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Edmonds adds to Mets' woes with walk-off homer

5/1/2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After leaving Wednesday's game early because of
fatigue, Jim Edmonds was anxious to end it.

Edmonds homered off Scott Strickland with one out in the bottom
of the 10th inning as the St. Louis Cardinals completed a
three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 6-5 victory on
Thursday.

Edmonds said he's been tired since the Cardinals' 20-inning
victory at Florida on Sunday.

"I just prefer to go home," said Edmonds, who played only
three innings on Wednesday. "I don't want to play too many more
extra-inning games.That 20-inning game took a lot out of me."

The NL Central champions, who won the first two games 13-3 and
13-4, moved two games above .500 for the first time since the
opening week of the season. New York has lost five in a row and is
11-17 overall, last place in the NL East, despite a $117 million
payroll.

"It was a tough loss, but it's one you can live with," manager
Art Howe said. "We battled right to the end."

Rey Sanchez had four hits as the Mets rallied from a 5-1 run,
sixth-inning deficit, with a run in the seventh and three more in
the eighth. The big blow was Joe McEwing's two-run double off the
top of the left field wall off Steve Kline. Pinch-hitter Roberto
Alomar tied it with a sacrifice fly off Dustin Hermanson.

McEwing, who had been 2-for-18 before the hit, preserved the tie
when he snared Mike Matheny's one-hop smash with a runner on second
for the last out in the bottom of the eighth. He was a fan favorite
when he played for the Cardinals in 1998 and '99.

"That's why his spikes are in my office," manager Tony La
Russa said. "He just about takes that game away from us, offense
and defense."

With one out in the 10th, Edmonds homered over the left field
wall on a 1-2 down-and-away pitch from Strickland (0-2). Edmonds
thought it was a double, but it just kept carrying.

"I'm still a little bit amazed he hit it out," Strickland
said. "You make a good pitch and you're supposed to get rewarded.
I didn't."

Cal Eldred (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

Pitcher Brett Tomko's two-run, two-out, opposite-field double on
a 3-2 pitch from Steve Trachsel gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in
the fifth. He's a career .161 batter with seven doubles and 16
RBI.

Scott Rolen provided breathing room with a three-run double to
chase Trachsel with none out in the sixth. Edgar Renteria was
4-for-4 for his NL-leading 16th multihit game, raising his average
to .366.

Unlike the first two games of the series, in which the Cardinals
scored nine runs in the first inning, they had to wait for offense.
In the first inning Thursday, they went down in order.

The Mets scored playing smallball in the first on a leadoff hit
by Roger Cedeno, a sacrifice and Cliff Floyd's RBI double. They got
only one hit off Tomko the next five innings before chasing him
with three hits in the seventh, including Jay Bell's RBI single.

Tomko allowed three hits and had two strikeouts and two walks.
Both of his strikeouts, against Mo Vaughn and Ty Wigginton, came in
big spots after Mike Piazza walked and advanced on a wild pitch
with one out in the sixth.

Piazza returned to the Mets' lineup after missing a game with a
swollen left knee and was 1-for-4.

Orlando Palmeiro led off the bottom of the sixth with a bunt
hit, Albert Pujols singled and Edmonds was hit with a pitch before
Rolen's bases-clearing double.

Trachsel gave up five runs on eight hits in five-plus innings
and has no decisions in his last five starts.

Game notes
Sanchez made his first start in seven games after being
sidelined with an elbow injury. He played as a reserve on
Wednesday. He has 10 career four-hit games, the last on May 31,
2001, at Texas. ... Cardinals 1B Tino Martinez served the final
game of a three-game suspension for a fight with Diamondbacks
pitcher Miguel Batista on April 20. ... Cardinals C Mike Matheny
has caught all but 17 innings this season. ... Renteria has 10
career four-hit games. ... The Cardinals are 3-1 in extra innings.
... The Cardinals have two series sweeps this year and this was
their first against the Mets since Aug. 10-12, 2001, at New York.

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