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Archive for Sunday, May 15, 2005

Isringhausen posts save in return

After scare, Cardinals reliever stops Mets in ninth inning for 7-6 victory

May 15, 2005

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— Long after the aces departed, the St. Louis Cardinals turned the ball over to closer Jason Isringhausen, back on the mound for the first time since April 26.

Trying to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning, he fell behind Jose Reyes 3-0, then walked him with the count full.

"Committed the No. 1 sin," Isringhausen said. "That's when the adrenaline starts kicking in again."

Reyes advanced to second on a bunt before Isringhausen got out of trouble Saturday, preserving St. Louis' 7-6 victory over the New York Mets.

Instead of a pitchers' duel, Mark Mulder and Pedro Martinez let the hitters take control on a breezy afternoon.

"You're not going to have a 1-0 game all the time," said Mulder, whose earned-run average rose from 2.70 to 3.44.

Kaz Matsui chased Mulder with a tying three-run triple in a four-run sixth inning, but the Mets failed to hold a 6-5 lead in the eighth, when pinch-hitter Larry Walker had a go-ahead sacrifice fly off Roberto Hernandez (2-1). Mulder had won five straight starts, allowing just five earned runs. But given a 5-2 lead, he gave up singles to Mike Cameron and David Wright in the sixth, and loaded the bases with a 10-pitch walk to Ramon Castro. Matsui poked his opposite-field triple into the right-field corner.

"It's inexcusable," Mulder said.

Matsui had been in a 2-for-27 slide that dropped his average to .223. With his defense also shaky, many fans at Shea Stadium booed him.

"There's no booing in Japan," he said through a translator.

Braves 5, Dodgers 1

Los Angeles -- Eric Gagne returned and yielded homers to Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones, his first two batters since coming off the disabled list, and Atlanta beat Los Angeles.

Andruw Jones homered twice and drove in three runs, Raul Mondesi also homered, and Adam Bernero (3-0) allowed a run and four hits in three innings for the victory after Braves starter Mike Hampton left the game because of tightness in his left forearm.

Hampton, off to a 4-1 start and coming off a two-hit shutout against Houston last Sunday, threw 40 pitches in 21/3 innings.

Nationals 4, Cubs 3

Washington -- Livan Hernandez won his fifth consecutive start, Vinny Castilla had a two-run single, and Washington defeated Chicago.

Hernandez (6-2) pitched 61/3 innings before leaving because of an injured right knee. He allowed two runs and five hits, walked none and struck out six -- all after enduring a lengthy rain delay at the start of the game.

Padres 2, Marlins 1

San Diego -- Jake Peavy regained his form, holding Florida to one run and five hits in seven innings. The Padres won for the 12th time in 15 games, overcoming a combined three-hitter by Al Leiter and John Riedling. Trevor Hoffman threw four pitches in a perfect ninth for his 404th career save, and his 11th in 13 chances this year.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 4

Denver -- Brandon Webb pitched eight innings to remain unbeaten, and Chris Snyder had three RBIs to help Arizona defeat Colorado. Webb (5-0) had his sinkerball working, getting 13 groundball outs and seven strikeouts.

Pirates 2, Brewers 0

Pittsburgh -- Mark Redman pitched his first career shutout, and Jose Castillo's two-run double carried Pittsburgh past Milwaukee. The Pirates, who won for the eighth time in 11 games, left the bases loaded in each of the first three innings before Castillo chased Brewers starter Victor Santos (1-3) with his none-out double in the fourth.

Reds 12, Phillies 4

Philadelphia -- Ken Griffey Jr. hit a go-ahead three-run homer, and Adam Dunn added a solo shot in a six-run seventh inning, lifting Cincinnati over Philadelphia.

Griffey also doubled and drove in four runs for the Reds, who had season highs in runs and hits (17). Felipe Lopez, Austin Kearns and Ryan Freel all had three hits, and Cincinnati finished with a season-high eight extra-base hits.

Astros 4, Giants 1

Houston -- Roger Clemens struck out a season-high 10 in his 331st career win, pitching Houston past San Francisco. Lance Berkman hit his first home run of the season after a two-run shot by Craig Biggio in the sixth inning.

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