Cardinals 10, Rockies 6

Saturday, September 25th 2004, 5:38 pm
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ John Mabry hit a three-run homer and Roger Cedeno added a disputed two-run shot, helping the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Colorado Rockies 10-6 on Saturday.

With the NL Central already clinched, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa got creative with his lineup.

Matt Morris, the scheduled starter, was given the day off to rest for the playoffs and reliever Al Reyes didn't know he was making his first big league start until arriving at the ballpark.

Yadier Molina, listed as the starting catcher, was replaced by Mike Matheny just before the first pitch but came in for Matheny in the sixth inning and hit a two-run double in the ninth. Pitcher Woody Williams even came in as a pinch hitter in the six inning, striking out against Joe Kennedy.

Randy Flores (0-1) threw two scoreless innings to pick up his first major league win in a game pitched from start to finish by Cardinals relievers. Jason Isringhausen got the last out for his 46th save.

Reyes did his part in his first start on any level since 1998, pitching three perfect innings before giving way to Rick Ankiel.

Ankiel started off by doing exactly what the Cardinals didn't want to see: hit his first batter. After all, it was control problems that forced the left-hander to spend most of the past four seasons in the minors.

Luis Gonzalez followed with a single and Todd Helton knocked in Colorado's first run with another single. Ankiel then threw a hanging curveball to Todd Greene, who hit it over the wall in left for a three-run homer that put the Rockies up 4-1.

Ankiel also gave up an RBI single to Helton in the fifth and was pulled after giving up five runs and six hits in two innings. He had pitched four scoreless innings in his first two appearances this season.

All the lineup shuffling by La Russa worked out, thanks to what appeared to be a mistake by the umpires in the seventh inning.

With one on and no outs, Cedeno hit a ball to left off Tim Harikkala (6-5) that appeared to hit near the top of the wall and bounce onto the field. Cedeno thought it stayed in, stopping briefly at second before being waved in for his 13th homer.

Fans sitting in the left-field bleachers screamed at the umpires and repeatedly pointed to the spot on the wall where the ball hit, and Rockies manager Clint Hurdle came out to argue for several minutes to no avail.

Kennedy didn't start off too well in his first game back after a five-game suspension for an Aug. 15 altercation with Pittsburgh's Jason Kendall.

The big left-hander walked three of the first four he faced, giving up a run on Edgar Renteria's sacrifice fly. He settled down for a few innings, then ran into trouble when hard rain started falling in the sixth.

Kennedy gave up four runs in the inning, one on Matheny's groundout and three more on a homer by Mabry that landed in the third row of the second deck in right, tying the game at 5-all. Kennedy allowed five runs and six hits in six innings.

Colorado's Choo Freeman hit an RBI single in the ninth off Carmen Cali.

Notes: Cardinals OF Larry Walker was given the day off after going 0-for-4 on Friday night in his first game back in Denver since an Aug. 6 trade by the Rockies. ... Reyes had a single in the second, his third hit in the majors. His first one also was at Coors Field, in 1998 with Milwaukee.