Castillo's streak hits 34; Cardinals fans bid farewell to Buck

Friday, June 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Sadness in St. Louis, a scintillating achievement in Florida.

Grieving Cardinals fans bid goodbye to Jack Buck on Thursday, and Marlins fans cheered Luis Castillo as he extended his hitting streak to 34 games _ breaking Rogers Hornsby's record for a second baseman.

Castillo slashed a single in the first inning of Florida's 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians, a game called after 5 1/2 innings because of rain.

``This guy has been unbelievable,'' Marlins catcher Mike Redmond said. ``I couldn't imagine playing in 34 games in a row.''

While an announced crowd of only 8,045 turned out to watch Castillo chase history, an estimated 10,000 mourners filed past Buck's casket near home plate at Busch Stadium.

The longtime broadcaster was honored before the Cardinals lost 3-2 to the Anaheim Angels.

``The organization made it such a well-done day,'' said catcher Mike Matheny, one of the speakers at the memorial service. ``Everybody in here was kind of choked up by the whole thing.''

In other interleague games, it was: Boston 5, San Diego 0; Arizona 5, Baltimore 1; Colorado 14, the New York Yankees 11 in 10 innings; Atlanta 3, Detroit 2; the Chicago White Sox 6, Philadelphia 1; Texas 7, the Chicago Cubs 4; San Francisco 10, Tampa Bay 2; Oakland 5, Pittsburgh 3; Montreal 5, Kansas City 4 in 11 innings; the New York Mets 3, Minnesota 2; Seattle 3, Cincinnati 2; and Los Angeles 2, Toronto 1.

Houston beat Milwaukee 9-3 in the only NL game.

A.J. Burnett (8-5) and the Marlins completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland in the first meeting between the teams since the 1997 World Series, also won by Florida.

Castillo tied Dom DiMaggio and three other players at 34 games. The Dominican leadoff hitter also matched Benito Santiago's record for the longest streak by a player born outside the United States.

Only 10 players have had a longer streak than Castillo, including just two since 1950 _ Pete Rose (44) in 1978 and Paul Molitor (39) in 1987.

``When I'm finished, I'll feel good for what I did,'' Castillo said.

Scott Schoeneweis (6-5) and the Angels ended a four-game losing skid and halted the Cardinals' five-game winning streak. Troy Percival stranded two runners in the ninth for his 15th save.

The Cardinals held a 4 1/2-hour viewing for Buck beginning more than seven hours before the game, with fans filing past the broadcaster's cherry wood casket just behind home plate. Buck's son, Joe, led the memorial service that also featured speeches by Stan Musial, Lou Brock, manager Tony La Russa, broadcaster Mike Shannon and former announcing cohort Dan Dierdorf.

``He was such an incredible man in so many ways,'' La Russa said.

Elsewhere, four aces with 17 Cy Young Awards among them were all on the mound. Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez won with dominant performances, but Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux left early with injuries.