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Ailing Drew Has Mammoth Hit

His 514-foot home run leads Cardinals to a 7-4 victory over Cubs, ending Chicago's five-game winning streak.

May 17, 2003|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Ignoring a sore knee and ailing back, J.D. Drew hit one of the longest home runs ever at Busch Stadium.

Drew's mammoth two-run shot off the top of the right-field video board helped the St. Louis Cardinals end the Chicago Cubs' five-game winning streak with a 7-4 victory Friday night.

"It feels good to hit them like that," Drew said. "You never know where they're going to end up and it doesn't really matter once they go over, but it makes it interesting for everybody else, I guess."

Woody Williams (5-0) pitched eight innings for the Cardinals, who won for only the third time in 10 games. But they're 9-1 the last two seasons at home against the Cubs.

Chicago Manager Dusty Baker let starter Matt Clement (2-5) bat in the sixth with runners at the corners even though he'd thrown 96 pitches and was trailing 5-4 -- Cub relievers threw 10 innings in a 17-inning victory over the Brewers on Thursday.

Clement gave up a two-run single to Fernando Vina in the bottom of the sixth, and the Cardinals held on in the opener of a four-game series. Vina was three for three with three runs batted in and two runs scored.

"I needed some innings or else I'm doomed for tomorrow and the next day and the next day," Baker said. "Really, I had only two semi-fresh guys out there in [Mike] Remlinger and the kid, [Matt] Wellemeyer."

Drew sat out the previous two games because of a sore back. His third homer off a belt-high fastball from Clement in the fifth was estimated at 514 feet, the fourth-longest at Busch Stadium since the team began estimating in 1988. It's the longest homer to right field in that time, and it put the Cardinals ahead 5-3.

"I could give a care less where it hit," Clement said. "No, I didn't watch it. It's still a home run if he hits it out of the stadium.

"You know, good for him if that's the longest home run he's hit."

Drew, who sat out the first three weeks of the season while recovering from patella tendon surgery, has eight RBIs in limited action and hasn't been able to play on consecutive days.

Williams overcame a shaky start to become the NL's sixth five-game winner. He is 8-0 in his last 12 starts since losing Aug. 29 last season against Cincinnati.

Clement has lost his last four starts.

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