Edmonds' HR lifts St. Louis

Friday, April 30, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- With one big swing, Jim Edmonds helped the St. Louis Cardinals ease their home miseries.

Edmonds homered to lead off the 13th inning for a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, and the Cardinals avoided getting swept at Busch Stadium for the second time this season.

They raised their home record to 4-9 and dodged their worst start at home since going 2-11 in 1969.

"Something's going on here," Edmonds said. "Someone's put the jinx on us or something. Hopefully, this will give us a little bit of a shot."

Edmonds hit an 0-2 pitch from Amaury Telemaco, entering his fifth inning of relief, over the right-field wall for the sixth game-ending homer of his career.

He had struggled at the plate before that, going 1-for-5 with a single and three strikeouts, and manager Tony La Russa was shouting from the dugout that Edmonds should go to the opposite field before Edmonds pulled the ball.

"I was trying to," Edmonds said. "I'm just glad it's over. It's kind of a long day with the rollercoaster ride."

La Russa became the second manager in major league history to win 700 games with two teams, joining Sparky Anderson.

La Russa also won 798 games with Oakland from 1986-95. Anderson won 863 with the Reds from 1970-78 and 1,331 with the Tigers from 1979-95.

"That makes a good win extra significant, based on what I think of him,"La Russa said. "I think I'll give him a call."

Mike Lincoln (3-2) pitched a perfect 13th.

Both teams got big pinch-hits late in the game. Reggie Sanders' bases-loaded triple off Roberto Hernandez with two outs in the eighth gave the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.

Ricky Ledee's second pinch-hit homer of the season, a two-run shot off St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen with one out in the ninth, tied it.

Isringhausen has given up a pair of three-run homers this year after allowing only two homers total the previous two seasons.

Chris Carpenter and KevinMillwood each pitched seven innings. Millwood allowed one run; Carpenter two on two hits.

La Russa also engaged in a bit of gamesmanship with Phillies manager Larry Bowa.

After Bowa asked the umpires to check the hat of St. Louis reliever Julian Tavarez, La Russa had the umps confiscate the bat of Pat Burrell after he flied out to end the Philadelphia 10th.

"The players brought it to my attention. They saw some black stuff on his brim," Bowa said of Tavarez. "So I asked them to check it. They said it was all right."

The umpires conferred for several minutes during the changeover, apparently looking at the hollowed-out end of Burrell's bat, before crew chief Randy Marsh carried it off the field and handed it to an attendant. Burrell stayed in the game.

"It's the old thing" of getting even, La Russa said.

Mike Lincoln (3-2), victimized for three ninth-inning runs in a 7-3 loss on Wednesday, pitched a perfect 13th.

Telemaco (0-1) matched his season total for innings pitched, allowing a run and four hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"I had no choice. I had to keep pitching," said Telemaco, the fifth Phillies pitcher.

Both teams got big pinch-hits late in the game. Reggie Sanders' bases-loaded triple off Roberto Hernandez with two outs in the eighth gave the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.

Ricky Ledee's second pinch-hit homer of the season, a two-run shot off St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen with one out in the ninth, tied it.

Isringhausen has given up a pair of three-run homers this year after allowing only two homers total the previous two seasons.

"It's nice to get a hit and put the team on top, or even in this case," Ledee said. "But we lose as a group, we win as a group."

Kevin Millwood threw seven strong innings for the Phillies, who missed a chance to climb back to .500. They're 9-11 after completing a 4-2 trip.

Jim Thome roughed up St. Louis pitching again, including a two-run homer off Chris Carpenter in the sixth.

Thome is a career .456 hitter (31-for-68) against the Cardinals, with 14 homers and 33 RBIs in 18 games. He hit five homers last year and is a career .390 hitter at Busch Stadium. He finished 6-for-12 in the series with five RBIs.

Millwood allowed one run on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk, and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.

Carpenter also lasted seven innings, giving up two runs and three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.

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