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Down 5-0, Cards defeat Reds
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 10      5   Final
09/04/2002 11:27 pm ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Reds 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 11 2
 Cardinals 0 0 4 0 1 1 1 3 X 10 12 0
Down 5-0, Cards defeat Reds
Renteria drives in career-high five runs
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com

Edgar Renteria is congratulated by Eli Marrero and Albert Pujols after hitting a third-inning grand slam. (Cardinals/ Scott Rovak)
Box score >

ST. LOUIS -- You'd think the Cardinals would be tired of this stuff by now. Another key hit by Edgar Renteria, another huge comeback win and another milestone on the all-time wins list for Tony La Russa. Actually, you wouldn't think so, not if you knew this team.

St. Louis rebounded from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Reds, 10-5, at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night. Combined with a Houston loss in San Diego, the win gives the Cardinals a five-game lead in the National League central, equaling their biggest cushion of the season.

Some Cardinals tried to treat it like just another September game, but it's clear this win will stand out over some others.

"This time of year, every win's big and every loss is a tough loss," said Tino Martinez, whose solo homer in the fifth tied the game. "To come back and win like that, hopefully everybody realizes that if we fall behind in any kind of game, we've got a chance to win still."

It was the last time that St. Louis and Cincinnati will play this season, and that has to be a sad thing for the Cards. Wednesday night marked the fourth time this season that St. Louis has come from behind to beat the Reds. It was the second time the Cardinals overcame a huge deficit, hearkening back to May 12, when they trailed Cincinnati, 8-0, before winning 10-8.

"The way to play is not to fall behind four, five, six, seven, eight, whatever it was," said La Russa, who tied Casey Stengel for eighth on the managers' win list with 1,905. "But when a club's got the attitude that we have, that come hell or high water we're gonna play nine innings, there's enough times during the season that you're gonna come back and win games. Especially if you've got talent like we have."

Nearly everyone in a St. Louis uniform starred, with the exception of the guy who probably wanted it most: Starting pitcher Jamey Wright. Renteria matched Jason LaRue's grand slam with one of his own and drove in a career-high five runs. Martinez turned a slick unassisted double play in addition to his home run. Scott Rolen's pinch-homer gave the Cardinals the lead, bailing out Wright in the right-hander's St. Louis home debut. Albert Pujols notched a career-high four of St. Louis' 12 hits.

"I don't know who played that didn't play well," La Russa said. "Take your pick. I think they were all stars."

Wright lasted just three-plus innings and gave up five runs. A walk, a double and an intentional walk loaded the bases for LaRue in the second, and he cracked an 0-1 offering 397 feet to center field for his ninth homer of the season.

"It's a little easier to swallow because the team came back and won," Wright said. "I just put myself in that position, walking guys. I've got to realize that this is a different team. There's too many weapons on this team -- in the field, on offense. I've got to learn to go out there and just throw the ball down the middle of the plate, throw strikes and let these guys do their job."

Wright gave up another run in the second, then a single and a walk in the third and a leadoff single in the fourth before he was pulled. And St. Louis' relievers were brilliant. Gabe Molina pitched a perfect fourth when he came in for Wright. Luther Hackman went two strong innings. Jeff Fassero and Steve Kline held the fort in the seventh and eighth and Dave Veres closed it out in the ninth.

"That's what our bullpen's done," Kline said. "We've been resilient all year."

By the time Wright left, it was already a one-run game. Jim Edmonds drew a one-out walk in the third, and Pujols and Martinez each singled to load the bases. That brought up Renteria, who exploded on a 2-0 pitch from Dempster, lining it 352 feet off the facade beneath the left-field seats. Renteria's grand slam was his second of the season.

"That's reaction," Renteria said. "It was a fastball inside. That's reaction, I tried to hit the ball hard to score one run."

Cincinnati threatened to stretch its lead back out in the fourth. With a runner on first, Adam Dunn smoked a line drive down the right-field line, but Martinez snared it and doubled Walker off first to end the inning.

Soon after he helped keep the game close, Martinez tied it up. He led off the fifth inning with his 16th homer of the season. Scott Rolen followed an inning later with a two-out solo shot to give the Cardinals their first lead at 6-5.

"I felt good tonight," Martinez said. "Had a good swing going and (I was) good mechanically. Just trying to establish a good swing, good mechanics day in and day out, try to get something going."

All the while, Cardinals hitters kept piling on. Martinez's single drove in Pujols in the seventh. St. Louis' last three runs came in an ugly eighth inning that featured a walk, a hit batter, two singles, two forceouts and a fielder's choice.

Once again, a seeming loss had turned into a clear-cut win for the remarkably resilient Redbirds.

"If you just decide to play nine innings," La Russa said, "then anything's possible, right?"

Matthew Leach covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. He can be reached at Matthew_H_Leach@yahoo.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.




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BOX SCORE
St Louis Cardinals 10, Cincinnati Reds 5
Cincinnati Reds
BatterPosABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Walker2B 5120003.285
LarkinSS 5011013.247
DunnLF 4000111.261
Boone3B 3010212.244
Branyan1B 4100113.223
GuillenRF 5120003.240
TaylorCF 3130100.275
LaRueC 4114025.243
DempsterP 2000012.151
a-CastroPH 1010000.194
ChenP 0000000.333
SullivanP 0000000.333
WilliamsonP 0000000.000
b-MateoPH 0000000.217
HamiltonP 0000000.222
ReitsmaP 0000000.103
Totals3651155722
a-Singled for Dempster in the 6th. b-Hit by pitch for Williamson in the 8th.
BATTING
2B: Guillen (6, Wright).
HR: LaRue (9, 2nd inning off Wright, 3 on, 1 out).
RBI: LaRue 4 (47), Larkin (45).
2-out RBI: Larkin.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Boone, Dempster, LaRue, Larkin, Guillen.
GIDP: Walker.
Team LOB: 10.
BASERUNNING
SB: Walker (5, 2nd base off Wright/DiFelice).
FIELDING
E: Boone (16, fielding), Sullivan (3, throw).
 
St Louis Cardinals
BatterPosABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Vina2B 4000105.267
DrewRF 2000102.267
c-RolenPH-3B 1211100.265
EdmondsCF 3200133.305
Pujols3B-LF 5241002.309
Martinez1B 5332004.265
RenteriaSS 5125001.303
MarreroLF-RF 4000102.255
DiFeliceC 3010000.232
d-RobinsonPH 1000013.256
MathenyC 1011000.235
WrightP 1000001.139
MolinaP 0000000.000
a-CruzPH 0000100.000
HackmanP 0000000.067
b-PerezPH 1000010.205
FasseroP 0000000.333
e-CairoPH 1000013.243
KlineP 0000000.000
f-DelgadoPH 1000002.000
VeresP 0000000.333
Totals381012106628
a-Walked for Molina in the 4th. b-Struck out for Hackman in the 6th. c-Homered for Drew in the 6th. d-Struck out for DiFelice in the 7th. e-Struck out for Fassero in the 7th. f-Grounded out for Kline in the 8th.
BATTING
2B: Pujols (32, Sullivan).
HR: Renteria (10, 3rd inning off Dempster, 3 on, 1 out), Martinez (16, 5th inning off Dempster, 0 on, 0 out), Rolen (22, 6th inning off Chen, 0 on, 2 out).
RBI: Renteria 5 (70), Martinez 2 (63), Rolen (91), Pujols (110), Matheny (28).
2-out RBI: Rolen, Matheny.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Martinez, Vina 3, Pujols, Delgado.
Team LOB: 11.
FIELDING
DP: 2 (Martinez, Vina-Martinez).
Cincinnati Reds
PitcherIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dempster 5.06554225.65
Chen (L, 2-5) 1.01110215.77
Sullivan 0.03111006.05
Williamson 1.00000203.21
Hamilton 0.22331005.50
Reitsma 0.10000003.91
St Louis Cardinals
PitcherIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wright 3.06554115.47
Molina 1.00000001.17
Hackman (W, 5-4) 2.03000304.09
Fassero (H, 9) 1.00001105.71
Kline (H, 17) 1.01000104.21
Veres 1.01000103.44
Wright pitched to 1 batter in the 4th.
Sullivan pitched to 4 batters in the 7th.

IBB: Marrero (by Sullivan), Taylor (by Wright).
HBP: Edmonds (by Hamilton), Mateo (by Kline).
Pitches-strikes: Dempster 83-50, Chen 12-10, Sullivan 16-8, Williamson 14-9, Hamilton 15-8, Reitsma 1-1, Wright 68-38, Molina 6-3, Hackman 29-22, Fassero 18-11, Kline 18-12, Veres 13-10.
Ground outs-fly outs: Dempster 6-7, Chen 1-0, Sullivan 0-0, Williamson 0-1, Hamilton 2-0, Reitsma 1-0, Wright 5-3, Molina 0-3, Hackman 2-1, Fassero 2-0, Kline 1-1, Veres 1-1.
Batters faced: Dempster 26, Chen 4, Sullivan 4, Williamson 3, Hamilton 7, Reitsma 1, Wright 19, Molina 2, Hackman 8, Fassero 4, Kline 5, Veres 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Williamson 3-0, Reitsma 2-0, Molina 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Bill Welke. 1B: Rick Reed. 2B: Tim Tschida. 3B: Mark Wegner.
Weather: 86 degrees, clear.
Wind: 7 mph, In from LF.
T: 3:12.
Att: 25,262.

Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner