of the Rockies in the series opener. Outfielder Reggie Sanders led the way for St. Louis, hitting two homers and driving in four runs.
The Rockies have surrendered 24 runs over their last two games. Colorado suffered an 11-10 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Friday’s game also marked the end of Colorado’s nine-game errorless streak to start the season, as they made two miscues in the field. Entering the series, the Rockies had been the only team in the majors without an error. The nine-game errorless streak was the third longest in franchise history, four shy of the team record set in 1998.
Rockies first baseman Todd Helton continued his success against Cardinal pitching Friday, going 1-for-2 with a homer and two runs scored. Helton was 11-for-22 with three homers and six RBIs against the Cardinals last season.