CHICAGO (AP) -- The hits came one after another for the Chicago
Cubs, a seemingly endless barrage that defied logic.
There was the catcher beating out an infield single. A screamer
that glanced off the pitcher's glove. A three-run homer by Moises
Alou so long the St. Louis Cardinals didn't even bother to chase
By the time the fourth-inning frenzy was over Thursday
afternoon, the Cubs had nine straight hits and 11 overall, and were
well on their way to a 12-3 rout of the Cardinals.
"You see everybody else getting hits and home runs, and you
want to join in on the fun," said Derrek Lee, who hit a two-run
homer during the 10-run spurt and had another RBI.
The 11 hits in the fourth inning tied the club's modern record
for hits in a single inning, and the nine straight was one shy of
the major-league mark. All but two of the hits came with two outs.
"They had an edge because we had a starting pitcher go down,
and they took advantage," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Did they ever. The Cubs finished with 15 hits. Todd Walker hit a
solo homer, Aramis Ramirez went 3-for-3 with a walk and three runs
scored and Carlos Zambrano held the Cardinals to five hits to give
the Cubs a split of the four-game series.
It was a tough return to the majors for Dan Haren, who was
recalled from Triple-A Memphis because Jason Marquis missed his
scheduled start due to back spasms.
Haren (0-1) allowed 10 hits and 10 runs in 3 2-3 innings.
"I liked my stuff, I just couldn't get anything to work,"
Haren said. "I just lost my focus that one inning. I couldn't put
the guys away when I needed."
Umpires had planned to keep a careful eye on this game after the
Cubs and Cardinals renewed their old hostilities Wednesday. Matt
Morris nearly beaned Lee with a fastball, prompting both benches to
clear. No punches were thrown, but it took umpires about five
minutes to restore order.
The Cubs still got their revenge Thursday, but they did it in a
far more satisfactory fashion with their huge fourth inning.
"Emotional, physical, it doesn't matter," Cubs manager Dusty
Baker said. "As long as we get the win."
Ramirez and Todd Hollandsworth led off the fourth with singles,
and Lee followed with an RBI groundout. Corey Patterson drew a walk
before he was caught stealing, and it looked as if Haren might get
out of the jam.
Not even close. The Cubs ran off nine straight hits before Ramon
Martinez grounded out to end the inning.
"There was no doubt about it, hitting's contagious," Walker
said. "You don't want it to end. Everybody goes to the plate
wanting to keep it going."
When the inning finally ended, the Cubs had 10 runs and 11 hits,
all but three of them singles. Every player had at least one hit,
and Ramirez and Hollandsworth had two.
The Cubs also had 11 hits in an inning on Aug. 25, 1922, against
Philadelphia, also in the fourth inning.
The Cardinals had their chances to end the outburst earlier.
Michael Barrett singled to short, but a bad hop left Edgar Renteria
without a play at second and Barrett beat the throw to first. Alou
then hit his three-run homer, a shot so far that after taking a few
steps, Marlon Anderson stopped and simply watched as the ball
cleared the left-field fence.
"(Barrett's hit) was a big play," La Russa said. "That play
has got to be made. I'm not sure how it would turn out, but a lot
of bad stuff happened after that."
Hollandsworth's second hit was up the middle, but Haren couldn't
get his glove on it. That kept the inning alive for Lee, who
responded with a two-run homer.
Lost in all the scoring was another solid outing by Zambrano
(7-2), who didn't allow a hit until John Mabry's two-run homer in
the fifth. The game was so far out of reach by that time that it
hardly mattered, though.
Zambrano allowed two runs in eight innings, striking out seven
to win his third straight decision.
"You certainly don't want to lose three of four to the
Cardinals at home," Walker said. "We feel a lot better today
after the game than we did yesterday."
Zambrano's victory was his first over the Cardinals in
eight career games. ... Chicago's all-time record for hits in an
inning is 18, accomplished on Sept. 6, 1883, against the Detroit
Wolverines. ... Chicago's 10-run inning was its first since Aug.
29, 2002, at Milwaukee.