NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Girardi’s Hit in 11th Keeps Rockies on Top

From Associated Press

On Sunday, it was Joe Girardi’s turn.

Dante Bichette, Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla and Andres Galarraga get most of the attention when the topic is the Colorado Rockies, but it took a two-out single by Girardi in the 11th inning to win, 5-4, in St. Louis and keep the Rockies atop the NL West standings.

Not that the others weren’t involved. Galarraga started the inning with a single off reliever Jeff Parrett (4-4). He scored from second base on Girardi’s hit.

“I was thinking I might get a slider in that situation, and there it was,” said Girardi, who entered the game as part of a double switch. “I was telling myself while I was on the bench that I had to be ready if I got a chance to hit.”


Darren Holmes (6-1) pitched a scoreless 10th inning for the victory, and Bruce Ruffin retired the Cardinals in the 11th to earn his ninth save.

Castilla doubled home Bichette and Walker and scored the final run of the first inning when Colorado scored four times off Cardinal starter Donovan Osborne, who has not won since July 10, 1993, and has dropped his last five decisions.

He then shut the Rockies down through seven innings and helped his teammates catch up by doubling in two of the four runs St. Louis scored in the fourth inning.

Philadelphia 3, San Diego 2--Paul Quantrill won for the first time in more than a month and Gregg Jefferies drove in two runs to lead the Phillies to victory over the Padres in San Diego.

Quantrill (10-9) gave up two runs on nine hits in seven-plus innings to pick up his first victory since July 26.

Atlanta 2, Chicago 0--Jason Schmidt struggled in the first inning, then settled down to pitch eight shutout innings in his first major league start for the Braves, who won at Atlanta.


Schmidt retired Sammy Sosa with two on base and one out, and got Shawon Dunston with the bases loaded and two outs in the first.

Schmidt, pressed into duty because Kent Mercker had a sore back muscle, gave up six hits and struck out seven before Mark Wohlers came on to earn his 21st save.

Pittsburgh 7, Cincinnati 3--Orlando Merced hit a three-run homer at Cincinnati and Paul Wagner (4-13) beat the Reds for the first time in his career.

The Pirates sent 10 batters to the plate for five runs in the fourth inning off Dave Burba (9-3), who took his first loss for the Reds.

New York 11, San Francisco 6--Carl Everett drove in three runs and Chris Jones two at San Francisco as the Mets stopped a three-game losing streak. New York’s third pitcher, Don Florence (3-0), pitched 1 1/3 innings for the victory.

Florida 8, Houston 7--Pitcher Craig McMurtry, who had to bat when the Astros ran out of hitters, struck out with the tying run on third base in the 11th inning at Houston, where the Astros dropped half a game behind the Dodgers in the wild-card race.