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NL: Cardinals nail final Phils runner on strikeout

By Associated Press
Published May 5, 2004

PHILADELPHIA - The entire sequence was a blur to Mike Matheny. So was his throw to first base that saved St. Louis.

Matheny made a super play behind the plate for the final out, and the Cardinals held off the Phillies 6-5 Tuesday night.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, closer Jason Isringhausen struck out Pat Burrell swinging at a high fastball.

The ball deflected off Matheny's glove all the way to the backstop, but the two-time Gold Glove winner chased it down. With no play at the plate, he fired a long throw to first, getting Burrell by a half-step and preserving the victory.

"I don't remember seeing it. I just chucked it," Matheny said. "It could have been real ugly. It would have been a nightmare."

Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds each drove in two runs for St. Louis.

Bobby Abreu hit two of Philadelphia's four homers. Jim Thome and Burrell also connected.

Five Cardinals relievers combined for four scoreless innings. Isringhausen struck out the side in the ninth for his third save in four chances. The Cardinals walked Thome intentionally with runners at first and second and two outs to get to Burrell.

DODGERS 4, MARLINS 3 (11): Adrian Beltre hit a tying single with one out in the ninth, then scored the go-ahead run two innings later for visiting Los Angeles.

The Dodgers benefited from four Florida errors and Armando Benitez's first blown save of the season.

Pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz hit a grounder through Mike Mordecai's legs at third base for an error that brought home Beltre, who led off the 11th with a single against Justin Wayne.

Duaner Sanchez worked 11/3 scoreless innings for the win. Eric Gagne got three outs for his eighth save, extending his major-league record to 71 straight. And the only reason Gagne got his chance was because Benitez couldn't come through on his.

Benitez was one strike from his 11th save in 11 chances, but Beltre tied it with a soft single to right, scoring Paul Lo Duca - who reached second on Benitez's defensive misplay.

Juan Pierre was stranded in the ninth and 11th, and Florida left 11 on in all.

"We can't afford to continue giving away opportunities," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "It's getting monotonous."

METS 6, GIANTS 2: Steve Trachsel held down a lineup missing Barry Bonds (see notes, 5C) and host New York took advantage of Edgardo Alfonzo's misplays to stop San Francisco's three-game winning streak.

Mike Cameron lined a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning and had three hits, as did slumping Kaz Matsui.

Alfonzo, an All-Star with the Mets in 2000, gave his former team a few extra chances. The second baseman made his first two errors of the season and let another ball escape him - and all five runs off of Brett Tomko were unearned.

BREWERS 6, REDS 2: Lyle Overbay fouled off four two-strike pitches before hitting his first career grand slam to lead night, leading visiting Milwaukee. Right-hander Victor Santos allowed only one hit in five innings to get his first victory since July 18, 2001, when he beat the Yankees while with Detroit. Milwaukee ended a three-game losing streak.

DIAMONDBACKS 6, CUBS 3: Steve Sparks got his first win as a starter in almost two years and Matt Kata fell a home run shy of hitting for the cycle for visiting Arizona. Sammy Sosa ended Sparks' bid for his first shutout since April 2001 with a three-run homer on the first pitch in the eighth inning. Kata finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run.

EXPOS 10, ROCKIES 4: Terrmel Sledge hit his first career homer, Endy Chavez had a three-run shot and host Montreal broke out of a season-long slump. Jose Vidro also connected for Montreal, which had a major league-low 55 runs coming in.

ASTROS 4, PIRATES 3: Andy Pettitte struck out eight over five innings to get his first victory in Houston for his hometown Astros. Pettitte (2-1) had another dominant performance against the Pirates, one week after holding them to one hit in a 2-0 win. He allowed two hits in five innings, including a first-inning homer by Jack Wilson. Craig Biggio hit his 36th career leadoff homer and Jeff Kent added a two-run shot in the sixth for Houston.

[Last modified May 5, 2004, 01:00:41]

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