Stands for NL Rdp
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The extra batting practice paid off for a bored Rick Lankford.
The Cardinals left St. Louis at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and arrived at Veterans Stadium at 1 p.m. They spent the rest of the day waiting for their night game against the Philadelphia Phillies to start.
``We had extra hitting til 3:30, then things really got boring,″ Lankford said. ``It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that and I hope it’s the last.″
After sitting around the Vet for six hours, Lankford drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single, sparking a four-run sixth inning in the Cardinals’ 4-3 victory over the Phillies in their one-game series.
The Cardinals left town for Philadelphia immediately after the game, which made Lankford happy.
``After all the time we’ve spent here, I’m really happy to be moving on,″ he said.
The Phillies, who have now lost four in a row, 9 out of 10 and 12 of 14, had a 3-0 lead before the Cardinals rallied in the sixth inning against Michael Mimbs (6-5).
In the only other NL games played Wednesday, Montreal edged Chicago 3-2 and Pittsburgh nipped Atlanta 2-1.
After Lankford’s bases-loaded hit drove in two runs, a third came across on Mariano Duncan’s error and the fourth scored on Tripp Cromer’s sacrifice fly.
Danny Jackson (2-9) allowed three runs and all nine Philadelphia hits in six innings before four Cardinal relievers held the Phils hitless the rest of the way.
Tom Henke pitched the ninth, struck out two and gained his 18th save in 18 opportunities.
``I can’t say enough about the bullpen. They were terrific tonight,″ said Cardinals manager Mike Jorgensen. ``Henke is really pitching well. He is spotting his fast ball and getting his breaking pitches over.″
Philadelphia manager Jim Fregosi said Mimbs threw well, ``but we gave them too many outs in the sixth inning. We had some opportunities but couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it.″
Phillies catcher Darren Daulton said the slump could be explained.
``We just haven’t been hitting as a team.″ Daulton said. ``I really don’t know else to say. We’re not taking any pressure off of our pitchers, but we don’t plan on quitting.″
Daulton said that he didn’t think his team was overconfident after getting off to such a good start.
``When we got off to that big lead early, we knew we’d have to go all the way to the finish line in October. We know it’s a long season. We just have to come back and play hard.″
The Phillies have now lost seven straight at home, their worst losing streak at home since they lost seven in a row in August-September 1987.
Expos 3, Cubs 2
At Montreal, rookie Ugueth Urbina won his first major league start and snapped a five-game slide for the Expos.
Urbina (2-0), a 21-year-old Venezuelan, allowed an unearned run on three hits and five walks in seven innings and struck out three. Mel Rojas pitched two innings for his 15th save.
Darrin Fletcher drove in two runs for Montreal and Shawon Dunston homered for Chicago.
Pirates 2, Braves 1
At Pittsburgh, John Smoltz did himself in with a wild pitch that scored both Pirates runs in the sixth. That also did in a nine-game winning streak that was the Braves’ longest since a 13-game streak in 1992.
Rookie Steve Parris outpitched Smoltz, who allowed a double to Orlando Merced with one out in the sixth. Smoltz hit Mark Johnson on the next pitch, then threw a wild pitch to advance both runners.
With Al Martin at the plate, Smoltz threw another ball in the dirt that escaped catcher Javy Lopez and rolled to the right of the plate. Merced raced home and Lopez’ throw sailed into the Braves’ dugout, scoring both runners.