CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jim Edmonds was the only one surprised that he
caught the ball.
Edmonds drove in four runs with a homer and a double and made
another sensational catch atop the center-field wall, leading the
St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-3 victory Saturday night over the
Cincinnati Reds.The Cardinals' first victory in six games at Great American Ball
Park kept them tied for first place in the NL Central with Houston.
The Astros beat San Diego 11-6 to hold onto their share."It was Jim's night tonight," said Brett Tomko, who beat his
former team for the first time in five tries. "I just happened to
throw a few innings in the game."For the second consecutive game, Edmonds perfectly timed his
jump and made a spectacular catch atop the 8-foot wall in center,
saving runs and the Cardinals' momentum.In the series opener, Edmonds stretched and caught Kelly
Stinnett's fly ball against the yellow padding atop the wall. He
robbed Russell Branyan in the third inning Saturday, reaching over
the wall to pull back what would have been a two-run homer."The wind was blowing in, and the ball was hanging up a little
bit," Branyan said. "I knew as soon as he started slowing up,
when he had about 30 feet to go. He was like a plane getting ready
to land and judging the distance. It was a beautiful play. He does
it every night."Edmonds had problems judging the bat off the ball all night and
initially thought the drive was going to smack off the black
batters' eye building beyond the wall. Then, the wind got it."I was kind of cruising back and it was dying," Edmonds said.
"I got lucky. I don't think this is something that should be
talked about. I don't think the people of Cincinnati want to read
about how I made a catch. I don't think it's that big of a deal."His hitting was an even bigger deal.Edmonds hit a two-run homer in the first off Aaron Harang (3-2)
to get the Cardinals rolling. He has 34 homers overall, 10 in the
first inning.Edmonds also had a two-run double off the left-field wall in the
third and came around on Tino Martinez's single to right.Harang, acquired from Oakland in one of the Reds' five midseason
trades, gave up five runs in six innings. He won his first three
starts for the Reds, but has lost his last two while giving up 10
earned runs in 11 innings.Asked if anything in particular went wrong Saturday, Harang
said, "Just Jim Edmonds giving me problems. He was giving us all
problems tonight."Edgar Renteria had a pair of hits, including a solo homer in the
ninth off Brian Reith for a 6-3 lead.Tomko (11-8) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings. The
right-hander has given up the most hits, runs and homers in the NL,
but prevented Cincinnati from putting together a big rally. In each
of the Cardinals' last seven losses, they've allowed opponents to
have one big inning.Edmonds' catch saved him from a similar fate."That's probably only the second time I've had someone save a
home run in a game," said Tomko, who has given up 31 this season.
"Usually they go a little farther."Four relievers combined to hold the lead, with Jason
Isringhausen pitching the ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances.St. Louis also got back its leadoff hitter. Fernando Vina was
activated off the disabled list and singled in four at-bats. Vina
had been out since he tore a tendon connected to his right
hamstring on May 25, requiring surgery.
St. Louis is 4-8 against Cincinnati this season. ... The
Cardinals also activated RHP Russ Springer from the DL and optioned
pitchers Garrett Stephenson and Dan Haren to Class-A Palm Beach.
Neither will leave the team -- they'll be added again when rosters
expand on Sept. 1. ... Stephenson was given permission to be with
his mother, who was having heart surgery Saturday. ... C Chris
Widger was a late scratch from the Cardinals' lineup because of
back spasms. ... Tomko is 1-2 career against the Reds with a 6.68
ERA. ... RHP Jimmy Haynes won't pitch for the Reds again this
season because of a bulging disc in his back. Haynes went 2-12 with
a 6.30 ERA. He has a contract option to return next season for $2.5
million. ... INF Juan Castro made his 71st start of the season. If
he starts 80 games, his salary for next season jumps from $900,000
to $1 million.