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Smith drives in run, pitches Cards past Padres

7/14/2002

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- There's something about Bud Smith and San
Diego.

Smith got his first win of the year, against the team he no-hit
in September, and drove in a run as the St. Louis Cardinals beat
the San Diego Padres 4-1 Sunday.

Smith (1-5) had struggled so badly that he was scratched from a
start just before the All-Star break. He had no problem against the
punchless Padres, though, holding them to three hits in seven
scoreless innings, his longest outing this year.

"I've thrown good here a couple of times,'' Smith said.

The left-hander no-hit the Padres in San Diego on Sept. 3 as a
rookie, the second time last year that the Padres were no-hit. Five
weeks later, Smith beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in his first
playoff appearance.

Although he's been nowhere near that form this year, and came in
with a 7.18 ERA, Smith didn't allow a hit after the second inning
and retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced. He struck out three
and walked one.

"I've been feeling good,'' he said. "I just haven't had the
results for the last 3-4-5 starts. Today I was able to go out there
and get ahead of guys and have a little fun and be relaxed.''

Mark Kotsay singled leading off the Padres' first, but was
erased in a double play. Phil Nevin singled, but Ryan Klesko struck
out.

"The first inning I might have been a little nervous,'' Smith
said. "After that I was able to settle down and really cruise. Eli
was calling the right pitches and the defense was working for me.''

Catcher Eli Marrero said he got on Smith for leaving too many
balls up in the first inning.

"After that he kind of relaxed,'' Marrero said. "He did a good
job and kept them off-balance with changeups and it was a big day
for him.

"That's a good confidence-builder for him. Hopefully he can
come back the next game and have good results,'' Marrero said.

The way Smith's season has gone, "one inning I'd look good, the
next inning I lose it,'' he said. "Today I was able to go out for
seven strong innings and be comfortable the whole game.''

Smith also laid down a suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth to
score Edgar Renteria, who had three hits.

In his last start, on July 2 against the Padres at St. Louis,
Smith had a 6-1 lead after two innings but failed to get out of the
fifth in a game the Cardinals would win 11-5. He was scratched from
his next scheduled start on July 7.

"Bud Smith was tough,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "For
some reason, he likes pitching in this ballpark.''

Said Ryan Klesko: "We had a bad day with the bats, but he
didn't make too many mistakes.''

J.D. Drew, in his second game back from the disabled list,
homered leading off the eighth, his 12th. The Cardinals finished
5-1 against San Diego this season, and are 26-4 against the Padres
since the start of the 1999 season.

Jason Isringhausen pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save in
25 opportunities.

Bobby Jones (5-5), who was activated from the disabled list
Friday, allowed three runs -- two earned -- and 11 hits in seven
innings. He struck out two and walked none.

Marrero hit a sacrifice fly in the second, and an error on
catcher Wiki Gonzalez allowed Placido Polanco to score in the third
to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Polanco doubled with one out in
the third and came around on Albert Pujols' single deep to the hole
at short. First baseman Klesko's throw home surprised Gonzalez and
he dropped the ball.

"He wasn't expecting him to go,'' Klesko said. "He felt bad
about it. The guy was probably out by four to five feet.''

After the inning, Bochy, a former catcher, aired out Gonzalez in
the dugout tunnel.

"Some things were said,'' Bochy said. "He just brain-cramped.
It cost us a run. You can't drift mentally.''

Renteria singled with one out in the sixth, took third on
Marrero's single and scored on Smith's suicide squeeze.

Gonzalez tripled off reliever Dave Veres leading off the Padres'
eighth and scored on Julius Matos' single.

Game notes
Plate umpire C.B. Bucknor was hit in the side of his mask
and staggered back several steps when Gonzalez missed a high
fastball from Kevin Pickford in the top of the ninth. Fernando Vina
also missed the pitch on a bunt attempt. Bucknor shook it off and
remained in the game. ... Padres rookie lefty Oliver Perez (3-1,
3.45) will start Monday night against Colorado on seven days' rest.
In his last start, he struck out 13, a Padres rookie record, in 6
2-3 innings in a 7-1 win at Colorado.