Robinson finds redemption, caps Cards' rally past Expos

Saturday, April 27, 2002

MONTREAL -- Kerry Robinson made the most of his second chance to put a win away for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Robinson singled off Montreal second baseman Jose Vidro's glove to drive in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning as St. Louis ended the Expos' six-game winning streak with a 7-6 comeback win Friday night.

"It felt a little better, especially after I came up and we had a one-run lead and a man on third and I wasn't able to get the run in," Robinson said. "I could have prevented all that extra-inning stuff so it's kind of a little bit of redemption."

J.D. Drew singled off Tomo Ohka (2-2) to lead off the 11th. One out later, Jim Edmonds walked to bring up Robinson, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth after Edmonds' two-run double put St. Louis up 6-5.

Robinson, who failed to drive in Edmonds from third with one out in the ninth, hit a sharp grounder between first and second for an RBI single as the ball glanced off Vidro's glove as he made a diving attempt.

"You know that cliche you hear in baseball, 'That ball had eyes' -- I just kind of hit it in the right spot," Robinson said.

Gene Stechschulte (2-0) allowed one hit in the 10th for the win, and Dave Veres pitched the 11th for his first save as the Cardinals won for just the third time in 12 games.

"That was about as tough a win as you can get, and everybody contributed," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Originally scheduled to start Sunday's series finale, Ohka allowed two hits and walked two -- one intentionally -- after entering the game as Montreal's seventh pitcher to begin the 11th.

"He did a good job, but they hit the ball in the holes and they found a way to score," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.

Montreal's Vladimir Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera homered, and Mike Matheny homered for St. Louis.

After St. Louis took a 6-5 lead in the ninth on Edmonds' two-run double, Montreal rallied in the bottom half to tie it on Vidro's RBI single.

Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the first, and Cabrera hit a solo homer leading off the fourth and an RBI double with two outs in the sixth to tie it at 4.

One out later, Brad Wilkerson added an RBI triple, and the Cardinals trailed 5-4 going into the ninth when Placido Polanco led off with an infield single off Matt Herges.

Polanco advanced to second on Drew's single, but Herges got Albert Pujols to line out to center for the first out.

Edmonds worked a full count off Herges before driving a ball to the gap in right center to score both runners and deal Herges his second blown save in six opportunities.

Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen, who had been perfect through his first three save opportunities, walked pinch-hitter Henry Rodriguez to lead off the bottom half.

Pinch-runner Henry Mateo advanced to third on Peter Bergeron's single before scoring the tying run on Vidro's single.

Isringhausen got Guerrero to ground to short to force Bergeron at third, before striking out Lee Stevens and Michael Barrett to keep the game tied at 6.

"I was able to get out of it and then we came back and the guys did a good job picking me up and scoring a run, and Dave came in and did a great job," Isringhausen said.

Making his first career start, rookie Travis Smith -- the ninth starter used by St. Louis this season -- gave up Guerrero's two-run homer in the first.

Smith got his first career hit and RBI with a run-scoring single in the second.

Expos starter Carl Pavano allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings in his first appearance against St. Louis since he allowed Mark McGwire's 70th home run on the last day of the 1998 season.

Smith allowed five hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.

Notes: Mike Crudale will start Saturday, becoming St. Louis' 10th starter this season. ... Cabrera was presented with his 2001 Gold Glove award before the game. Cabrera, who made 160 starts last season while playing every game, made just 11 errors and led all NL shortstops with a .986 fielding percentage. ... Left-hander Bruce Chen will make his first Expos start on Saturday.

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