Cardinals 5, Indians 2, 2nd Game
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ This is all so new to Matt Morris, he barely noticed he was pitching to an American League team.
The St. Louis rookie pitched a five-hitter over 8 1-3 innings Saturday in a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians that gave the Cardinals a split in the first interleague doubleheader. Morris has won his last four starts.
``I’ve only been in the big leagues for two months now,″ Morris said. ``AL, NL, there’s really no difference to me yet.″
The Indians, emulating the National League’s move-the-runner-over style, scored all of their runs in the seventh and eighth innings of the opener for an 8-3 victory.
Jose Vizquel led off the second game with a bunt single off Morris and was quickly eliminated in a double play. The Indians’ only other hit in the first seven innings was a fourth-inning home run by Jim Thome, his eighth homer and 18th RBI this month.
In the eighth, Morris (5-3) was struck in the stomach by Marquis Grissom’s line drive, but was able to continue.
Morris said he got hit ``in the love handle. It didn’t hurt that much, he hit me in a good spot.″
The right-hander, who struck out six and walked two, left after giving up pinch-hitter Brian Giles’ RBI single with one out in the ninth. Dennis Eckersley, who pitched for the Indians in the 1970s, retired Thome and Matt Williams for his 13th save.
Thome drove in four runs in the day-night doubleheader, forced by a rainout Friday night. The games lasted six hours, seven minutes and spanned 8:28 from start to finish.
``If interleague play is like this all the time, we’re going to be tired puppies by the end of the day,″ Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. ``But it’s always fun to go against a Tony La Russa-managed team.″
John Mabry hit his second home run of the doubleheader, his fifth overall, off Chad Ogea (5-6) in the second inning. The Cardinals pulled away in the seventh with two runs off reliever Albie Lopez, who got the victory in the opener, on Ray Lankford’s RBI double and a run-scoring single by Gary Gaetti.
Ogea made it out of the fifth inning for the first time in three starts, but not by much. In 5 2-3 innings he allowed three runs and six hits.
In the opener, all but two of the Indians’ 14 hits were singles.
``It’s still baseball, but it’s different strategies,″ said Cleveland catcher Sandy Alomar, who had three hits and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. ``You have to manufacture some runs over here.″
With the game tied 3-3, David Justice singled to open the eighth inning, advanced to third on a sacrifice and a groundout to the right side and scored on Grissom’s single as the Indians scored five runs to break open the first game.
``I’m just trying to do my job,″ Grissom said. ``We’ve got to use the National League style of play.″
Hargrove downplayed the differences between the leagues.
``The surprising thing is in the American League we bunt every now and then, too,″ Hargrove joked. ``We just don’t usually pinch hit to do it.″
Grissom, one of three Indians starters who played in the NL last season, also singled and scored in the seventh as Cleveland, one of the AL’s most powerful lineups, scored three runs to tie it. Cleveland’s big eighth inning was highlighted by Julio Franco’s two-run double.
Cardinals starter Andy Benes struck out 11 in seven innings, but threw 123 pitches and appeared to tire in his final inning when he allowed three runs on four hits. Benes said fatigue wasn’t a factor.
``I don’t want to overanalyze this game,″ Benes said. ``I was effective until the seventh,.″
Brian Giles had a run-scoring single and Thome tied it 3-3 with a two-out, two-run double off the wall in left-center as the Indians denied Benes his 100th career victory.
T.J. Mathews (2-3) allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning and Tony Fossas didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced. Lopez (3-4) allowed a hit and struck out two in 1 2-3 innings.
``We did some good things; they just did more,″ La Russa said. ``We had some quality at-bats; they had more.″
Earlier, Benes gave Indians pitchers a hitting lesson. His two-out RBI single in the second was his sixth hit this season and third RBI, tying him with his brother Alan for the staff lead, and he had a sacrifice bunt in the fourth.
Indians rookie starter Bartolo Colon took three called strikes in his lone at-bat.
Notes: Cardinals shortstop Royce Clayton left the second game after fouling a ball off his left big toe leading off the first. Preliminary X-rays showed no break. ... Cardinals second baseman Delino DeShields sat out the second game with the flu. ... Cardinals right fielder Brian Jordan started for the first time since May 5 in the second game, doubling in four at-bats and scoring twice. He had been sidelined with a bulging disc in his lower back. ... Colon was the first Indians pitcher to bat since Jim Kern, who struck out in a pinch-hit appearance July 28, 1978, against Oakland. ... Ron Gant struck out twice in the opener, increasing his major league-high total to 72 in 214 at-bats. ... The Cardinals have 18 players and coaches with American League experience, including four with the Indians. Two of them are players: Eckersley (1975-77) and Danny Sheaffer (1989). ... Alomar is 25-for-54 during his streak. ... Paid attendance was 43,582 for the first game and 44,532 for the second, although the actual attendance for the second game was only 20,352.