PHOENIX (AP) -- Luis Gonzalez had plenty of chances to drive in
runs, and he took advantage of them.
"It's pretty nice when you've got Tony Womack and Quinton
McCracken gettting on base all the time," Gonzalez said. "What
they do is create a lot of opportunities. They put pressure on the
defense, and that's why you like having those guys up top. They
make things happen, and they got on base all night for me."
Rick Helling (1-2), signed in the offseason to complement Randy
Johnson and Curt Schilling in the Diamondbacks' starting rotation,
allowed four runs on five hits and five walks in seven innings for
his first win with Arizona.
Helling's wife, Tomasa, was at home on bed rest expecting their
second child. Helling said labor was to be induced Tuesday.
"With everything that's happened and all the pitchers we used
in Colorado and (Todd Stottlemyre) being sick, I couldn't afford to
miss a start," Helling said.
The Diamondbacks scored six runs in the second and fourth to win
handily in the first meeting between the teams since Arizona's 2-1
victory in Game 5 of the NL division series last October.
J.D. Drew had a solo homer and an RBI triple for the Cardinals.
Drew's homer was the fourth off Helling, who led the AL in homers
allowed last season with 38.
Still, Helling became the fourth Arizona starter to win this
season. Johnson and Schilling are both 3-0, but Miguel Batista is
the only other Diamondbacks starter with a victory.
"I thought I threw pretty well my first two times out, but if
you start off 0-2, you hear all the questions about Curt and
Randy," Helling said.
It was the second straight loss for St. Louis, which had a
five-game winning streak snapped by Houston on Sunday.
"Believe me, that's a playoff team we played tonight," Grace
said. "To come out banging the ball around against them feels
Andy Benes (0-2), who was Arizona's ace in the 1998 expansion
year and pitched the first game in Bank One Ballpark, allowed 10
runs -- three earned -- and six hits in three-plus innings. He walked
Edmonds got his glove on Miller's fly to center field, but the
ball dropped through before Edmonds got his hand under it for the
"They said he didn't have possession when he tried to transfer
it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "It's just one play.
It's also a play he usually makes."
Junior Spivey, the next batter, rapped a grounder along the
left-field line. Pujols stepped into foul territory to get it, but
missed third base going and coming, allowing Grace to reach third
safely. Spivey beat the throw to first.
Craig Counsell hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 and leave
Miller and Spivey on the corners. After a sacrifice by Helling,
Benes walked Womack to load the bases, then walked McCracken.
Gonzalez hit a two-run single, and Bautista and Grace added RBI
singles before the inning ended.
"When you get down to it, it's a 2-1 game with the bases
loaded, and I walk a guy and give up an infield hit -- you know,
that was the difference in the game," Benes said.
In the fourth, Gonzalez made it 9-2 with a two-run double,
chasing Benes, and scored on a double by Bautista.
Miller hit a 409-foot shot with Bautista and Grace aboard off
Travis Smith, who pitched four innings of five-hit ball, allowing
Fernando Vina drove Helling's second pitch down the right-field
line in the first inning and wound up on third, scoring on Edgar
Renteria's grounder to shortstop.
Arizona answered in the same fashion _ a leadoff triple by
Womack, followed by McCracken's RBI grounder to short.
Edmonds had a run-scoring single in the fifth, and Tino Martinez
added an RBI double in the eighth for St. Louis.
Gonzalez has 27 games with at least four RBI in his
career. ... Miller, once considered a defensive catcher, leads
Arizona with four homers. ... The Cardinals have stranded a major
league-high 127 runners, eight Monday. ... The Cardinals began a
season-long, 13-game road trip.