Drew responds to fans with long homer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 1999

The Associated Press

Drew’s 434-foot solo home run capped a tumultuous stay at Veterans Stadium, blocking out the boos and leading the St.

Thursday, August 12, 1999

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Drew’s 434-foot solo home run capped a tumultuous stay at Veterans Stadium, blocking out the boos and leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

”God’s timing is perfect,” said Drew, who received massive police and security presence after having batteries thrown at him in the outfield Tuesday night. ”The biggest key to me is to enjoy the game and play as hard as I can.”

Drew was drafted by the Phillies in 1997, but didn’t sign with them after asking for an $11.5 million, five-year contract. He returned to the draft the following year, was taken by St. Louis and signed for $7 million for four years.

Since then, he has established himself as one of baseball’s best young hitters, although he hasn’t made many friends.

”He was booed every place he played since last September,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. ”He went about his business. This guy’s been terrific. He’s got a chance to be outstanding. He just needs experience.”

Garrett Stephenson (3-0) allowed one run and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, retiring 14 straight at one stretch. Randy Wolf (5-4) took the loss, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings, walking five and striking out seven.

Arizona 7, Chicago 5

Matt Williams hit a two-run double in the 11th inning and had four RBIs as Arizona beat Chicago at Wrigley Field and opened a 7 1/2-game lead in the NL West.

The Diamondbacks, who have won five straight, are 66-49 and topped their win total from 1998. Chicago has lost five straight and 11 of 14.

Randy Johnson, who struck out 11 in eight innings and left with a 5-3 lead, lost a chance for the win when the Cubs tied the game in the ninth on Henry Rodriguez’s RBI double and Glenallen Hill’s run-scoring infield single.

Marlins 6, Giants 5

Mike Lowell singled home the winning run off Robb Nen (3-6) in the 10th as host Florida overcame a four-run deficit for the third consecutive game against San Francisco, which has lost nine of 12. The Marlins have won six straight.

Florida trailed 5-1 before Lowell, who had a grand slam in Monday’s comeback, hit a three-run pinch-hit homer in the sixth.

Jesus Sanchez (4-4) pitched two scoreless innings.

Rockies 8, Brewers 5

Edgard Clemente hit a two-run homer off Steve Woodard (11-7) and had three RBIs to help Colorado stop a five-game losing streak.

Angel Echevarria and Vinny Castilla drove in two runs each as the Rockies outhit the Brewers 14-10 and completed a 4-8 road trip. Milwaukee finished a 3-9 homestand.

Bobby Jones (6-9) gave up two runs and four hits in five innings.

Braves 8, Astros 5

Bret Boone and Chipper Jones hit consecutive homers for the second straight night, and Jose Hernandez also homered as Atlanta completed a three-game sweep of visiting Houston.

Greg Maddux (14-6), who has won four consecutive decisions and seven of his last eight, allowed five runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings. Jose Lima (15-7) dropped to 0-4 against Atlanta, giving up six runs and nine hits in five innings.

Dodgers 9, Expos 7

Eric Karros hit his first career grand slam and tied a career high with six RBIs as Los Angeles rallied from a six-run deficit to win at Montreal.

Karros had hit the most homers among active major leaguers without hitting a grand slam.

Mets 12, Padres 5

Edgardo Alfonzo homered and tied a career high with five RBIs at Shea Stadium.

Mike Piazza went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to break out of an 0-for-9 slump.

Tony Gwynn left in the fifth inning with a sore left knee he aggravated sliding into third base. Gwynn, who singled in the first for his 3,007th career hit to tie Al Kaline for 20th on the career list, is listed as day-to-day.

San Diego has lost five in a row.