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Cards' pair beats D-Backs' ace
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 12      2   Final
10/02/2002 01:27 am ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Cardinals 2 0 0 3 0 1 6 0 0 12 14 1
 D-Backs 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 2
Cards' pair beats D-Backs' ace
Two homers help St. Louis top Arizona's Johnson
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com

Mike Matheny is greeted by teammates during the Cardinals' six-run seventh inning. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
PHOENIX -- Don't call them a team of destiny, the Cardinals say again and again. After all, what if they come up short?

OK, fine. What do you call a team that smacks around Randy Johnson, at Bank One Ballpark, with such impunity? St. Louis battered the likely National League Cy Young winner on Tuesday night, then hung a six-run seventh inning on a supposedly improved Arizona bullpen. The result was a stunning 12-2 victory in the opener of the National League Division Series.

At this rate, the Redbirds won't have to worry about falling short of anything.

They did it to Johnson early: Jim Edmonds set the tone with a massive two-run homer to right field in the first inning. And they did it repeatedly: Scott Rolen added a two-run blast of his own in the fourth. The two sluggers combined for 851 feet of home run. All told, Johnson gave up six runs, five of them earned, on 10 hits in six innings.

Back to WorldSeries.com "What we were able to do was put good at-bats together," Rolen said with more than a bit of understatement. "Whether they were walks, whether they were hits, whatever they were. We just took advantage of situations. Jimmy got us going early with that home run. I think that was real big for us."

Matt Morris was as shaky as his opposite number in the early going, giving up a run in the first and another in the third. After three innings he had permitted seven base runners. But once his offense gave him his second lead, a 5-2 advantage after 3 1/2 innings, the righty settled in.

Morris lasted seven innings, allowing two runs, for his first career playoff win. He also rapped a two-run single -- just so he could be part of the night's real story.

"That was today's game, our offense," Morris said. "Every one of the position players battled every at-bat. To score 12 runs in a game like this on the road is tremendous."

Morris vs. Johnson was easily the most hyped pitching matchup of this year's first round. But after an inning, you could hardly tell. Both teams got on the board against the other side's ace, though the defenses were to blame for some of that as well.

Tony Womack's throwing error put Fernando Vina on base to lead off the game, and two batters later, Edmonds' fifth career playoff home run made it 2-0 Cardinals. The Cardinals center fielder had been 1-for-his-last-11 against Johnson.

    Jim Edmonds   /   CF
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 212
Bats/Throws: L/L

More info:
Player page
Stats
Hit chart
Cardinals site
"Jimmy got a big hit," said left fielder Albert Pujols. "That's the tone that you want to start the game, with that two-run home run right there in the first inning."

Womack himself reached on an Edgar Renteria error in the bottom of the inning and came around to score on Steve Finley's sacrifice fly, and it was 2-1. The D-Backs tied it in the fourth after Morris issued a pair of one-out walks to Steve Finley and Mark Grace. Quinton McCracken hit a ball up the middle that Renteria couldn't quite corral, and Finley scored to make it 2-2.

However, that was all for the Arizona offense, which struggled mightily against St. Louis pitching a week ago in the penultimate series of the regular season. The Cardinals bats, meanwhile, were just getting started.

In fact, St. Louis regained the lead before Johnson could even record another out. Pujols launched a booming triple to right-center to lead off the fourth, and Rolen followed with a 427-foot homer that almost reached the picnic area in left-center. Renteria singled up the middle and later came home to score on a single by Mike Matheny. The five runs in 3 1/3 innings were as many as Johnson had allowed in all of September.

  Postseason poll
"I think we kept the momentum going," outfielder Eli Marrero said. "Even when they tied it, the guys on the bench never lost focus, never lost hope. They stayed positive, they went out there and they battled. Pujols came up with a big hit to lead it off and we just took over from there."

The Cardinals made it a 6-2 lead two innings later when Matheny doubled and later scored on Marrero's sacrifice fly. And as Morris was picking up steam, it seemed clear that the four-run cushion would be more than enough for him.

Even so, he got plenty more. Pujols kicked off the seventh with a walk. Renteria singled with one out and Tino Martinez walked to load the bases. Matheny's perfect bunt down the third base line scored Pujols, and pitcher Greg Swindell's throwing error on the play brought home Renteria. Morris followed that with a two-run single to make it 10-2, and the rout was on. A two-run single by Pujols wrapped up the scoring.

The Cardinals have outscored the D-Backs 42-10 in the last five games the two teams have played -- one in Phoenix in April, three at Busch Stadium in late September and Tuesday's game. That's with Johnson getting one start and Curt Schilling getting two. Arizona won the 2001 World Series championship with great pitching, but it doesn't seem to faze the Cardinals.

"We're pretty confident," Marrero said. "We're playing hard. We have a lot of emotion showing out there. We're just doing the little things. Putting the ball in play, getting guys over. We did a great job of doing that. It comes down to playing good baseball, playing hard. Good things will happen."

Matthew Leach is a reporter 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 12, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
 
St Louis AB R H RBI BBSOLOBAVG
Vina, 2B 6230000.500
Marrero, RF 5001015.000
Edmonds, CF 4132101.750
Pujols, LF 4222101.500
Rolen, 3B 5112024.200
Renteria, SS 4220100.500
Martinez, 1B 4100103.000
Matheny, C 3222100.667
Morris, P 4112023.250
Fassero, P 0000000.000
a-Robinson, PH 1000000.000
Crudale, P 0000000.000
Totals401214115517 
 
a-Grounded out for Fassero in the 9th.
 
BATTING
2B: Matheny (1, Johnson).
3B: Pujols (1, Johnson).
HR: Edmonds (1, 1st inning off Johnson, 1 on, 1 out), Rolen (1, 4th inning off Johnson, 1 on, 0 out).
RBI: Edmonds 2 (2), Rolen 2 (2), Matheny 2 (2), Marrero (1), Morris 2 (2), Pujols 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Pujols 2.
S: Matheny.
SF: Marrero.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Marrero, Martinez, Rolen.
Team LOB: 8.
 
BASERUNNING
SB: Renteria (1, 2nd base off Johnson/Moeller).
CS: Edmonds (1, 2nd base by Johnson/Moeller).
 
FIELDING
E: Renteria (1, fielding).
Outfield assists: Pujols (Spivey at home).
 
 
Arizona AB R H RBI BBSOLOBAVG
Womack, SS 5110002.200
Spivey, 2B 5010012.200
Finley, CF 2101101.000
Grace, 1B 3010100.333
Williams, 3B 4010002.250
Cintron, 3B 0000000.000
McCracken, RF 4021002.500
Dellucci, LF 3010002.333
b-Little, PH-LF 1000001.000
Moeller, C 3010011.333
Barajas, C 1000010.000
Johnson, P 2000021.000
Mantei, P 0000000.000
Swindell, P 0000000.000
Fetters, P 0000000.000
a-Donnels, PH 1000000.000
Helling, P 0000000.000
c-Durazo, PH 0000100.000
Totals342823514 
 
a-Lined out for Fetters in the 7th. b-Grounded into a forceout for Dellucci in the 8th. c-Walked for Helling in the 9th.
 
BATTING
RBI: Finley (1), McCracken (1).
2-out RBI: McCracken.
SF: Finley.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: McCracken, Dellucci, Finley.
Team LOB: 9.
 
BASERUNNING
SB: Finley (1, 2nd base off Morris/Matheny).
 
FIELDING
E: Womack (1, throw), Swindell (1, throw).
 
St Louis IP H R ER BBSOHRERA
Morris (W, 1-0) 7.07212301.29
Fassero 1.01000000.00
Crudale 1.00001200.00
 
Arizona IP H R ER BBSOHRERA
Johnson (L, 0-1) 6.010652427.50
Mantei 0.112210054.00
Swindell 0.0241100--
Fetters 0.21001100.00
Helling 2.00000000.00
 
Swindell pitched to 4 batters in the 7th.

IBB: Renteria (by Johnson).
Pitches-strikes: Morris 89-60, Fassero 13-8, Crudale 21-12, Johnson 94-65, Mantei 10-4, Swindell 16-8, Fetters 15-8, Helling 17-11.
Ground outs-fly outs: Morris 7-10, Fassero 2-1, Crudale 1-0, Johnson 8-5, Mantei 0-1, Swindell 0-0, Fetters 0-1, Helling 3-3.
Batters faced: Morris 30, Fassero 4, Crudale 4, Johnson 30, Mantei 3, Swindell 4, Fetters 4, Helling 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Swindell 2-2, Fetters 2-2.
Umpires: HP: Bruce Froemming. 1B: Bill Miller. 2B: Ron Kulpa. 3B: Gary Darling. LF: Steve Rippley. RF: Mark Hirschbeck.
Weather: 76 degrees, clear.
Wind: 12 mph, In from RF.
T: 2:55.
Att: 49,154.
 
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner