Cardinals make the most of opportunity against Giants

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO -- Edgar Renteria hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the ninth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the injury-plagued San Francisco Giants 5-3 Monday night.

The Cardinals survived a surprise pinch-hit appearance by Barry Bonds with two outs and a man on base in the ninth inning. Bonds, who has been out since injuring his right hamstring Friday, limped to the plate before striking out on a 3-2 pitch from Jason Isringhausen to end the game.

St. Louis took the lead in the top half, breaking a 3-all tie. Placido Polanco led off with a double off Tim Worrell (7-1), who intentionally walked Jim Edmonds and walked Albert Pujols to load the bases.

After Robb Nen relieved, Tino Martinez popped out to shortstop for the first out before Renteria's shot to the wall in right field scored Polanco and Edmonds.

Luther Hackman (3-3) struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Kent to end the eighth for the win. Isringhausen earned his 23rd save.

Kent was scratched from the starting lineup with a mild strain of his upper right leg. Bonds also didn't start and Reggie Sanders left during the game with a tight hamstring.

The Giants trailed 3-1 in the eighth when Bell hit a two-run homer off Steve Kline to tie it. Bell scored J.T Snow, who walked.

With one out in the fifth, Edmonds hit a two-run homer off Giants' starter Livan Hernandez. The shot just barely cleared the center-field wall -- and the oustretched arm of Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Even Edmonds seemed surprised that it went out.

The Giants made it 2-1 in the bottom half. Tom Goodwin -- Bonds' replacement in left -- reached on a fielder's choice, then went to third on Ramon Martinez's double to left.

But Pujols bobbled the ball in left for an error, and Goodwin scored.

Goodwin earned a standing ovation in the third inning when he dove to catch Tino Martinez's hard liner to left with the bases loaded.

Eli Marrero added an RBI grounder off Hernandez in the eighth inning.

St. Louis starter Jason Simontacchi and Hernandez were making their second straight start against each other. Neither earned a decision in the 5-4 Giants' win at St. Louis last Wednesday.

Hernandez allowed three runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings.

Simontacchi gave up one unearned run on seven hits over 5 2-3 innings.

Kent, who is batting .339 with 59 RBI, was a late scratch. Manager Dusty Baker said with Bonds' immediate future an uncertainly, he didn't want to risk losing Kent, too. Ramon Martinez started at second base.

And the injury woes weren't over. Sanders left the game after the fifth inning with tightness in his right hamstring, meaning the Giants were without their usual middle lineup.

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