Cardinals defeat Giants 5-3

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Isringhausen strikes out Bonds to give Cardinals a 5-3 win


AP Sports WriterSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- For Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, this was baseball at its best: Barry Bonds -- hobbled or not -- against Jason Isringhausen with the game on the line.

With two outs and a man on in the ninth, Bonds made a surprise pinch-hit appearance Monday night, challenging Isringhausen and the Cardinals' two-run lead over the San Francisco Giants.

Bonds, who was out of the starting lineup with a strained right hamstring, got a standing ovation as he stepped to the plate.

Isringhausen was undaunted. He struck out Bonds with a 3-2 curveball, giving the Cardinals a 5-3 victory.

"I thought that was one of the best confrontations of the season right there," La Russa said. "Barry's a great hitter but Izzy's a very capable pitcher. He's capable of tackling someone like Barry."

Bonds is 0-for-11 for his career against Isringhausen with three strikeouts.

"You never want to face Barry when they have a man on," Isringhausen said. "But I knew he had a bad leg so I pitched him a little harder."

Bonds, who injured his hamstring in Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, wasn't talking.

"There's nothing to talk about," he said.

St. Louis took the lead in the top of the ninth, 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 short for the first out before Edgar Renteria's double to the wall in right 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 to tie it.

Edmonds' two-run homer in the fifth off Giants' starter Livan Hernandez put the Cardinals ahead. But the Giants made it 2-1 in the bottom half. Tom Goodwin -- Bonds' replacement in left -- scored when Pujols bobbled Ramon Martinez's double to left.

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 Monday night.

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. Giants manager Dusty Baker said with Bonds' immediate future unclear, he didn't want to risk losing Kent, too. Ramon Martinez started in place of Kent at second base.

Sanders left the game after the fifth inning, meaning the Giants were without the usual middle of their batting order.

Kent, Bonds and Sanders were all day to day. On top of which, the flu bug has hit the team.

"We're hour to hour right now," Baker said.

Notes: A fan at Pacific Bell Park posted a sign that read: "57. We miss you," a tribute to late St. Louis pitcher Darryl Kile. ... Simontacchi is from nearby Mountain View, Calif., and lives in Santa Clara. ... Since Bonds and Kent switched places in the batting order, with Kent batting third and Bonds batting fourth, Kent has hit .456 in 21 games.

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