PITTSBURGH (AP) -- There he goes again.
Don't look now, but Mark McGwire is hitting home runs like never before -- at a faster pace than his 65-homer season of a year ago, at a faster pace than when he hit his record 70 in 1998.
Even in the Year of the Home Run, McGwire is hitting them farther and faster than anybody else. The St. Louis star's three homers Thursday night in Philadelphia -- his fifth three-homer game -- gave him a major league-high 17 this season and 539 in a career that is fast becoming one of the greatest in the game's history.
In one night alone, McGwire surpassed Mickey Mantle on the career list and Willie Mays on the games-with-multiple-homers list.
''You're talking about Willie Mays, the guy who played for the Giants? And Mickey Mantle, with the Yankees?'' manager Tony La Russa said. ''Those two are two of the greatest players of all time. I think that makes this guy one of greatest players of all time.''
Where he stops, nobody knows. Not Mark McGwire, who went 0-for-3 Friday night as the Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh 13-1. ''I want to play this game another 4-5 years,'' McGwire said. ''I can't look back because I've got a lot left.
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