Cardinals 7, Giants 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—While their teammates meandered through the clubhouse after yet another victory for the St. Louis Cardinals, Jason Isringhausen and Woody Williams absently watched the television highlights from around the league.
“I thought they traded him,” Isringhausen said, referring to Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca. Williams only shrugged.
The Cardinals can afford to be relaxed. The majors’ best team went 30 games over .500 on the eve of the trade deadline, countering Barry Bonds’ 685th homer with a six-run rally in the sixth inning of a 7-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
Jim Edmonds had a two-run triple during the rally, and St. Louis’ pitching staff made it stand up for the Cardinals’ fifth straight win. They improved to 66-36, two games better than the Yankees.
“Lately, we’ve been doing everything right,” said Isringhausen, who pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 31 chances. “You can bolster a position here and there (at the deadline), but you might mess up what’s going on. We should just go out there with what we’ve got.”
Tony Womack tripled to start the Cardinals’ decisive rally, and Mike Matheny added a two-run double as St. Louis rallied from an early three-run deficit. Renteria had an RBI single, and Roger Cedeno added a run-scoring double during the rally. Scott Rolen drove in another run in the seventh.
“It doesn’t mean anything to be 30 games over .500,” said Womack, who got two hits, scored two runs and stole a base. “We’re still sticking to our goal to win every series. That’s the only thing we’re shooting for.”
The Cardinals actually struggled to score while losing seven of their last nine meetings with San Francisco, but runs weren’t a problem in the opener of a three-game series.
“They play for big innings, and they have a lot of firepower to score many runs,” San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. “If you leave the gate open, they’ll do what they did tonight.”
Bonds’ two-run shot into McCovey Cove was his 27th of the season, and his second in two days. Michael Tucker also homered in the first inning, but the Giants’ bullpen fell apart after starter Jerome Williams left midway through the fourth with tightness in his elbow.
Shortly before the game, San Francisco traded reliever Felix Rodriguez to Philadelphia for outfielder Ricky Ledee and a minor league pitcher, further eroding the depth in the Giants’ inconsistent bullpen.
Jerome Williams retired nine of the 10 hitters he faced, but left the game with a 1-2 count on Edgar Renteria. The Giants didn’t immediately announce the problem with Williams, who appeared to be favoring his left leg.
Reliever Tyler Walker pitched well into the sixth, but Womack’s one-out triple was followed by five more hits off Walker and Jim Brower (6-6), who gave up four hits and four runs while getting just two outs.
“I was one pitch from getting out of it, but starting with Edmonds’ at-bat, I couldn’t keep the ball down,” Brower said. “It was triple, double, double. That’s the best lineup in the league. They put pressure on you throughout the lineup, and you’ve got to make your pitches, or you’re in trouble.”
Chris Carpenter (11-4) recovered from a rocky beginning for his third victory in five starts. He allowed seven hits—three homers—and four runs in 6 2-3 innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
“He just missed his location (in the first inning), and that’s three runs,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. “But he showed a lot of toughness coming back and making his pitches. That wasn’t a great way to start, but I know we always have a chance.”
Before Bonds’ shot, Tucker hit his ninth homer of the season to the deepest part of the stands. Tucker has been a moderate disappointment in his first season with the Giants, and his playing time will decrease with Ledee’s arrival.
Ray Durham also left the Giants’ lineup in the fifth inning with an injured left wrist.
St. Louis reliever Ray King hit Bonds with a pitch leading off the eighth. … Renteria was caught stealing in the fourth inning when Durham fielded Pierzynski’s throw on a hop and tagged Renteria in the face. Durham apparently was hurt while making the tag. … San Francisco is looking to trade for a reliever, but isn’t willing to sacrifice its top prospects.