Series: Game 1 of 4

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 5/17)

Game 1: Friday, May 17
Cincinnati 1Final
St. Louis 3
Game 2: Saturday, May 18
Cincinnati 7Final
St. Louis 3
Game 3: Sunday, May 19
Cincinnati 1Final
St. Louis 10
Game 4: Monday, May 20
Cincinnati 3Final
St. Louis 7

Reds 1

(25-16, 12-8 away)

Cardinals 3

(21-20, 12-7 home)

    8:10 PM ET, May 17, 2002

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

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    CIN 000000100 1 - -
    STL 00000111 - 3 - -

    W: D. Kile (2-3)

    L: S. Sullivan (3-1)

    S: J. Isringhausen (10)

    Kile's jewel leads Cards to fifth straight win

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Darryl Kile feels like he's a contributor.

    Darryl Kile


    Darryl Kile had lost his three previous starts, but enjoyed a two-hitter Friday.

    A 16-game winner last year, Kile won his second game of the season by allowing two hits in seven innings as the St. Louis Cardinals extended their winning streak to five, beating the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Friday night.

    "When the team was going through a tough stretch, I didn't do my job," said Kile, who had lost his last three starts. "We're starting to play a little better and it's nice to help out, I guess."

    Gene Stechschulte and Jason Isringhausen completed a combined two-hitter and Fernando Vina's sacrifice fly off Scott Sullivan (3-1) snapped a seventh-inning tie for the Cardinals, who ended Cincinnati's four-game winning streak.

    "We just didn't hit tonight," manager Bob Boone said. "We had a couple of opportunities to break it open, and we didn't do it."

    St. Louis (21-20) has won seven of eight overall, closing within four games of first-place Cincinnati and moving above .500 for the first time since April 19 (9-8).

    Albert Pujols hit his sixth home run, and first at home, and also doubled for the Cardinals. Pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo added an eighth-inning sacrifice fly for St. Louis, which has outscored opponents 31-12 during their streak.

    The game was played in 47-degree weather and began after a 59-minute rain delay. There were more than 10,500 no-shows among the 36,103 who bought tickets.

    Pitching in short sleeves, Kile (2-3) ended his three-game losing streak, allowing one run and five walks against the team that beat him 8-1 last Saturday in Cincinnati. Kile held the Reds without a hit until Jason LaRue singled to start the sixth, and gave up a run in the seventh when he hit LaRue with a pitch with the bases loaded.

    "That's a good time for the wheels to fall off," catcher Mike Matheny said. "But he really started making better pitches and got us the key double play that got us out of the inning."

    Kile, who has struggled following offseason arthroscopic shoulder surgery, got an extra day's rest for the fifth time this season and won for the first time since April 24. The Reds stranded four runners his last two innings.

    Reds starter Elmer Dessens, who has a 1.08 ERA on the road, lasted six innings, giving up a run -- Pujols' homer to lead off the sixth -- and five hits. Dessens allowed four earned runs in five innings during a 10-8 loss in Cincinnati on Sunday.

    "He's done a great job," said rookie Austin Kearns, who was 1-for-3 with a double and run scored. "It's frustrating when a pitcher goes out and pitches his butt off for you and you can't scrape across enough runs to get him a win."

    Stechschulte had one strikeout in a perfect eighth and Isringhausen got three outs for his 10th save in 11 chances.

    Game notes

    Kile had allowed 13 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings his previous three starts, all losses. ... Edgar Renteria grounded into his 10th double play of the season, by far the most on the Cardinals. ... Sullivan made his first appearance since Monday, when left a game at Milwaukee after being struck on the right elbow by a Richie Sexson one-hop comebacker. ... Sullivan retired 23 of 24 batters leading off innings before Kerry Robinson singled to start the seventh. ... Pujols hit 37 homers last season, 18 at home.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press