Edmonds' Homer Lifts Cards Past Red Sox

Friday, June 13th 2003, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

Jim Edmonds stepped into the batter's box in the 13th inning without a clue as to what the Boston Red Sox would do.

``I really didn't know what to expect,'' Edmonds said. ``But when they (got down) behind the plate, I had to regroup.''

Boy, did he.

Edmonds followed an intentional walk to Albert Pujols with an opposite-field, three-run homer into the seats perched above the Green Monster, and the St. Louis Cardinals held on for an 8-7 victory Thursday night after blowing two late leads.

There were six intentional walks _ five by the Cardinals. Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar got two apiece as St. Louis manager Tony La Russa played the percentages and won each time.

``It's not a question of walking someone,'' La Russa said. ``It's a matter of who you pick to beat you.''

Twice he had Ramirez and Millar walked and each time Trot Nixon failed to drive in a run, fouling out and grounding into a force play.

``Why let the big boys beat you?'' Cardinals reliever Steve Kline said. ``As a pitcher you want to challenge the batters. But if you have to win the cheap way, by playing the four-corners rule like in the old days of basketball, you do it.''

In other interleague games, it was: the New York Yankees 6, Houston 5; Atlanta 4, Oakland 2; Toronto 5, Pittsburgh 4; Baltimore 6, Chicago Cubs 1; San Diego 9, Cleveland 4; Los Angeles 3, Detroit 2; Cincinnati 2, Tampa Bay 1; Minnesota 15, Colorado 3; New York Mets 11, Texas 0; San Francisco 8, Chicago White Sox 4; Seattle 1, Montreal 0. Arizona's game at Kansas City was postponed by rain.

In the lone National League game, Milwaukee beat Florida 6-5.

Edmonds also had a solo homer in the eighth and Edgar Renteria went 5-for-6 to help the Cardinals take two of three from the Red Sox in the first meeting between the teams since St. Louis won the 1967 World Series 4-3.

Nomar Garciaparra hit a tying triple in the ninth and a tying single in the 10th as the Red Sox rallied from 3-0 down in the ninth and a 5-3 deficit in the 10th.

``It was one of the most bizarre games I've been in,'' Boston manager Grady Little said.

Nixon's RBI single off Estaban Yan (2-0) cut it to 8-6 in the bottom of the 13th. With runners on first and third, Bill Mueller failed to sacrifice before grounding into a double play that scored a run. Yan then walked Jeremy Giambi and intentionally walked Varitek to load the bases before Johnny Damon, who went 1-for-8, ended it after 4 hours, 33 minutes.

Giants 8, White Sox 4

At Chicago, Barry Bonds hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth and Rich Aurilia hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the inning to rally San Francisco past the White Sox.

Bartolo Colon (6-6) struck out Bonds in his first three at-bats and took a three-hitter into the ninth, but Ray Durham singled leading off the inning. Bonds hit the next pitch for his 631st home run, his 18th this season.

San Francisco then loaded the bases on singles by Benito Santiago and Pedro Feliz, and an intentional walk to Edgardo Alfonzo. Damaso Marte relieved, and Aurilia followed with his homer.

Yankees 6, Astros 5

At New York, Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth, and the Yankees rebounded from being no-hit a night earlier with their first win of the season after trailing through six innings _ they had been 0-20.

Houston took a 5-3 lead in the sixth, but this time, the Yankees were able to get some big hits against the Houston bullpen that didn't allow a hit over eight innings Wednesday night.

Juan Rivera's RBI single off Kirk Saarloos cut it to 5-4 in the sixth. Raul Mondesi singled off Brad Lidge with two outs in the seventh to tie it at 5. Soriano's single off Octavio Dotel (5-2) completed the comeback.

Reds 2, Devil Rays 1

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Austin Kearns stole home and homered, and Ryan Dempster (2-4) allowed one run over 7 1-3 innings as Cincinnati completed a three-game sweep.

The Reds opened the scoring in the second when Kearns scored from third on the back end of a double steal. Kearns came home after catcher Toby Hall threw to second in an attempt to get Aaron Boone.

The Devil Rays have lost a season-high seven straight games.

Braves 4, Athletics 2

At Oakland, Calif., Gary Sheffield and Andruw Jones homered and Shane Reynolds took a three-hit shutout into the seventh for Atlanta.

Barry Zito (7-5) gave up three runs and five hits _ dropping his first interleague game in eight starts _ as the A's lost three consecutive series for the first time in nearly a year.

Reynolds (5-1) won his fourth straight decision. He allowed two runs over 6 2-3 innings.

Blue Jays 5, Pirates 4

At Toronto, Mark Hendrickson (5-5) won for the first time since May 16 as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh.

Carlos Delgado increased his major league-leading RBI total to 74 with a two-run single for Toronto, which won their fourth straight. Pittsburgh's Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-4, ending his career-high hitting streak at 22 games.

Twins 15, Rockies 3

At Minneapolis, A.J. Pierzynski hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for Minnesota, which scored seven runs in the first and seventh innings.

Pierzynski hit his second career grand slam off Darren Oliver (3-5) with the Twins already leading 3-0 in the first. Twins starter Kenny Rogers (5-2) got his 150th win.

Padres 9, Indians 4

At Cleveland, Jake Peavy got his first win since April 25, and Rondell White and Ryan Klesko homered for San Diego.

Trailing 3-0 after four innings, the Padres scored four runs in the fifth and five in the sixth to help Peavy (5-5) and avoid being swept. Mark Loretta had three RBIs for the Padres, who finally got their 20th win.

Mets 11, Rangers 0

At Arlington, Texas, Vance Wilson homered and drove in five runs and Al Leiter pitched six shutout innings as the Mets won after general manager Steve Phillips was fired.

Leiter (4-5), Graeme Lloyd and John Franco combined for New York's third shutout of the season. The Rangers had 11 hits, but left 14 men on base.

Dodgers 3, Tigers 2

At Detroit, Kazuhisa Ishii allowed two runs over seven innings and Paul Lo Duca drove in the go-ahead run with a fifth-inning single as Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep.

Lo Duca extended his hitting streak to 20 games, and Ishii (6-2) won despite walking six batters for the sixth time this season. Eric Gagne pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 24 opportunities. He has saved 32 straight dating to last season.

Orioles 6, Cubs 1

At Baltimore, Melvin Mora homered and drove in three runs, and Rick Helling (4-4) shrugged off two rain delays to pitch five shutout innings for the Orioles.

Mora had a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring groundout before extending his hitting streak to 23 games in the seventh with a solo shot off Kyle Farnsworth.

The start was delayed by rain for 53 minutes, and the Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the first against Carlos Zambrano (5-6). There was an additional rain stoppage of 1:49 after the second inning.

Mariners 1, Expos 0

At Seattle, Ryan Franklin and Arthur Rhodes combined on a five-hitter, and Bret Boone hit his 18th homer for the Mariners.

Franklin (5-4) gave up four hits, walked two and struck out five. Rhodes pitched the ninth for his first save.

Franklin outpitched rookie Claudio Vargas (3-3), who gave up Boone's 427-foot homer to lead off the fourth.

Brewers 6, Marlins 5

At Milwaukee, Eric Young and Wes Helms homered in a five-run sixth inning to help Milwaukee snap a four-game losing streak.

Matt Kinney (5-4) pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. Florida starter Carl Pavano (5-7) retired the first 11 batters he faced before Richie Sexson hit his 20th homer

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