Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Babe Morris, Gray Gaetti Subdue la Youngest and Oldest among Cardinals Starters Key 4-2 Victory at Busch

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Babe Morris, Gray Gaetti Subdue la Youngest and Oldest among Cardinals Starters Key 4-2 Victory at Busch

Article excerpt

Youth was served Thursday night and so was relative old age.

Matt Morris, the youngest player in the Cardinals' starting lineup, and Gary Gaetti, the oldest, pooled their talents for a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium.

Morris, 22, earned his second big-league victory, striking out seven and walking none in a stunning eight-inning performance. Gaetti, who will turn 39 in August, hit a tie-breaking home run in the fourth inning and pranced around third base like a man Morris' age, making three stellar plays. Shortstop Royce Clayton saved the potential tying run in the eighth with a diving stop and strong throw. Dmitri Young, just off the disabled list, was nimble at first base, and Dennis Eckersley, after a rough start, gained his 10th save in 11 opportunities. Few probably keep count, but the victory gave the Cardinals a 900-898 edge in the all-time series with the Dodgers. More significantly, the Cardinals have won four of their last five games this season. "Same club, same effort," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're just starting to play better." In 10 big-league starts, including one abbreviated to one inning, Morris has given up more than three earned runs only once - to the National League champion Atlanta Braves, who scored four off him in four innings on May 17. Seeing Morris for the first time, home-plate umpire Mark Hirschbeck said, "He's got a hell of an arm. Right around the plate. Man . . ." La Russa said, "He's got so much talent. But in a couple or three years, he'll be better than he is now. And in five years, he'll be even better. Think how he's going to improve with experience. But he's plenty good now." Los Angeles manager Bill Russell said that after the first inning, Morris "was making pitches we couldn't hit. He has excellent control. He's a fighter." Morris (2-3) was in Class AA at this time last year. "I was spotting my fastball," he said, "letting them get themselves out. Any pitcher on the staff - if they have their good stuff - they're not going to get beat. (begin FIVE STAR text) If you've got your good stuff at any level you're going to get guys out. (end 5* text) I go out there with the intention of beating anyone." A first-inning double by Raul Mondesi, who had three hits, and Mike Piazza's single gave the Dodgers their only run off Morris. Morris tied the game himself in the second. With Gaetti at second after a single and an infield out, Morris stroked a two-out double to right. The hit was his fifth in 17 at-bats. Then it became Gaetti's show. He clubbed his fifth home in the fourth, putting the Cardinals ahead 2-1. He has had seven hits in the last three games, hiking his average to .248. The run scored was the 1,000th for Gaetti, who collected his 2,000th hit two weeks ago. "I've probably been thrown out at home 1,000 times, too," he cracked. …

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