Cards win with seven-run ninth

Posted: Tuesday, May 03, 2005


  St.Louis Cardinals' Jim Edmonds (15) hits a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Danny Graves during the ninth inning Monday, May 2, 2005 in Cincinnati. Reds' catcher Jason LaRue watches at left. The Cardinals won, 10-9. AP Photo/Tony Tribble

St.Louis Cardinals' Jim Edmonds (15) hits a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Danny Graves during the ninth inning Monday, May 2, 2005 in Cincinnati. Reds' catcher Jason LaRue watches at left. The Cardinals won, 10-9.

AP Photo/Tony Tribble

CINCINNATI — Jim Edmonds considered bunting, then changed his mind and hit a three-run homer. John Mabry just tried to put the ball in play, but put it over the center-field wall for the go-ahead runs.

The greatest ninth-inning comeback in St. Louis Cardinals history was made of odd moments.

Edmonds' two-out homer off Danny Graves got the seemingly down-and-out Cardinals within a run, and Mabry's first homer of the season completed a seven-run rally for a 10-9 victory over the crestfallen Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

''It was like an ugly game gone uglier,'' Edmonds said. ''It was just a wild game.''

One that neither the Reds nor their 15,961 booing fans will soon forget. Cincinnati hadn't blown a six-run lead in the ninth since June 29, 1952, when an 8-2 advantage turned into a 9-8 loss to the Cubs.

''That's what you've got to do, but it's not easy to think about during the night,'' Reds manager Dave Miley said, staring straight ahead as he tried to put it behind him. ''It's not easy to give a big-league game away, but we did.''

Until the ninth, they thought they were the ones getting the breaks.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s disputed homer — a drive that hit the top of the wall and bounced back — helped Cincinnati pull ahead 9-3 after eight innings. The Cardinals then sent 12 batters to the plate in a topsy-turvy ninth that consisted of four singles, two walks, two homers and an error.

David Weathers walked the first two batters and let in the first two runs. Graves (1-1) came on to face Edmonds, who came to the plate thinking he just needed to get on base.

''I was thinking about bunting, honestly,'' Edmonds said. ''I looked at the scoreboard and we were down four and I'm the third run. He (Graves) doesn't give up too many runs to us.''

On Graves' third pitch, Edmonds got a sloppy breaking ball and hit it deep into the seats for his sixth homer. Mark Grudzielanek then hit a ball through first baseman Sean Casey, who got an error, and Mabry hit one over the wall in center.

''Nobody wants to make that last out,'' Mabry said. ''That's what it comes down to.''

The fans booed Graves as he walked off the field after his first blown save in nine chances. The Reds have blown leads of four, five, and now six runs since last Wednesday.

''It's frustrating, but what's even more frustrating is hearing the fans boo you in your own ballpark,'' Graves said. ''We're out there trying the best we can. That's not the first time it's happened, and as long as I'll be playing, it won't be the last.''

The Reds appeared to have the game well in hand after they scored four runs in the eighth, which ended with Randy Flores (1-0) striking out Adam Dunn. Julian Tavarez closed out the Cardinals' comeback win by pitching the ninth for his second save.

The NL Central leaders went 14-5 against the Reds last season, and have won two of three this year. All the Reds could win on Monday was a home-run dispute.

Griffey had failed to hit a homer in his first 79 at-bats, the longest drought of his career to start a season. He broke it with a shot in Milwaukee on Saturday that barely cleared the wall in center.

His second homer of the season didn't even make it that far.

Griffey led off the sixth with a drive that landed on the yellow padding atop the wall in center and bounced back. The umpires ruled the ball was in play, with Griffey stopping at second for a double. Then, the crew huddled and decided it was a homer — the 503rd of Griffey's career.

Astros 11, Pirates 4

HOUSTON — Andy Pettitte pitched effectively into the eighth inning, and Craig Biggio homered and drove in four runs for Houston.

Biggio also got his 400th career stolen base in the first inning and scored three times. He finished with three hits, helping Houston improve to 10-3 at home. The Astros are just 1-10 on the road.

Pettitte (2-2) allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five, walked two and retired 12 of his first 13 batters.

Jason Bay and Tike Redman hit two-run homers in the eighth for the Pirates.

Josh Fogg (1-2) was the loser.

Mets 5, Phillies 1

NEW YORK — Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, carrying New York and Pedro Martinez past Philadelphia.

Beltran's fourth homer of the season broke a 1-1 tie and rewarded Martinez (3-1) for seven innings of four-hit pitching. New York's Cliff Floyd had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest run in the majors this season.

In the bottom of the seventh against reliever Terry Adams (0-1), Jose Reyes singled for his fourth hit and stole second. After Kaz Matsui walked, Beltran hit a 460-foot homer, putting New York in front.

The start of the game was delayed 2 hours, 17 minutes by rain.

Nationals 6, Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES — Esteban Loaiza allowed one run in six innings, and pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh for Washington.

Loaiza (1-2) gave up three hits while walking three and striking out seven before being lifted in favor of Baerga, who picked up his third hit and second RBI of the season to cap a two-run rally against Scott Erickson (1-3).

The Nationals scored twice in the eighth off rookie Steve Schmoll, and Jose Guillen hit his seventh homer of the season — a two-out, two-run shot off Buddy Carlyle — in the ninth to make it 6-1. Milton Bradley homered for the Dodgers in the ninth.

Padres 5, Rockies 4

SAN DIEGO — Adam Hyzdu hit a three-run double in the second inning, and Sean Burroughs — the only left-handed batter in San Diego's lineup against Colorado lefty Jeff Francis — drove in the Padres' other two runs.

Adam Eaton (3-1) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, and Trevor Hoffman pitched a scoreless ninth for his 398th career save and fifth in seven chances this year. Francis (1-1) also went six innings, allowing five runs and seven hits.

Todd Helton hit a solo homer for Colorado. The Rockies have lost six straight.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 8

PHOENIX — Moises Alou doubled in a run with two outs in the 10th inning to give the San Francisco Giants their sixth straight victory, 9-8 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

Catcher Mike Matheny hit San Francisco's fourth grand slam of the season, but his passed ball on what would have been the third out of the seventh inning cleared the way for pinch-hitter Tony Clark's three-run double that tied it at 7.

Ray Durham had a pair of RBI singles for the Giants, who finished with 16 hits.

J.T. Snow, who had his second four-hit game in six days, put San Francisco up 8-7 with a leadoff home run off Mike Koplove in the eighth, but the Diamondbacks tied it in the ninth when leadoff batter Luis Gonzalez hit a 3-2 pitch into the swimming pool area in right-center.

The homer came off new Giants closer Jim Brower (1-0), his first blown save in his second opportunity since taking over when Armando Benitez was injured last Tuesday.

Tyler Walker pitched the 10th for his first save in two chances, getting out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam.

Reliever Brian Bruney (0-1) retired the first two batters in the 10th, but he walked Edgardo Alfonzo on a 3-2 pitch, then Alou hit one past the diving Shawn Green in left-center to bring home Alfonzo.

Arizona, which had 14 hits, trailed 7-2 after three innings and 7-3 after six.

But Matt Kata led off the seventh with a pinch-hit single, took second on a groundout, then scored on Luis Gonzalez's two-out single to make it 7-4.

Troy Glaus walked to end the night for Giants starter Jason Schmidt, who failed to get a victory for his fourth consecutive start.

Reliever Scott Eyre fanned Shawn Green for what would have been the third out, but the ball got away from Matheny and sailed to the backstop, the catcher's first passed ball of the season. Green reached safely to load the bases.

Jeff Fassero relieved Eyre to face Clark. Clark, 2-for-15 against Fassero up to that point, slammed an 0-1 pitch into the left-center gap to clear the bases and tie the game.

Matheny's homer off former Giant Russ Ortiz in the third inning was the third slam of his career, but his first in eight years.

Ortiz was wild from the start and lasted just 3 2-3 innings. He gave up seven runs on seven hits, walked five and struck out two. Of his 85 pitchers, 43 were balls.

Glaus hit his eighth home run of the season for the Diamondbacks, an opposite-field solo shot in the third, to tie Derek Lee of the Chicago Cubs for the NL lead.

Schmidt, pitching on an extra day's rest, threw 121 pitches six days after throwing 131 in a no-decision against San Diego. He gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked five.

Ortiz walked the first three batters he faced in the third inning, then Durham singled in a run. Ortiz struck out Marquis Grissom and had a 1-2 count on Matheny before the Giants' catcher hit one just over the left-field fence.

Notes: The Giants are 10-for-22 with the bases loaded this season. ... Arizona RHP Jose Valverde, activated from the 15-day DL earlier in the day, threw a scoreless inning and reached 95 mph on the radar gun in his first appearance since last June 13. ... Arizona opened a 10-game home stand.

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