Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Astros Are Left Seeing Doubles Cardinals Finally Start Hitting, Get to Hampton in 6-2 Victory

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Astros Are Left Seeing Doubles Cardinals Finally Start Hitting, Get to Hampton in 6-2 Victory

Article excerpt

To place in perspective what occurred in the fourth inning Sunday night at Busch Stadium, consider that in the Cardinals' first 85 innings of play this season, they had achieved the modest total of 21 extra-base hits, 14 of them doubles.

Add to this the fact that the Cardinals had to face Houston lefthander Mike Hampton, whose career earned-run average at Busch Stadium was 1.76 in four games.

Hampton shut down the Cardinals for the first three innings Sunday night, permitting only a flared single by David Bell in the third. But, with one out in the fourth, the Cardinals suddenly strung together four doubles on four consecutive pitches as they ripped Hampton apart in a 6-2 Cardinals victory. Alan Benes, gaining his first victory of the season, throttled the Astros on two hits for seven innings, striking out nine, two short of his personal high. Benes allowed only a single by Jeff Bagwell in the first and a single by Craig Biggio in the sixth. But Bagwell's single was canceled by Ron Gant throwing out Bagwell trying for second. Benes, who walked only one, finished his seven-inning, 115-pitch stint with a flourish, striking out the side in the seventh. Impressed in many areas with Benes, pitching coach Dave Duncan said, "He changed speeds against the lefthanders. He dropped some changeups in against the righthanders. It's really nice to see him add that dimension to his game where he can mix finesse with power." The Astros also paid tribute to Benes. "When a team is not swinging the bat well and it runs into a pitcher who's throwing well," Bagwell said, "the result is two hits, nine strikeouts in seven innings." "I was glad they took him out of the game," Houston third baseman Bill Spiers said. "He was knocking the paint off the outside corner." Benes saluted rookie catcher Mike Difelice. He had caught Benes extensively in Class AA in 1994 but not much since then. "With me throwing the curveball and changeup, it's a little different for him because I didn't throw those in Class AA," Benes said. "But he really got into a groove and figured me out." Big brother Andy Benes, on the disabled list with a rib-cage strain, missed Alan's first poor start in Montreal but has been here for the past two, both good ones. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.