Cards Beat Cubs to Tie for NL Central Lead

Friday, August 29th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Jose Reyes and Eric Gagne put themselves in the record book. Kerry Robinson put the St. Louis Cardinals back into a tie for the NL Central lead. On a day that also saw Milwaukee win its 10th straight game, Robinson delivered the biggest hit. He connected for his first home run of the season, a leadoff shot in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the St. Louis Cardinals over the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Thursday night.

Robinson sent a drive off Mike Remlinger (5-5) into the Cardinals' bullpen, where reliever Jason Simontacchi caught the ball with his cap. Robinson said it was his first game-ending homer.

``I don't think I've ever done it in a video game,'' he said.

Reliever Mike DeJean (5-7) pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings to earn his first win since Milwaukee traded him to St. Louis last week.

The Cardinals caught Houston for the division lead while the Cubs remained 1 1/2 games behind.

Los Angeles beat the Astros 6-3 as Gagne was successful on his 44th straight save chance since the start of the season.

Gagne broke Tom Gordon's 1998 record of 43 in a row to begin a year. Gordon holds the overall record of 54 straight saves _ Gagne is at 52 and counting.

``It means nothing at all to me,'' Gagne said. ``This is a team game.''

``The team has played eight good innings to get us there is all that I see. We win as a team and we lose as a team,'' he said.

Paul Shuey (5-4) entered in the fifth and pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings for the win. Tim Redding (8-13) took the loss.

Reyes became the youngest player in modern major league history to homer from both sides of the plate as New York beat Atlanta.

``This is my first time ever,'' the 20-year-old rookie said. ``I wasn't thinking about hitting home runs, but it's a good feeling.''

Reyes homered right-handed off Mike Hampton (12-6) in the fifth inning and connected left-handed off Trey Hodges in the ninth.

Reyes was about nine months younger than former record-holder Ruben Sierra, who accomplished the feat on Sept. 13, 1986, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Al Leiter (13-7) allowed only three runners, none beyond second base. He gave up a one-out double to Mike Hessman in the third, a leadoff walk to Andruw Jones in the fifth and a leadoff single to Gary Sheffield in the seventh.

In other NL games, Milwaukee beat Cincinnati 4-3 in 10 innings, Montreal defeated Philadelphia 4-0, Colorado stopped San Francisco 6-1 and Pittsburgh blanked Florida 5-0.

Brewers 4, Reds 3, 10 inning

Milwaukee posted its longest winning streak since switching to the NL in 1998 as Bill Hall hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning at Cincinnati.

Geoff Jenkins homered in his fourth consecutive game for the Brewers. But he later broke his left thumb when he banged it into catcher Jason LaRue's shinguard while being tagged out at the plate, and was likely lost for the season.

The Brewers now move to Wrigley Field, where they will try to win more than 10 in a row for the first time since their team-record string of 13 in 1987.

The Reds lost their fifth in a row.

Expos 4, Phillies 0

Javier Vazquez stretched his scoreless streak to 26 innings, Vladimir Guerrero homered and Montreal completed a four-game sweep of Philadelphia.

The Expos moved into a virtual tie with the Phillies and Florida for the NL wild-card lead.

A crowd of 20,030 at Olympic Stadium saw the Expos win their ninth straight home game. After the final out, about a dozen fans threw brooms onto the field.

Montreal has won five in a row overall. Philadelphia has lost six straight and dropped to 1-9 on its season-long 13-game road trip.

Rockies 6, Giants 1

Preston Wilson hit a grand slam and Jason Jennings struck out a career-high 10 as Colorado stopped a five-game losing streak.

Wilson drove in five runs and leads the majors with 126 RBIs.

Jennings became the first Rockies pitcher to fan at least 10 since John Thomson on April 7, 2001. In his previous five starts, Jennings struck out a total of 10.

Kevin Correia started for San Francisco at Coors Field after Dustin Hermanson was scratched because of back spasms.

Pirates 5, Marlins 0

Josh Fogg pitched 7 2-3 impressive innings and Pittsburgh shut out Florida for the second straight day.

The Marlins were held to three runs and 12 hits during three losses at PNC Park. Florida finished 1-8 on its trip to Colorado, San Francisco and Pittsburgh.