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Giants pound Morris, Cardinals
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 9      6   Final
10/09/2002 11:19 pm ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Giants 1 4 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 9 11 0
 Cardinals 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 6 11 0
Giants pound Morris, Cardinals
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com

Matt Morris gave up seven runs in Game 1 against the Giants. (Tom Gannam/AP)
ST. LOUIS -- Even the most rose-colored of glasses could not have led the Cardinals to believe they would go 11-0 in the playoffs. It has, after all, never been done. But the Redbirds gave it a good shot.

Time and again on Wednesday night, St. Louis made a seemingly out-of-hand game interesting. The Cardinals could never hold the Giants close enough for long enough, but the 52,175 at Busch Stadium got an entertaining ballgame for their ticket dollars. St. Louis trails 1-0 in the National League Championship Series after losing, 9-6. But the game was tighter, for longer, than it had any right to be.

"Pitching kind of let us down today, but it's one of those games," said reliever Dave Veres, who tossed two shutout innings. "It was a great job by the offense to keep battling. Our defense was great. We had chances and they had plenty of chances."

Ace Matt Morris was pummeled for seven runs -- more than in the rest of his playoff career combined -- on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings before the Cardinals bullpen restored order. Miguel Cairo continued his superb play in place of the injured Scott Rolen, tallying three hits including a homer, and Jim Edmonds reached base three times. But the early holes were too much for the Cardinals to dig out of.

Back to WorldSeries.com "They put runs early on the board and we just tried to fight back," Albert Pujols said. "We scored six runs, but it was too late. We just need to come back tomorrow. It's a new day. Forget about tonight."

Morris got too little of the plate in the first inning and too much in the second. In the first, he walked Kenny Lofton and Barry Bonds before Benito Santiago drove in Lofton with an infield hit. He threw 26 pitches in the first -- eight of them for strikes. In the second, after the first two batters struck out, the Giants recorded six straight base hits. Bonds' two-run triple into the gap in right-center was the big blow in a four-run outburst.

"I don't think anything was on tonight. They had an explosion of hits (in the second), six in a row I think. Something pathetic like that. The bottom line is, I put our team in a bad hole," Morris said.

Trailing 5-0, St. Louis put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the second. But the Cardinals could manage only an RBI groundout by Fernando Vina before Eli Marrero flied out to right field to end the inning. It was the first of several missed opportunities for St. Louis, which didn't lack for hits.

"We battled back all night," Martinez said. "We never put our heads down. We came back and battled. It was my fault. I had a couple chances this game to drive in some runs and didn't do it. If I come through in one of those situations, it's a different game."

Meanwhile the Giants piled more on courtesy of the longball. Kenny Lofton's two-out solo homer in the third made it 6-1, and David Bell added a solo shot of his own in the fifth to increase the lead to 7-1. That was all for Morris, who gave way to Mike Crudale.

POLL

The rookie right-hander came up and in to Lofton, the second batter he faced, which enraged the veteran center fielder. Both benches emptied and warnings were issued to both sides, but no punches were thrown and no one was ejected. Crudale was apparently retaliating for perceived showboating by Lofton on his home run.

Coincidentally or not, it was about that time when the Cardinals finally showed a little offensive life. Edmonds laced a two-out double to right, and Pujols lifted a towering homer to left-center to cut the Giants' lead to 7-3.

Another San Francisco circuit clout, a two-run job by Santiago in the top of the sixth, made it 9-3, but the game of can-you-top-this continued in the bottom of the sixth. Martinez led off with a single, his first hit of the postseason, bringing the sizzling Cairo to the plate. The fill-in third baseman rocketed a 2-2 pitch from Rueter into the left-field stands to make it a four-run game once again. It was Cairo's seventh base hit in as many at-bats in the 2002 playoffs.

Busch Stadium came to life again, and there was a feeling that maybe the Redbirds' amazing recent run would continue. The Cardinals hadn't lost since Sept. 27, and this was just their third defeat in the last 17 games.

It got even louder in the seventh when St. Louis mounted a two-on, two-out threat. But that was extinguished when Martinez popped up to center as Cairo waited on deck.

"That was huge," Martinez said. "That was a big inning right there. We had them on the ropes. (Felix) Rodriguez came at me, right there, fastball down the middle and I didn't get a hit. But we had a chance to really cut into the lead right there."

In the eighth J.D. Drew launched a pinch-homer into the home bullpen in right field to cut it to a three-run lead, but the Cardinals could muster no more, and Robb Nen closed it out in the ninth.

Now the Cardinals have to get used to an unfamiliar feeling: bouncing back from a loss. They did it 65 times during the year, but that doesn't mean it's any fun.

"I don't know about pressure," Veres said. "It'd be nice, obviously, to get a split and then go out to San Fran and see what we can do out there. But no one's thinking (Thursday) is do or die. We want to win every game."

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
San Francisco Giants 9, St Louis Cardinals 6
 
San Francisco AB R H RBI BBSOLOBAVG
Lofton, CF 4321100.500
Aurilia, SS 4111000.250
Kent, 2B 5120011.400
Bonds, LF 2212300.500
Santiago, C 5134002.600
Snow, 1B 4010121.250
Sanders, RF 4000015.000
Bell, 3B 4111010.250
Rueter, P 3000010.000
Rodriguez, P 1000010.000
Worrell, P 0000000.000
Nen, P 0000000.000
Totals369119579 
 
BATTING
3B: Bonds (1, Morris).
HR: Lofton (1, 3rd inning off Morris, 0 on, 2 out), Bell (1, 5th inning off Morris, 0 on, 1 out), Santiago (1, 6th inning off Crudale, 1 on, 2 out).
RBI: Santiago 4 (4), Aurilia (1), Bonds 2 (2), Lofton (1), Bell (1).
2-out RBI: Santiago 3, Aurilia, Bonds 2, Lofton.
S: Aurilia.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Sanders 3, Snow.
GIDP: Santiago.
Team LOB: 6.
 
BASERUNNING
SB: Lofton (1, 2nd base off Morris/Matheny).
 
FIELDING
DP: (Rueter-Aurilia-Snow).
 
 
St Louis AB R H RBI BBSOLOBAVG
Vina, 2B 5001002.000
Marrero, RF 4010101.250
Edmonds, CF 4120111.500
Pujols, LF 4112114.250
Renteria, SS 4010002.250
Martinez, 1B 4110005.250
Cairo, 3B 4232010.750
Matheny, C 4010011.250
Morris, P 1000001.000
Crudale, P 0000000.000
a-Robinson, PH 0000100.000
Veres, P 0000000.000
b-Drew, PH 11110001.000
Kline, P 0000000.000
Totals3561164417 
 
a-Walked for Crudale in the 6th. b-Homered for Veres in the 8th.
 
BATTING
2B: Marrero (1, Rueter), Edmonds (1, Rueter).
HR: Pujols (1, 5th inning off Rueter, 1 on, 2 out), Cairo (1, 6th inning off Rueter, 1 on, 0 out), Drew (1, 8th inning off Worrell, 0 on, 2 out).
RBI: Vina (1), Pujols 2 (2), Cairo 2 (2), Drew (1).
2-out RBI: Pujols 2, Drew.
S: Morris.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Martinez 3, Marrero.
GIDP: Renteria.
Team LOB: 8.
 
BASERUNNING
CS: Robinson (1, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Santiago).
 
FIELDING
DP: (Cairo-Martinez).
 
San Francisco IP H R ER BBSOHRERA
Rueter (W, 1-0) 5.09551129.00
Rodriguez 2.01002100.00
Worrell 1.01110119.00
Nen (S, 1) 1.00001100.00
 
St Louis IP H R ER BBSOHRERA
Morris (L, 0-1) 4.1107742214.54
Crudale 1.212212110.80
Veres 2.00000200.00
Kline 1.00000100.00
 
Rueter pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.

HBP: Renteria (by Rueter).
Pitches-strikes: Rueter 95-57, Rodriguez 38-20, Worrell 20-12, Nen 18-13, Morris 88-46, Crudale 29-15, Veres 18-15, Kline 16-11.
Ground outs-fly outs: Rueter 10-4, Rodriguez 0-4, Worrell 1-1, Nen 1-1, Morris 7-4, Crudale 1-2, Veres 1-3, Kline 2-0.
Batters faced: Rueter 25, Rodriguez 8, Worrell 4, Nen 4, Morris 26, Crudale 7, Veres 6, Kline 3.
Umpires: HP: Randy Marsh. 1B: Jeff Nelson. 2B: Dale Scott. 3B: Jeff Kellogg. LF: Tim Welke. RF: Charlie Reliford.
Weather: 68 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 5 mph, In from CF.
T: 3:31.
Att: 52,175.
 
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner