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Extra Work Pays Off for Cardinals

June 13, 2003|From Associated Press

St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa just kept intentionally walking Boston Red Sox batters until his beleaguered bullpen finally found someone they could get out.

Jim Edmonds hit an opposite-field, three-run homer in the 13th inning as the Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox, 8-7, Thursday after wasting two late leads.

After blowing a 3-0 lead in the ninth and a 5-3 advantage in the 10th, La Russa intentionally walked the bases full before his pitchers worked out of jams. In the 13th, after the Red Sox cut it to 8-7, La Russa called for Esteban Yan to walk Jason Varitek. Yan then got Johnny Damon on a short fly to right.

"It's not a question of walking someone," La Russa said. "It's a matter of who you pick to beat you."

He picked the right guy in the struggling Damon, who went one for eight after briefly breaking out of his slump by going four for six on Wednesday.

"Why let the big boys beat you?' said reliever Steve Kline, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. "As a pitcher you want to challenge the batters. But if you have to win the cheap way, by playing the four-corners rule like in the old days of basketball, you do it."

Edmonds also had a solo homer and Edgar Renteria went five for six for the Cardinals, who took two of three from the Red Sox in the first meeting between the teams since St. Louis won the 1967 World Series, 4-3.

Kerry Robinson singled off Ramiro Mendoza (1-3) in the 13th, and Miguel Cairo sacrificed. Albert Pujols was intentionally walked one out later, and Edmonds homered high into the seats above the Green Monster in left for an 8-5 lead.

Trot Nixon's RBI single off Yan (2-0) cut it to 8-6 in the bottom half. With runners on first and third, Bill Mueller failed to sacrifice before grounding into a double play that scored a run. Yan then walked Jeremy Giambi and intentionally walked Varitek before Damon ended it after 4 hours 33 minutes.

"It was one of the most bizarre I've been in," Boston Manager Grady Little said. "I was going with the percentages."

San Francisco 8, Chicago White Sox 4 -- Barry Bonds hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth and Rich Aurilia hit a pinch-hit grand slam later in the inning to rally the Giants at Chicago.

Bartolo Colon (6-6) struck out Bonds in his first three at-bats and took a three-hitter into the ninth, but Ray Durham singled leading off the inning. Bonds hit the next pitch for his 631st home run, his 18th this season.

San Francisco then loaded the bases on singles by Benito Santiago and Pedro Feliz, and an intentional walk to Edgardo Alfonzo.

Damaso Marte relieved, and Aurilia followed with his homer.

Cincinnati 2, Tampa Bay 1 -- Austin Kearns stole home and homered and Ryan Dempster gave up one run over 7 1/3 innings at St. Petersburg, Fla., to lead the Reds to a three-game sweep.

Dempster (2-4) gave up four hits in his second start since spending 15 days on the disabled list with a neck injury.

He left with one out in the eighth and runners on second and third, but reliever Gabe White got out of the inning and Scott Williamson threw a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.

Atlanta 4, Oakland 2 -- Gary Sheffield and Andruw Jones each homered and Shane Reynolds took a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning to lead the Braves at Oakland.

Barry Zito (7-5), last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, dropped his first interleague game in eight starts as the Athletics lost their third consecutive series for the first time in nearly a year.

John Smoltz pitched one inning to record his 25th save in 26 opportunities.

Toronto 5, Pittsburgh 4 -- Mark Hendrickson won for the first time in almost a month and the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates at Toronto.

Carlos Delgado increased his major league-leading RBI total to 74 with a two-run single for the Blue Jays, who won their fourth in a row.

Hendrickson (5-5) won for the first time since May 16, and Cliff Politte pitched the ninth -- giving up only pinch-hitter Matt Stairs' homer -- for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Minnesota 15, Colorado 3 -- A.J. Pierzynski hit a grand slam and a three-run homer at Minneapolis for the Twins, who scored seven runs in the first inning.

Pierzynski hit his second career grand slam, had his first multihomer game and finished three for four. His grand slam came off Darren Oliver (3-5) with the Twins already leading, 3-0, in the first.

New York Mets 11, Texas 0 -- Vance Wilson homered and drove in five runs and Al Leiter pitched six shutout innings at Arlington, Texas, as the Mets won only hours after general manager Steve Phillips was fired.

Leiter, Graeme Lloyd and John Franco combined for New York's third shutout of the season. The Rangers had 11 hits but left 14 men on base while being shut out for the third time.

San Diego 9, Cleveland 4 -- Jake Peavy got his first win since April 25 as home runs by Rondell White and Ryan Klesko helped the Padres rally at Cleveland.

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