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Reds give Cards more heartache

Saturday, September 6, 2003

P Cincinnati hands St. Louis 4-2 loss in 12 innings.

By R.B. Fallstrom ~ The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Wily Mo Pena tripled home the tiebreaking run in the 12th inning to cap his first three-hit game as the Cincinnati Reds rallied past the reeling St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 Friday night.

St. Louis, which wasted a 2-1 lead in the ninth, has lost five of six. The Cardinals started the night one game behind NL Central-leading Houston, which played a late game, and dropped 1 1/2 games behind the second-place Chicago Cubs.

Cardinals star Jim Edmonds missed his third straight start because of a bruised right knee, and slumping Edgar Renteria was given the night off. Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first for the Cardinals.

Scott Randall (1-1) got the win by allowing one hit in two innings, and Chris Reitsma got three straight outs for his seventh save in 12 chances.

The Cardinals' Jason Isringhausen blew a save for only the second time in 19 chances. Tim Hummel, who homered in the sixth off Sterling Hitchcock, drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a wild pitch, took third on a single by D'Angelo Jimenez and scored on Sean Casey's groundout to first.

Hummel hesitated between third and home before Tino Martinez, who had been playing even with the bag, threw to second for a forceout.

Jason LaRue, who had been in a 12-for-78 slump, got an infield hit off Jason Simontacchi (8-5) to start the 12th. Pena, who entered with a .176 average, followed with his first triple of the year and Eric Valent hit an RBI single. Valent was thrown out at the plate by center fielder So Taguchi when he tried to score on Hummel's flyout.

Cincinnati overcame another outstanding start by Hitchcock, who has an 0.95 ERA in 19 innings since St. Louis acquired him from the New York Yankees on Aug. 22. He struck out eight and walked one in seven innings.

Pujols took extra batting practice after going 4-for-19 in the Cubs series and also singled in sixth for his NL-leading 55th multihit game. Fernando Vina singled off Aaron Harang to start the first and scored on Pujols' 38th homer, his high for a season.

Harang, who lost to the Cardinals last weekend in Cincinnati, left after the first because of a lower back strain. Todd Van Poppel, promoted from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday, allowed two hits in six scoreless innings.

Notes: Pujols has one more multihit game than Renteria, who went 1-for-17 in the series at the Cubs. ... Pujols hit 37 homers in 2001, his rookie year. ... The Reds have scored three or fewer runs in 22 of their last 30 games. ... Orlando Palmeiro is in a 3-for-21 slump and Miguel Cairo is hitless in his last 15 at-bats. ... Hitchcock entered 2-3 with a 6.82 career ERA against the Reds in 11 games, six of them starts. ... The Reds have a major-league leading 28 victories in their final at-bat. They're 15-5 in extra innings.

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