Renteria HR sends Cardinals to victory

Saturday, May 11, 2002

CINCINNATI -- Edgar Renteria hit a two-run homer on closer Danny Graves' first pitch in the eighth inning, powering the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 victory Friday over the Cincinnati Reds.

Albert Pujols had three hits and Eli Marrero snapped an 0-for-30 slump with a single, but the Cardinals needed a homer from their light-hitting shortstop to end the Reds' three-game winning streak.

The Cardinals have won consecutive games for the first time since April 26-27.

A tight game turned on one decision by Reds manager Bob Boone.

Tino Martinez drew a one-out walk in the eighth from Gabe White (1-1) with Renteria on deck. Rather than letting Renteria face White -- the shortstop is 0-for-4 career against the left-hander -- Boone brought in Graves.

Renteria homered to right, leaving him 6-for-12 career against Graves. On Monday in Chicago, Renteria hit his first homer since Aug. 20.

Reliever Gene Stechschulte (3-1) relieved with the bases loaded and none out in the sixth but held the Reds to one run.

Jason Isringhausen finished for his seventh save in eight chances.

The Cardinals left seven runners on base in the first seven innings, in addition to getting Pujols picked off third. Jim Edmonds singled home a run in the first and Martinez had an RBI single in the sixth off starter Jimmy Haynes.

The Reds got the least out of their threats because of poor clutch hitting.

Jason LaRue doubled home a run in the fifth off Jason Simontacchi. Stechschulte gave up Sean Casey's pinch sacrifice fly in the sixth, but struck out Aaron Boone and LaRue as the Reds got only one run out of their bases-loaded threat.

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