Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals' Streak Comes to End as Henke Falters

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals' Streak Comes to End as Henke Falters

Article excerpt

It's not just about making the right pitches, reliever Tom Henke says. His luck ran a tad rotten in the Cardinals' 7-6 loss Friday night.

Striking out the gnatty Brett Butler in the ninth should have been worth a rabbit's foot. It merely meant Henke had to pitch to Chad Fonville, shorter than Butler and almost as bothersome.

"My concentration was in trying to get those two guys out," said Henke, whose pitch broke Fonville's bat. "It flew into 100 pieces. But he's on base."

Fonville considered the heavy lumber coming up and not the splinters of his hit.

"I've got Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi coming up behind me," he said. "All I have to do is get on, and I know they'll put the bat on the ball somewhere."

Henke got Piazza to fly out. That brought up Karros, sitting on 94 RBIs after driving in Fonville in the third and Butler in the fifth. Fonville stole second base.

Karros took the count to three balls and a strike. Manager Mike Jorgensen conferred with Henke and catcher Danny Sheaffer. Karros knew he wouldn't see anything close to the strike zone.

It didn't matter. He swung and missed. Strike two. Henke's next pitch seemed headed for the dirt.

Karros whacked it into left-center field. Fonville scooted home with what turned out to be the winning run, thwarting what had been an interesting Cardinals comeback. It ended the Cardinals' winning streak at six games before 26,044 fans (27,580 paid).

Henke, the NL leader with 33 saves, got his first decision of the season in his 48th appearance. He fell 14 games short of becoming the first pitcher in big-league history to go an entire season without a decision in more than 42 appearances.

At least the Cardinals stirred some thunder:

Ozzie Smith set a record for most career double plays participated in by a big-league shortstop. He recorded No. 1,554, one more than Luis Aparicio.

Ray Lankford had three hits and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tying his career best. …

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