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Rolen's double in eighth beats Mets

5/20/2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- With the St. Louis Cardinals locked in a
scoreless game against the New York Mets, Scott Rolen just wanted
something he could hit.

When reliever Ricky Bottalico made a mistake, Rolen jumped on
it.

The Cardinals' slugger hit an RBI double with two outs in the
eighth inning, sending St. Louis to a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

"I wasn't looking for anything really -- just looking for a
strike," Rolen said. "I think he threw a slider and left it up
more than he wanted."

Jeff Suppan, Cal Eldred and Steve Kline combined on a
four-hitter, the Cardinals' third shutout of the season.

St. Louis' Mike Matheny set a major league record for
consecutive chances by a catcher without an error (1,295),
according to the Elias Sports Bureau, when Kaz Matsui struck out in
the sixth. Florida's Charles Johnson set the previous mark with
1,294 in 1997.

"We had some great defensive plays out there and we were able
to get the run and the bullpen came in and shut them down," Suppan
said.

After Suppan and Steve Trachsel matched zeros most of the night,
Tony Womack led off the eighth with a single off Mike Stanton
(0-1).

Edgar Renteria reached on a fielder's choice, then stole second
with two outs on the first pitch to Rolen.

"It's the little execution things that help you win
ballgames," Rolen said. "I saw him go and I let him go to second.
That put us in position to score a run."

Rolen followed with a shot into the left-center gap off
Bottalico.

"The pitch just stayed up, he stayed with it and hit it,"
Bottalico said. "I don't know if there's any more to say."

Eldred (1-0) pitched two hitless innings and Kline worked a
perfect ninth for his first save -- one night after closer Jason
Isringhausen blew a save in a 5-4 loss.

"It was a well-played ballgame," Trachsel said. "With Jeff
Suppan out there, you'd like to be able to get a few runs up there.
But if you look at their lineup, they were probably saying the
same."

New York (19-21) failed to reach .500 for the first time since
April 16, when it was 5-5.

"We know tomorrow's a big game," New York's Ty Wigginton said.
"We want to win the series. We go out there and win two out of
three and keep winning series, we'll be OK."

Trachsel allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings, struck
out four and walked one. Suppan was just as solid, allowing four
hits in six shutout innings, striking out three and walking one.

"Suppan made a lot of good pitches -- give him a lot of
credit," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "And so did
Trachsel."

The Cardinals had a chance to score in the first against
Trachsel, but the right-hander got out of trouble. Womack, who was
3-for-4, and Renteria hit consecutive singles to start the game.

Albert Pujols grounded out, putting runners on first and third,
but Trachsel struck out Rolen and got Jim Edmonds to fly out to
center.

Trachsel stopped another potential scoring threat in the sixth.
Pujols drew a two-out walk and Rolen singled, but Trachsel struck
out Edmonds looking to end the inning.

"Trachs gave us seven zeros -- that's all you can do," Mets
manager Art Howe said.

The Mets had one real scoring opportunity when they put runners
on first and second with one out in the second, but Suppan got
Wigginton to ground into a double play.

"We had a few opportunities early in the game, but Suppan made
some quality pitches when he had to," Howe said.

Game notes
Mets 3B Todd Zeile left after the seventh inning when he
was cut on the right ear by Womack's spikes while trying to break
up a double play. Zeile, who needed eight stitches, was replaced by
Wigginton. ... Wigginton got his first start this season at second
base. It was his 13th appearance at the position, and first since
starting there on Sept. 28, 2002, against Atlanta. ... Mets CF Mike
Cameron is day to day with a sprained ligament in his right pinkie.
He was injured while sliding into home recently. He pinch-ran for
Mike Piazza in the seventh.