BOSTON (AP) -- St. Louis manager Tony La Russa just kept
intentionally walking Boston Red Sox batters until his beleaguered
bullpen finally found someone they could get out.
Jim Edmonds hit an opposite-field, three-run homer in the 13th
inning as the Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox 8-7 Thursday after
wasting a pair of late leads.
Mendoza holds a towel to his face while sitting in the dugout in the bottom of the 13th inning.
After blowing a 3-0 lead in the ninth and a 5-3 advantage in the
10th, La Russa intentionally walked the bases full before his
pitchers worked out of jams. In the 13th after the Red Sox cut it
to 8-7, La Russa called for Esteban Yan to walk Jason Varitek. Yan
then got Johnny Damon on a short fly to right."It's not a question of walking someone," La Russa said.
"It's a matter of who you pick to beat you."He picked the right guy in the struggling Damon, who went
1-for-8 after briefly breaking out of his slump by going 4-for-6 on
Wednesday night.Damon, the only Red Sox regular well under .300, came in hitting
just .249."Why let the big boys beat you?' said reliever Steve Kline, who
escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. "As a pitcher you want to
challenge the batters. But if you have to win the cheap way, by
playing the four-corners rule like in the old days of basketball,
you do it."
Edmonds also had a solo homer and Edgar Renteria went 5-for-6
for the Cardinals, who took two of three from the Red Sox in the
first meeting between the teams since St. Louis won the 1967 World
Series 4-3.Nomar Garciaparra hit a tying triple in the ninth inning and a
tying single in the 10th inning.Kerry Robinson singled off Ramiro Mendoza (1-3) in the 13th, and
Miguel Cairo sacrificed. Albert Pujols was intentionally walked one
out later, and Edmonds homered high into the seats above the Green
Monster in left for an 8-5 lead.The intentional walk didn't work for the Red Sox."I really didn't know what to expect," said the left-handed
hitting Edmonds when asked if he thought he'd be walked by
right-hander Mendoza. "But when they (got down) behind the plate,
I had to regroup."Trot Nixon's RBI single off Yan (2-0) cut it to 8-6 in the
bottom half. With runners on first and third, Bill Mueller failed
to sacrifice before grounding into a double play that scored a run.
Yan then walked Jeremy Giambi and intentionally walked Varitek
before Damon ended it after 4 hours, 33 minutes."It was one of the most bizarre I've been in,'' Boston manager
Grady Little said. "I was going with the percentages."St. Louis outhit Boston 14-13. Cardinals starter Garrett Stephenson allowed just three hits over seven innings, but the Red Sox rallied in the ninth against Cal Eldred.Jeremy Giambi opened the inning with a walk, and Varitek pinch
hit and homered, pulling Boston to 3-2. Todd Walker singled,
pinch-runner Damian Jackson stole second and Garciaparra tripled to
tie it.Eldred intentionally walked Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar.
Kline came in and got Nixon to foul to first and Mueller to line to
right.Pinch-hitter J. D. Drew had a two-run homer in the 10th inning
before Boston retied it against Jeff Fassero in the bottom half.Damon reached on a two-out infield hit, and pinch-hitter David
Ortiz followed with a double, high off the left-field wall.
Garciaparra then singled to tie it at 5.Ramirez and Millar were intentionally walked, but Trot Nixon
bounced into a force play."To go up there twice and not get it done is embarrassing,''
Nixon said.Stephenson, winless in his previous four starts, walked six and
struck out six in his 122-pitch effort. St. Louis pitchers walked
14 in all.Boston, which entered with a .321 average at home, loaded the
bases in the first on a double by Walker, and two-out walks to
Ramirez and Millar before Trot Nixon struck out.In the fourth, Stephenson walked the bases full but got Damon to
pop to shortstop, ending the inning.St. Louis scored single runs in the third and eighth innings off
Tim Wakefield.Wakefield, who left early last Friday at Milwaukee after being
hit with a pitch on the right ankle, allowed two runs -- one earned
-- and six hits in six innings.Cairo singled leading off the third, stole second, advanced on a
groundout and scored on Pujols' grounder.Renteria doubled to open fourth, moved to third on Perez's
grounder to second and scored on Doug Mirabelli's passed ball.Edmonds homered off Alan Embree in the eighth.
Wakefield made his 200th start, the 10th pitcher in Red Sox history to reach that mark. ... Cairo's stolen base was his first
this season. ... Pujols was 0-for-5, stopping his 12-game hitting streak. ... Jason Isringhausen made his first appearance of the season after missing 61 games following rehab for shoulder surgery.