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Benes' Bat Helps Cardinals to 8-6 Win

May 28, 1997|From Associated Press

DENVER — Alan Benes overcame an ugly fourth inning and helped his cause with a career-high three hits, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-6 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday.

Benes (4-4), winning for the first time since April 30, went six innings, giving up 11 hits and five runs. He was more effective at the plate, going three for three with two runs batted in.

The Cardinals roughed up John Thomson (0-4) for six runs over the first four innings, taking a 6-0 lead that was identical to the one they squandered in Monday's 9-7 loss.

This time, Colorado drew within 6-5, but the Cardinals got run-scoring singles from John Mabry and Gary Gaetti.

"It's been crazy how we've lost some games here," Mabry said. "To come out and battle and keep pushing across runs when we needed them--that was a big lift for us."

Dennis Eckersley pitched the ninth for his ninth save.

Colorado's Larry Walker had three hits and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.

St. Louis Manager Tony LaRussa praised Benes.

"Even though they scored four runs [in the fourth], he showed how tough he is and limited the damage," La Russa said. "It could have been a lot worse. He hung in and got us a couple more innings. Then he made a great pitch to get out of the sixth."

Asked about his hitting, Benes said, "In his last start, my brother [pitcher Andy Benes] got two hits, and he was bragging he was the best hitter in the family. I was upset and wanted to show him. Today I was able to lay off balls out of the strike zone and got some decent fastballs to hit."

Colorado Manager Don Baylor said his team's comeback luck ran out.

"Our guys battled back," he said. "But day in and day out, you cannot spot teams six runs. You just can't do it all the time.

"I thought the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh were the keys to the game. We have a baserunning blunder and don't get a run in from third. Then we give up two runs in the following half."



WHO: St. Louis Cardinals

WHERE: at St. Louis

WHEN: Thursday 5 p.m., Friday 5 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m., Sunday 11:15 a.m.

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