Cardinals Beat Reds, Maintain Their Big Lead
After gaining a series split, the St. Louis Cardinals left Cincinnati with their momentum and their margin intact.
They left behind a Cincinnati Reds team that’s running in place and running out of time.
Shawon Dunston, Eric Davis and Edgar Renteria homered Thursday, powering the Cardinals to a 12-3 victory that kept the Reds at bay.
Dunston had a run-scoring single in the first inning and a three-run homer in the third, putting the Cardinals ahead, 6-0, and on track for their 13th victory in 17 games.
By splitting the four-game series, St. Louis held its ground against its closest pursuer in the National League Central. The Cardinals are up by 8 1/2 games, matching their biggest margin of the season.
“We did what we had to do in a big game,” said Davis, who went three for four and drove in three runs. “We came out and got up on them early. We came in and did what we wanted to do--we got a split.”
Instead of reaching their stated goal of taking three of four to make up ground, the Reds lost for the 16th time in 22 games. They play the Cardinals three times next week at St. Louis, then don’t meet them again until a season-ending series at St. Louis.
“I don’t think we feel good about a split,” Red shortstop Barry Larkin said. “Basically, it’s just running in place.”
Ken Griffey Jr. hit a solo homer, his fourth of the series, as he once again overshadowed slumping Mark McGwire.
McGwire had one of his most miserable series, going one for 15 with a single, nine strikeouts and three walks.
Pittsburgh 5, Chicago 4--Sammy Sosa hit a tape-measure homer not long after learning he wouldn’t be traded to the New York Yankees, but the Cubs blew a late two-run lead and lost in 10 innings at Pittsburgh.
Jason Kendall hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth after the Cubs’ second defensive lapse of the game, then won it with a bases-loaded single through a drawn-in infield in the 10th.
Colorado 11, San Francisco 4--Jeff Cirillo had three hits and drove in three runs at Denver as the Rockies took three of four from the Giants.
Neifi Perez, Brent Mayne and Larry Walker each added two RBIs for Colorado and Masato Yoshii (4-7) posted his third consecutive victory.
Barry Bonds hit his 28th homer, tying McGwire for most in the majors.
Milwaukee 8, Philadelphia 6--Jason Bere struck out a season-high 13 in eight innings at Philadelphia as the Brewers ended a three-game losing streak.
Bere (5-6) gave up three runs and six hits for his first road victory since April 7. He also halted a personal three-game losing streak.
Arizona 7, Houston 1--Randy Johnson gave up five hits in eight innings, tied his season high with 13 strikeouts and got his National League-leading 12th victory for the Diamondbacks at Phoenix.