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Rolen drives in three runs for third straight game

8/14/2002

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Tony La Russa had been waiting for these kind
of outbursts from the St. Louis batters.

Scott Rolen drove in three runs for the third straight game and
the Cardinals got a season-high 18 hits in a 9-5 victory over the
Pittsburgh Pirates.

"It's a lot of fun,'' said catcher Mike Matheny, one of the
five Cardinals with three hits. "We just need to keep going with
it. Don't get complacent, just see how long we can ride it out.''

The Cardinals have scored 28 runs in the last three games and
are batting .392 (47-for-120) in that span.

"What I'm seeing right now is some real tough at-bats,'' La
Russa said. "It's what we've been talking about for 4{ months.''

The manager mentioned that good pitching usually stops good
hitting and suggested the Cardinals' pace might slow suddenly.

"We face (Kip) Wells and (Kris) Benson the next two games,'' he
said. "Let's see how much we're chirping about our offense.''

Matt Morris (14-7) pitched eight innings, allowing one run and
six hits. He was staked to a 5-0 lead after three innings and won
for the fourth time in his last five decisions.

"I thought tonight was as good as I've seen him,'' Matheny
said. "He has the potential to do that every night. It's fun to
catch a guy like that because he's pitching, not just throwing.''

The Pirates have lost four consecutive games and are a
season-worst 15 games under .500.

Adam Hyzdu's bases-loaded single capped a four-run ninth for
Pittsburgh. Jason Isringhausen got the last out for his 27th save.

La Russa never thought he'd need his closer to get the last
three outs in a 9-1 game. But he wound up using four pitchers to
get the last three outs after Matt Duff failed to put the game
away.

"It should have been a slam dunk for Duff and it wasn't,'' La
Russa said.

Edgar Renteria, Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols, Matheny and Rolen
each had three hits.

Before this recent surge, Rolen had driven in only two runs in
his first 11 games since being traded from Philadelphia to the
Cardinals on July 29.

"The funny thing is I felt better during my 0-for-20 streak,''
Rolen said. "That's what was so frustrating about it. It was the
best I've felt all season.''

Rolen's RBI single followed hits by Renteria and Pujols in the
first.

The Cardinals broke the game open with a four-run third against
Jimmy Anderson (8-13). Edmonds, Pujols and Rolen started the inning
with singles. Eli Marrero doubled in two runs and Matheny had an
RBI single.

"Everything I threw up there they hit,'' Anderson said. "It
didn't matter if it was up, in, out or down. They're on a hot
streak and they're on everything right now.''

St. Louis added two runs against Ron Villone in the fifth.
Matheny doubled and scored on Morris' single. Renteria and Edmonds
also singled in the inning.

Rolen had an RBI triple in the eighth off Mike Lincoln.
Pinch-hitter Kerry Robinson followed with an RBI single.

Game notes
The Cardinals have a 38-17 record in games Morris starts
over the past two seasons, including a 17-9 mark this year. He was
helped by three double plays. ... Abraham Nunez had an RBI single
for the Pirates in his fifth, breaking his 0-for-20 streak as a
pinch-hitter. ... St. Louis had gotten 17 hits in three other games
this season. ... Anderson has lost his last four decisions. His
record in 14 home starts is 2-9 with a 7.25 ERA. ... Anderson is
0-2 vs. St. Louis with 10 earned runs in 8 1-3 innings this season.
... RF Armando Rios robbed Renteria of an extra-base hit with a
sliding catch along the line in the fourth. ... Hyzdu has 13 RBI
in five games against the Cardinals this season.