Young Cards pitcher feeling right at home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2000

The Associated Press

With just 13 starts in the majors, 20-year-old Rick Ankiel feels right at home.

Wednesday, June 21, 2000

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With just 13 starts in the majors, 20-year-old Rick Ankiel feels right at home.

Ankiel dominated at Busch Stadium again with six strong innings, and Craig Paquette hit a three-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 7-2 in a rain-shortened game Tuesday night.

Ankiel (6-3) worked on nine days’ rest so he could pitch at home, where he’s 5-0 with a 2.52 ERA; he’s 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA on the road.

”I don’t think there’s any significant reason why I’m not good on the road,” Ankiel said. ”I feel comfortable here. You’ve been out here so many times, you start getting used to everything.”

Ellis Burks’ two-run homer in the second was the only damage against Ankiel, who allowed three hits, walked three and struck out eight.

”Everything I’ve heard about him is true,” Giants manager Dusty Baker said. ”You don’t see many 20-year-olds like him.”

The game was called in the top of the ninth after a rain delay of 1 hour, 29 minutes.

None of the rest of Ankiel’s starts before the All-Star break will be on the road.

Jim Edmonds hit his 21st homer in the third inning, put the Cardinals ahead to stay with an RBI single in a four-run fifth and robbed Burks of a second homer when he scaled the center-field wall.

Marlins 8, Brewers 2

Florida’s Ryan Dempster allowed three hits in seven innings at home, and Alex Gonzalez had his first career multihomer game.

Dempster (8-4), who struck out three and walked six, gave up one run – Geoff Jenkins’ 12th homer in the sixth inning.

Cliff Floyd hit a three-run homer off Milwaukee’s Steve Woodard (1-6) in the first. Luis Castillo was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and his 30th stolen base.

Pirates 2, Expos 1

Kris Benson pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam with none out in the seventh as Pittsburgh stopped a four-game losing streak with a road victory.

Jason Kendall homered off Mike Johnson (2-2) in the first, and Warren Morris hit an RBI single in the fifth.

Benson (6-5) allowed Jose Vidro’s game-tying homer in the fourth to snap his scoreless-innings streak at 16. He allowed six hits in 7 1-3 innings as his ERA fell to 2.83.

Braves 11, Cubs 4

At Atlanta, Chipper Jones hit a pair of two-run homers, and Kevin Millwood (5-6) won for the first time since May 17.

Quilvio Veras went 4-for-5, scored three runs and knocked in three, Andruw Jones had a pair of hits – including his 19th homer – scored three times and drove in three runs, and Brian Jordan went 3-for-4 with an RBI in Atlanta’s 14-hit attack.

Phillies 3, Mets 2

Mike Lieberthal’s two-out single in the 10th off Armando Benitez gave Philadelphia its fourth win in five games against the NL East’s top two teams.

Benitez (1-3), who had not allowed a run in 17 innings since May 6, also yielded a game-tying solo homer to Pat Burrell in the ninth, his third blown save in 19 chances.

Mike Piazza gave New York a 2-0 lead in the first with his 19th homer.

Dodgers 9, Astros 6

Gary Sheffield capped Los Angeles’ four-run 10th with a three-run homer off Joe Slusarski (1-4).

Jose Vizcaino, traded to the Yankees for Jim Leyritz after the game, singled in the go-ahead run.

Jeff Shaw blew his sixth save in 18 opportunities, giving up Jeff Bagwell’s 17th homer leading off the ninth.

Padres 3, Diamondbacks 1

Brian Tollberg allowed one hit in seven innings in his major league debut, and Ryan Klesko homered twice as San Diego won for the first time in five games at Bank One Ballpark this season.

Trevor Hoffman got his 18th save in 19 opportunities.

Todd Stottlemyre (8-5) has lost three straight starts.