Diamondbacks 14, Cardinals 5

Tuesday, April 16th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHOENIX (AP) _ Luis Gonzalez drove in four runs, and Damian Miller hit a three-run homer as the Arizona Diamondbacks won their fifth straight with a 14-5 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

Rick Helling (1-2), signed in the offseason to complement Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in the Diamondbacks' starting rotation allowed four runs on five hits and five walks in seven innings.

The Diamondbacks scored six runs in the second and fourth to win handily in the first meeting between the teams since Arizona's 2-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL division series last October.

Danny Bautista was 3-for-3 with two RBIs for Arizona. Quinton McCracken and Mark Grace each drove in two runs.

J.D. Drew had a solo homer and an RBI triple for the Cardinals. Drew's homer was the fourth off Helling, who led the AL in homers allowed last season with 38.

Still, Helling became the fourth Arizona starter to win this season. Johnson and Schilling are both 3-0, but Miguel Batista is the only other Diamondbacks starter with a victory.

It was the second straight loss for St. Louis, which had a five-game winning streak snapped by Houston on Sunday.

Andy Benes (0-2), who was Arizona's ace in the 1998 expansion year and pitched the first game in Bank One Ballpark, allowed 10 runs _ three earned _ and six hits in three-plus innings. He walked four.

Benes walked three in the second inning, and that, coupled with errors by Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols, allowed the Diamondbacks to score six unearned runs.

Edmonds got his glove on Miller's fly to center field, but the ball dropped through before Edmonds got his hand under it for the throw.

Junior Spivey, the next batter, rapped a grounder along the left-field line. Pujols stepped into foul territory to get it, but missed third base going and coming, allowing Grace to reach third safely. Spivey beat the throw to first.

Craig Counsell hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 and leave Miller and Spivey on the corners. After a sacrifice by Helling, Benes walked Tony Womack to load the bases, then walked McCracken.

Gonzalez hit a two-run single, and Bautista and Grace added RBI singles before the inning ended.

In the fourth, Gonzalez made it 9-2 with a two-run double, chasing Benes, and scored on a double by Bautista.

Miller hit a 409-foot shot with Bautista and Grace aboard off Travis Smith, who pitched four innings of five-hit ball, allowing four runs.

Fernando Vina drove Helling's second pitch down the right-field line in the first inning and wound up on third, scoring on Edgar Renteria's grounder to shortstop.

Arizona answered in the same fashion _ a leadoff triple by Womack, followed by McCracken's RBI grounder to short.

Edmonds had a run-scoring single in the fifth, and Tino Martinez added an RBI double in the eighth for St. Louis.