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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS / NATIONAL LEAGUE

Mets' Offense Is Kile-High in 10-6 Victory

Game 4: New York pounds Cardinal starter and takes advantage of late St. Louis mistakes for win.

October 16, 2000|PAUL GUTIERREZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — Staid Shea Stadium looks and feels nothing like comfy and charming Coors Field. But it must feel the same to Darryl Kile.

Kile, the first-year St. Louis Cardinal starter who endured two horrendous seasons with the Colorado Rockies, reverted to his Rocky Mountain form Sunday night. He was shelled by the New York Mets early en route to a 10-6 Met win in Game 4 of the National League championship series.

The victory in front of a sellout crowd of 55,665 gives the Mets a 3-1 lead in the series and leaves them one win away from the World Series.

Kile, the Game 1 loser throwing on three days' rest, was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in three-plus innings. This after being given a two-run lead before stepping on the field.

"It all comes down to making good pitches and I didn't make any," a somber Kile said in an even more solemn Cardinal clubhouse. "I made a lot of bad pitches and they hit a lot of them. Today, I didn't get it done.

"The bottom line is I made a lot of mistakes."

Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa said it was a matter of control problems for Kile, who struck out two and walked three.

"I think his stuff was good; his location was off," La Russa said. "I thought his location was off more than his fastball. He couldn't get a called strike on a curveball. There was some dispute about whether his curveballs were strikes or not, but it changed some counts around."

Cardinal pitching coach Dave Duncan was thrown out of the game by second base umpire Steve Rippley after a dispute in the fourth inning.

Met starter Bobby J. Jones, coming off his one-hit shutout of the San Francisco Giants in the division series clincher last Sunday, was not impressive either. He lasted only four-plus innings and was charged with the six St. Louis runs and six hits. Jones struck out two and did not walk a batter.

New York left-hander Glendon Rusch picked up the win with three innings of scoreless relief.

"After we won the wild card, I told Glendon that he's going to be the wild card," Met Manager Bobby Valentine said. "He didn't get to pitch in that first series much, but I knew that we'd get to use him. He's a tough kid and he's pitched great for us. He's very competitive and he throws strikes, which is really important. Those are three huge innings.

"I mean, we don't win the game without that kind of performance, I don't think."

The Cardinals stayed true to form by scoring twice in the first inning--the fourth time in the series that the visiting team scored two in the top of the first--on a 381-foot, two-run homer to right-center by Jim Edmonds which brought home Fernando Vina, who had doubled down the first base line to start the game.

But the Mets started fast in the bottom of the first, getting consecutive doubles from leadoff hitter Timo Perez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura.

Benny Agbayani would also double in the first, establishing a league championship series record for most doubles by a team in an inning and most extra-base hits by a team in an inning.

The previous record for most doubles in an inning of n championship series game was held by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had four in the first inning of Game 5 of the 1992 NL championship series against the Atlanta Braves' Steve Avery.

Four teams shared the record of four extra-base hits in an inning.

By the time the Mets were through in the first, they held a 4-2 lead.

"I don't think you can just say it's because [Kile] was on three days' rest," said Ventura, who was one for two with a walk and three runs batted in. "He's a good pitcher and we were fortunate to have balls land in the right spot."

Todd Zeile agreed.

"It was nice to answer back, not just get even but go ahead," said Zeile, who was one for four with two RBIs.

The Mets would jump to leads of 7-2 and 8-3 before the Cardinals closed the gap to 8-6 with a three-run fifth.

With two out and a runner on first in the sixth, Mark McGwire was standing on the on-deck circle waiting to pinch-hit should Carlos Hernandez get aboard.

But Hernandez's hard grounder was smothered by a diving Zeile at first, ending the prospect of McGwire coming to the plate as a potential go-ahead run.

A Cardinal meltdown in the bottom of the inning contributed to New York adding to its lead without the benefit of a hit.

Two errors by Cardinal third baseman Fernando Tatis, a hit batter and blown play by reliever Mike Timlin on a hard bunt led to two runs and a 10-6 Met advantage.

St. Louis threatened in the eighth off left-handed setup man John Franco, putting two runners on base with two out. La Russa had Craig Paquette, rather than McGwire, pinch-hit for J.D. Drew. Paquette grounded out to third.

La Russa was incredulous when asked why he didn't bat McGwire.

"In the eighth, when we were down by four? I was going to wait until the tying run came to bat," La Russa said. "If the tying run came to bat, he was in there."

New York closer Armando Benitez made it interesting in the ninth, allowing a pair of baserunners with one out before striking out Edgar Renteria and getting Edmonds to fly out to right to end the game.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

St. Louis vs. New York

Mets lead series, 3-1

GAME 4

NEW YORK: 10

ST. LOUIS: 6

TONIGHT

St. Louis at New York, 5:15 p.m.

WEDNESDAY

New York at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m.*

THURSDAY

New York at St. Louis, 5:15 p.m.*

TV--Channel 11;

*--if necessary

ALSO

ROSS NEWHAN, D12

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