ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals just missed winning for
Jack Buck one last time.
After an estimated 10,000 mourners filed past Buck's casket near
home plate and the longtime broadcaster was honored in a memorial
service, the Cardinals threatened in the ninth inning before
failing to sweep the Anaheim Angels in a 3-2 loss Thursday.
"The organization made it such a well-done day,'' said catcher
Mike Matheny, one of the speakers at the memorial service.
"Everybody in here was kind of choked up by the whole thing. Right
up to the end of the ninth.''
Scott Schoeneweis allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings and David
Eckstein had three hits and scored twice for Anaheim. St. Louis won
7-2 on Wednesday, a day after the 77-year-old Buck died.
"He was like the 10th man,'' Schoeneweis said. "It gives them
a boost and a little something extra.''
The Angels avoided a three-game sweep and ended a four-game
losing streak. They also put a halt to the Cardinals' five-game
winning streak as Troy Percival stranded two runners in the ninth
for his 15th save in 17 chances. Percival worked around a one-out
triple to Edgar Renteria.
"I first thought, it's miserably hot out here and if I let them
tie it up, my players are going to have a mutiny,'' Percival said.
The Cardinals held a 4½-hour viewing for Buck beginning more
than seven hours before game time, with fans filing past the
broadcaster's cherrywood casket just behind home plate. Buck's son,
Joe, led the memorial service that also featured speeches by Stan
Musial, Lou Brock, manager Tony La Russa, broadcaster Mike Shannon
and former announcing cohort Dan Dierdorf.
"I like Dierdorf's comment the best: What he did from that
booth was just the smallest portion of what he was,'' La Russa
said. "He was such an incredible man in so many ways.''
Buck's initials, JFB, again were etched in the grass beyond the
center-field wall and in the dirt behind second base. There was a
moment of silence in honor of Buck and highlights from his 48-year
career as broadcaster with the Cardinals were played between
Eli Marrero produced both of the Cardinals' runs with an RBI
single in the second and his sixth home run in the seventh. The
homer off Alan Levine cut the gap to 3-2, but the Cardinals went
quietly after that.
Marrero struck out for the second out in the ninth, taking big
cuts on the first two strikes.
"I wished he'd waited for a low strike,'' La Russa said.
Schoeneweis (6-5) gave up six hits with four strikeouts and a
walk in his first career appearance against the Cardinals. He's won
three of his last four starts.
Cardinals starter Bud Smith (0-5) struggled with his control and
lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with five
strikeouts and a walk.
Smith, who had a no hitter against the Padres last September,
has lost a career-high six straight decisions dating to Oct. 3,
2001, at Milwaukee -- his last start of last season.
Eckstein led off the game with a double on a ball bobbled at the
wall by left fielder Miguel Cairo, Smith hit Darin Erstad with a
pitch and Troy Glaus singled to load the bases with nobody out. Tim
Salmon hit an RBI single with one out and Scott Spiezio added a
sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
"I have to catch that ball,'' Cairo said. "I messed it up.''
Cairo also had a tough day on the basepaths, getting doubled off
second in the second on Mike Matheny's flyout to shallow center.
Marrero's RBI single in the second cut the gap to a run and
Erstad's RBI single restored the Angels' two-run lead in the
The Angels were outscored 28-13 during the losing streak.
... Despite the loss, the Cardinals have won 15 of 19 at home and
entered the game a major league-best 23-11 at home. ... Glaus, in a
12-for-86 slump, including his last 11 at-bats without a hit, was
2-for-3 with a pair of singles. ... Cardinals P Woody Williams
struck out as a pinch-hitter. ... Placido Polanco singled in the
sixth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, best on the team