Cards 3, White Sox 2, 13 Innings
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Rick Croushore scored from first when Greg Norton threw away a 13th-inning bunt, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 Thursday night.
Mark McGwire hit his 29th home run as the Cardinals won for only the second time in six extra-inning home games. The White Sox had no hits during the last five innings.
Croushore (3-2), who pitched three innings, reached on a walk off Todd Rizzo (0-1) to open the 13th after fouling off several 3-2 pitches. Norton fielded Darren Bragg’s high-bouncing bunt to first and struck him a few steps from the bag.
The ball rolled down the right-field line and Croushore ran through a stop-sign from third-base coach Rene Lachemann before scoring with a head-first dive at the plate on a close play.
Chicago used three pitchers in escaping a one-out, bases-loaded situation in the 10th. Bryan Ward struck out Ray Lankford and Sean Lowe, the sixth Chicago, retired Edgar Renteria on a groundout.
Lowe, a 1992 first-round draft pick of the Cardinals, was 0-5 with a 10.72 ERA the last two seasons with St. Louis. He also escaped in the 11th when Joe McEwing flied out with a runner on third for the final out and allowed one hit in 2 1-3 innings.
The Cardinals tied it on a controversial fielder’s choice in the ninth as Lankford scored from second. Replays appeared to show Willie McGee grounded into a game-ending double play against Bob Howry, but he was ruled safe by first-base umpire Paul Nauert and ended up with an RBI.
First baseman Frank Thomas, who fielded a one-hop relay from shortstop Craig Wilson, held the ball too long as he argued the call and Lankford scored without a play. Thomas was ejected during a prolonged argument.
Chris Singleton hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the White Sox.
Ray Durham singled off Jose Jimenez starting the game and Singleton hit Jimenez’s first pitch over the right-field wall. Singleton, who was 2-for-5, has eight homers and 41 RBIs and is batting .373 (38-for-102) with men on base and .318 overall.
McGwire’s fourth-inning homer was the only run off Mike Sirotka, who allowed five hits in seven innings. Sirotka has allowed five earned runs in 21 2-3 innings in his last three starts.
Jimenez, who has pitched a no-hitter and a two-hitter in the last month, didn’t allow a runner past first base after Singleton’s homer. He gave up six hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked one.
Alberto Castillo helped out by throwing out two runners trying to steal and has caught 13 of 24 this year.
McGwire hit a low fastball off the end of the bat over the wall in left-center with one out in the fourth for his 486th career homer. He’s seven behind Lou Gehrig, who is 16th on the career list.
Notes: McGwire has 65 homers in 149 career games at Busch Stadium and has hit four in seven interleague games against the White Sox. ... Greg Norton was 0-for-3 with two walks and is in a 1-for-25 slump. ... Cardinals outfielder Eric Davis, who’s on the disabled list with an injured shoulder, reported no improvement during the All-Star break. ... The White Sox were 45-31 after the break last year and the Cardinals were 43-33. ... Lankford, who missed nine games with a sore midsection, was 1-for-4 with three strikeouts.