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Cardinals Do Best Work at the Finish

May 24, 2003|From Associated Press

J.D. Drew tripled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals, down to their last strike before Scott Rolen hit a three-run homer in the ninth, rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-8, Friday night at Pittsburgh.

Albert Pujols didn't homer for the first time in five games but had a career-high five hits -- including an RBI single in the two-run 10th against reliever Brian Meadows (0-1).

The Cardinals trailed, 6-1, and 7-2, before getting two late-inning three-run homers, Tino Martinez's shot in the eighth off Brian Boehringer and Rolen's in the ninth off closer Mike Williams.

"That's why you've got to play it the whole way," Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa said. "If you give yourself a shot, sometimes you can pull it off.... It sounds corny, but if you play nine innings, you're going to have a chance."

The Pirates still had a chance to win it, with Jeff Reboulet's double scoring the tying run in the bottom of the ninth. But Cal Eldred (3-1) got Kenny Lofton to fly out with the bases loaded to send the game into extra innings.

Earlier, Lofton homered to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, the NL's longest this season.

The Pirates have lost 15 of 19 overall.

"I'm sitting here and trying to figure out a way to describe this game," Manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I guess unbelievable fits as well as anything. It's a devastating loss."

Philadelphia 4, Montreal 2 -- Kevin Millwood won his fifth straight decision, and Bobby Abreu and Placido Polanco homered to lead the Phillies at Montreal.

Millwood (7-1) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings as Philadelphia ended Montreal's three-game winning streak. It was the ninth time Millwood has given up two runs or fewer in 11 starts this season.

Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 13th save, becoming the 10th pitcher to record 100 saves for two teams. Mesa also had 104 saves with Cleveland from 1992 to 1998.

Florida 8, Cincinnati 4 -- Jeff Austin let the first seven Marlins reach base at Cincinnati, setting up a five-run first inning to send Florida to the victory.

Austin's quick meltdown allowed the Marlins to end a six-game losing streak and provide Manager Jack McKeon with a pleasant homecoming. McKeon led the Reds to 96 wins in 1999, when he was the NL Manager of the Year but was fired after they finished second in 2000.

Left-hander Tommy Phelps (1-0) started in place of Brad Penny, who had flu, and got his first major league victory.

Houston 7, Chicago 5 -- Jose Vizcaino hit a three-run homer off Mark Prior in a six-run first inning to lead the Astros at Houston. The Astros won for the 11th time in 14 home games and moved within a half-game of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central. Chicago has lost five of seven.

New York 6, Atlanta 5 -- Jeromy Burnitz hit a grand slam in his first game back from the disabled list, and defensive replacement Tsuyoshi Shinjo threw out Chipper Jones at the plate for the final out to preserve the Mets' victory at Atlanta.

Arizona 5, San Diego 3 -- Danny Bautista hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning at Phoenix for his first in more than a year and the Diamondbacks handed the Padres their ninth consecutive loss.

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