Archive for Monday, April 23, 2001

National League Roundup: Kendall, fans help Pirates triumph

Pittsburgh defeats Cubs for first time in six games on catcher’s home run

April 23, 2001

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— The Pirates brag that PNC Park is the majors' most intimate ballpark. The Chicago Cubs probably wish it wasn't so fan friendly.

Jason Kendall hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning off Chicago closer Jeff Fassero and the Pirates rallied to beat the Cubs for the first time in six games this season, 4-3 Sunday.

The Cubs had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning on Gary Matthews Jr.'s leadoff homer against closer Mike Williams (2-1). Williams had allowed Todd Hundley's game-winning homer in the ninth Saturday.

Fassero (0-2), pitching for the third consecutive day, got Abraham Nunez leading off the Pittsburgh 10th, but pinch-hitter Kevin Young singled.

Kendall followed with a fly ball down the 325-foot left-field line that floated into the seats as Rondell White futilely jumped for it against the six-foot wall, fighting several fans.

"I thought I had a chance. I was pretty close," he said. "But the fans beat me to it. They hit my glove."

The wall is the lowest in the NL except for the left-field corner of Dodger Stadium and was designed to bring the fans closer to the game.

"Our fan did a great job of keeping him out of there," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.

It was Kendall's second homer and the second off Fassero, who was trying for his NL-high 10th save.

"He hit it in that little corner," Fassero said. "Three feet to the left and it's an out."

Fan interaction was a big part of the 10th inning. In the top of the inning, White followed Matthews' homer with a long drive to right that a fan grabbed. First-base umpire Jim Reynolds ruled fan interference and a double. The call proved significant when Julio Zuleta bounced into a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play.

Emil Brown leaped against the center-field wall to grab Zuleta's two-out fly ball in the eighth and also threw Ricky Gutierrez out at the plate in the ninth.

Padres 7, Dodgers 6,

11 innings

Los Angeles Bubba Trammell doubled home the go-ahead run in the 11th, and San Diego snapped a six-game losing streak. The Dodgers, who made it 6-all on Jeff Reboulet's three-run homer in the ninth, loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th. Jay Witasick (1-1) got out of the jam by striking out Chad Kreuter, pinch-hitter Tom Goodwin and Reboulet. The Padres broke the tie in the 11th against Jeff Shaw (0-1). Rodney Myers earned his first save.

Phillies 3, Braves 2

Philadelphia Amaury Telemaco (2-0) pitched eight shutout innings and Philadelphia completed its first three-game sweep of Atlanta at Veterans Stadium since 1977. Doug Glanville hit a two-run homer as the Phillies outscored Atlanta 15-6 in the series. John Burkett (0-3) lost despite allowing four hits in seven innings.

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 1

Phoenix Pedro Astacio pitched one-hit ball before needing relief help in the ninth, and Colorado held off Arizona. Astacio tied a major league record by hitting four batters. After he plunked Luis Gonzalez to start the ninth, Matt Williams singled to finish Astacio (3-1). Reliever Mike Myers gave up a single, bringing Jose Jimenez from the bullpen. With the bases loaded, no outs and trying to hold a 2-0 lead, Jimenez did the job to get his fifth save. Larry Walker hit a solo homer in the first off Armando Reynoso (1-3). He also singled in the eighth to set up Jeff Cirillo's sacrifice fly.

Giants 6, Brewers 4

San Francisco Pinch-hitter Eric Davis hit a three-run homer to spark a five-run fifth inning as San Francisco beat Milwaukee. Shawn Estes (1-1) allowed three runs, four hits and five walks in five innings.

Mets 5, Reds 1

Cincinnati Edgardo Alfonzo's first home run of the season and Todd Zeile's three RBIs gave Rick Reed (3-1) and New York all they needed to beat Cincinnati. Tsuyoshi Shinjo also homered for the Mets.

Expos 6, Marlins 2

Miami Chris Peters pitched five-plus solid innings as Montreal avoided a four-game sweep by beating Florida. Vladimir Guerrero had two hits, one run and an RBI, and Orlando Cabrera tripled and scored and hit an RBI single for Montreal. The Expos, who had dropped six of seven, are 2-5 on a season-long 13-game road trip. Peters (2-1) gave up two runs and six hits. He has been unable to pitch more than five innings in any start since Sept. 18, 1999. Vladimir Nunez (1-2) took the loss.

Astros 4, Cardinals 3

Houston Richard Hidalgo's sacrifice fly snapped an eighth-inning tie, and Wade Miller struck out a career-high 13 as Houston beat St. Louis. Cardinals rookie Albert Pujols homered twice to account for all three St. Louis runs. Miller (3-1) took over the National League lead in strikeouts with 40. He allowed five hits and two walks in eight innings. Billy Wagner earned his fifth save in as many attempts with a scoreless ninth.

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