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Lankford Rests Bat, Cardinals Don't

June 04, 1997|From Associated Press

The St. Louis Cardinals had their best offensive day of the season with their best hitter on the bench.

Ray Lankford took the day off Tuesday, but the Cardinals didn't need him in a 15-4 rout of the Colorado Rockies at St. Louis. John Mabry drove in a career-high six runs, Ron Gant broke out of a slump with three hits and four RBIs and Royce Clayton went five for six.

Lankford leads the team with 37 RBIs in 36 games.

"I feel like we won a doubleheader today, because we won the game and Ray got his rest," Manager Tony La Russa said. "Once in a while you've got to give a guy a break and today was the perfect day for it."

Putting up numbers typical for Coors Field but not Busch Stadium, the Cardinals banged out a season-high 21 hits to end the Rockies' three-game winning streak.

Mabry, who has hit in a career-best 14 consecutive games, had a run-scoring single in the first, a two-run single in the second and a three-run home run in the fifth. He has 10 hits in the last four games and was 14 for 22 in the six-game homestand.

"I'm seeing it the same, it's just falling for me," Mabry said. "It's just a series of finding holes and they've all decided to come at the same time."

Gant was benched for two games this weekend and his average was down to .213. His three-run homer was measured at 431 feet, the longest of the season at Busch, and he had an RBI triple in the first and a single in the third.

Clayton led off in place of Delino DeShields, who hit a pinch-homer in the fifth, and had his first career five-hit game. He doubled off the wall and scored in the first and singled his next four trips.

New York 2, Montreal 1--Bobby Jones became the league's first 10-game winner when Carlos Baerga doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning off Pedro Martinez at New York.

Jones (10-2) won his seventh consecutive start, giving up four hits in eight innings. He struck out five, walked three and beat Martinez (8-2) for the second time in a week.

The Expos, held to three hits through seven innings by Jones, took the lead in the eighth on Rondell White's RBI double.

But in the bottom of the inning, Matt Franco, pinch-hitting for Jones, led off with his second homer of the season and his first career pinch-hit shot.

Edgardo Alfonzo singled with one out and Todd Hundley drew a two-out walk. Baerga lined a double into the right-field corner to score Alfonzo.

San Diego 5, Atlanta 2--After the umpires reversed a call and took away a two-run homer from Atlanta's Keith Lockhart, the Padres scored three runs in the ninth at Atlanta.

The Braves thought they had taken the lead in the eighth when Lockhart hit a ball into the right-field stands that rookie umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled a two-run homer.

While Lockhart circled the bases, the Padres surrounded Bucknor to protest. After a short discussion, crew chief Ed Montague changed the call, and television replays showed the ball was clearly foul when it sailed past the foul pole. Lockhart then grounded out to end the inning.

In the ninth against Brave relief ace Mark Wohlers (2-1), John Flaherty brought home the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded groundout, then Quilvio Veras added a two-out, two-run single.

Atlanta wasted a strong performance by John Smoltz. He worked eight innings, giving up only six hits and one earned run. Former Brave Pete Smith (1-0) earned the win in relief.

Cincinnati 3, Philadelphia 2--Kent Mercker pitched 6 1/3 strong innings and Willie Greene had an RBI double in a three-run sixth inning at Philadelphia.

Mercker (3-5) gave up one run and two hits--Darren Daulton's single in the first and Rex Hudler's homer in the second.

The Reds loaded the bases in the sixth when Curtis Goodwin walked, Hal Morris was hit by a pitch, and Barry Larkin singled.

Ed Taubensee's fielder's choice groundout scored Goodwin, and Greene then doubled home Morris. After Bret Boone was intentionally walked, Joe Oliver's sacrifice fly made the score 3-1.

Pittsburgh 3, Chicago 1--Steve Cooke gave up five hits in 7 1/3 innings at Chicago to end the Cubs' first three-game winning streak.

Jose Guillen broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI double in the fourth as Pittsburgh won for the fourth time in six games.

Cooke (5-6) struck out five and walked one. Marc Wilkins, Ricardo Rincon and Rich Loiselle finished with hitless relief, with Loiselle getting two outs for his fifth save.

Pirate Manager Gene Lamont was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing with first-base umpire Frank Pulli over a close call at first base on Mark Grace's bunt single. It was Lamont's second ejection this season--both at Chicago.




Player: John Mabry

Team: St. Louis

Performance: 3 for 4, six RBIs, home run

Team's Result: Win


Player: Ron Gant

Team: St. Louis

Performance: 3 for 5, four RBIs, home run

Team's Result: Win


Player: Rex Hudler

Team: Philadelphia

Performance: 2 for 4, two runs, homer

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Bobby Jones

Team: New York

Performance: 8 innings, one run, 10th victory

Team's Result: Win


Player: Steve Cooke

Team: Pittsburgh

Performance: 7 1/3 innings, one run, five hits

Team's Result: Win


Player: Kent Mercker

Team: Cincinnati

Performance: 6 1/3 innings, two hits, one run

Team's Result: Win

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