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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

National League Roundup: Brewers post first win of season

Rusch pitches Milwaukee past Pittsburgh, 5-3

April 9, 2003

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— Break out the champagne -- the Milwaukee Brewers finally won, and they barely needed to swing their bats to do it.

The Brewers, who hit a lot of homers in losing their first six games, relied on walks by Pirates starter Kip Wells for most of their scoring Tuesday night and ruined Pittsburgh's home opener with a 5-3 victory -- the first for new manager Ned Yost.

Glendon Rusch (1-1), previously 0-6 against Pittsburgh, was everything Wells wasn't -- effective and in control -- in limiting the Pirates to one hit over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two to end a personal four-game losing streak.

"He was fantastic," said Yost, a former Braves coach. "I almost thought about letting him go back out in the eighth, but early in the year we want to protect our guys."

Yost might have been second-guessing himself after Jason Kendall hit a three-run homer in the eighth off reliever Luis Vizcaino, but Valerio De Los Santos got out of the inning. Mike DeJean pitched the ninth for his first save.

Afterward, the Brewers' coaches toasted the victory by presenting Yost with a bottle of champagne, even though it took Milwaukee seven games to finally win.

"We were very happy for Ned," shortstop Royce Clayton said. "He's very enthusiastic and we've had a couple of tough games. It was nice to get the first one for him."

Scott Podsednik drove in two runs as Milwaukee avoided the first 0-7 start in club history.

The paid attendance was 36,003 for the home opener, which was delayed a night by rain. About two-thirds that many showed up on a dry but cool night in which the temperature dropped into the low 40s by game's end.

The Pirates had nearly every statistical edge going for them, yet still lost their home opener for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

Cardinals 15, Rockies (12)

Denver -- Mike Matheny hit a three-run homer in the 13th inning, lifting St. Louis past Colorado. Scott Rolen led off the 13th with a walk. With one out, Eduardo Perez singled and Matheny homered off Dan Miceli (0-1) just beyond the reach of left fielder Gabe Kapler.

Padres 9, Giants 4

San Francisco -- Rondell White hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning and San Diego overcame a homer by Barry Bonds, ending San Francisco's season-opening seven-game winning streak. Bonds' solo shot hit halfway up the right-field foul pole in the third inning, his 72nd career homer against the Padres -- his most against any team. It was his third homer of the season.

Dodgers 5, D'backs 3

Los Angeles -- Paul Lo Duca hit a two-out double in the seventh inning to drive in the go-ahead run, and Los Angeles beat Arizona. Lo Duca's liner off third baseman Matt Williams' glove scored Cesar Izturis from first base. It was Lo Duca's second RBI double and third hit of the game. Williams and Luis Gonzalez homered to give Arizona a 3-2 lead.

Phillies 4, Braves 3 (10)

Philadelphia -- Tomas Perez's two-out RBI single in the 10th inning gave Philadelphia a victory over Atlanta. Jose Mesa (1-0) pitched 11¼3 hitless innings for the win.

Atlanta's Gary Sheffield and manager Bobby Cox were ejected by plate umpire Kerwin Danley after Sheffield was called out on strikes in the fifth inning.

Reds 2, Astros 1

Houston -- Jason LaRue hit his first home run of the year in the 10th inning, leading Cincinnati past Houston. Ryan Dempster (1-0) allowed seven hits in nine innings for the Reds, and Scott Williamson pitched a perfect 10th for his second save. Astros starter Roy Oswalt, 6-0 against Cincinnati, allowed four hits in eight innings and struck out six.

Cubs 6, Expos 1

Chicago -- Dusty Baker quickly warmed to Wrigley Field. With snow dusting the brown ivy on the outfield walls and the gametime temperature at 32, the Cubs won Baker's first home game as their manager, beating Montreal as Matt Clement allowed three hits in 71¼3 innings. Moises Alou drove in three runs, Alex Gonzalez had three hits and the Cubs turned three double plays.

Mets 4, Marlins 2

Miami -- Al Leiter pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Ty Wigginton hit a three-run homer to lead New York past Florida. The Marlins lost their third straight and are last in the NL East. Leiter (2-0) allowed two runs, six hits and five walks -- four to Ivan Rodriguez -- in 62¼3 innings.

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