Super eighth inning dooms Cards, powers Pirates

Saturday, July 26, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- Reggie Sanders and Brian Giles homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates scored six runs in the eighth inning of a 10-5 victory Friday night.

Jose Hernandez had three hits, including a leadoff double in the eighth, as the Pirates capitalized on a variety of physical and mental mistakes by the Cardinals.

With the score tied 4-4, Hernandez scored as Jeff Reboulet's hit bounced off shortstop Edgar Renteria's glove and became a double when both Renteria and second baseman Bo Hart chased the ball, but pitcher Cal Eldred (3-4) failed to cover second.

It got worse for St. Louis as Eldred fielded Craig Wilson's smash up the middle and threw to second, but Renteria couldn't come up with the low throw and both runners were safe. No error was charged.

Renteria then threw away a would-be double-play ball by Jason Kendall, allowing both runners to score. After Abraham Nunez was hit by a pitch and Giles walked, Kendall scored on a double play. Sanders followed with a two-run homer off reliever Mike Crudale to make it 10-4.

Brian Meadows (1-1) pitched three innings in relief of starter Kip Wells.

J.D. Drew's fifth-inning solo homer, his 11th, broke up what had been a scoreless duel between Wells and Cardinals rookie Dan Haren. The Pirates were hitless until Hernandez doubled with one out in the fifth.

Giles led off the sixth with a double and scored one out later on a triple by Sanders. Randall Simon's single drove in Sanders, and Simon went to third on a single by Hernandez. Reboulet's single off reliever Esteban Yan made it 3-1.

The Cardinals regained the lead 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro, a wild pitch and Drew's two-out single.

Giles' one-out homer in the seventh made it 4-4.

Wells gave up four earned runs in six innings, striking out six and walking five. Haren gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings, with six strikeouts and four walks.

Notes: Haren walked two in the first. In 20 previous minor and major league games this season, he had not walked more than two in any game. ... The Cardinals' Albert Pujols played while appealing a two-game suspension for his role in a fight during a game against San Diego on July 13. He was 1-for-5. ... With a second-inning strikeout, Hernandez has struck out 126 times in 100 games and is on a pace for 204 for the season, which would top the record 189 set by Bobby Bonds in 1970. Hernandez seemed a sure bet to set the record last season while with Milwaukee before sitting out all but three of the final 11 games.

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