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Sliding D'backs lose Gonzalez

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 24, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- Arizona star Luis Gonzalez separated his left shoulder in an outfield collision and the Diamondbacks again failed to clinch a playoff spot, losing 13-1 to the Cardinals on Monday night.

There was no word on how long Gonzalez would be sidelined. But clearly, it was a potentially major blow to the World Series champions.

"It doesn't look good for him being a part of our postseason," losing pitcher Rick Helling said. "Hopefully, it's not as bad as they think it is."

Gonzalez declined comment in the locker room. The leftfielder was to be evaluated today in Phoenix.

Gonzalez, a Tampa native and former Jefferson High standout, is batting .288 with 28 home runs and 103 RBIs. He got the hit that won last season's World Series for the Diamondbacks.

He was hurt when he tried to make a diving catch on Tino Martinez's bloop double in the fourth. Shortstop Tony Womack's knee hit Gonzalez's shoulder, and Womack cartwheeled over his teammate.

The Cardinals broke open the game by scoring 10 in the seventh to send Arizona to its fourth straight loss. The West leaders have a magic number of one for wrapping up a playoff berth with six games to go.

The Diamondbacks' lead for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs is two games over St. Louis, which has won 16 of 19. The Central champion Cardinals posted their highest-scoring game of the season in the opener of a three-game series.

Eli Marrero had four hits for the second time in four games. St. Louis tied a season high with 18 hits.

Marrero hit a three-run double in the seventh, which also featured three run-scoring infield singles and nine consecutive two-out hits.

Arizona, which has given up double-digit runs in its past three losses, leads the Giants by four in the West. It has been outscored 48-20 during the losing streak.

ASTROS 8, BREWERS 6: Jeff Bagwell hit a two-run single for host Houston to move within three RBIs of reaching 100 for the seventh straight season.

Richie Sexson doubled home a run for Milwaukee, giving him 100 RBIs for the third time in his career.

Bosox go 15 to stay alive

BALTIMORE -- Johnny Damon scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch in the 15th, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Orioles 5-4 to complete a four-game sweep.

The victory enabled Boston to remain alive in the wild-card race. One Boston loss or Anaheim win will eliminate the Red Sox from playoff contention.

Boston took a 4-3 lead in the 14th when pinch-runner Rickey Henderson scored on a single by Tony Clark after an error by Jeff Conine at first. But Conine made amends by leading off the bottom half with a home run on the first pitch from Alan Embree.

Jay Gibbons' second home run, off Red Sox closer Ugueth Urbina in the ninth, denied Boston starter Tim Wakefield his fifth straight victory.

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