Kline#039;s dugout demolition sums up Cards frustration

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2002

There were probably more than a few players on the reeling St. Louis Cardinals who wished they had joined Steve Kline in his seventh-inning dugout demolition.

The Cardinals dropped their seventh straight Wednesday night, 4-1 to the Montreal Expos. Their once comfortable five-game lead in the NL Central has dwindled to one game over the Houston Astros, who beat the Florida Marlins 7-2 for their fourth win in a row.

''Do you think it's happy in here?'' reliever Kline said. ''Hell, no. Everybody is trying as hard as they can but it's not working out.''

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After allowing a run on two hits and a wild pitch in the top of the seventh, Kline went back to the dugout and started throwing gloves and garbage pails. He had to be restrained by batting coach Mitchell Page and teammates from approaching plate umpire Bruce Froemming, who told Kline he was acting inappropriately.

'''You're acting like a crazy person,' is what he told me,'' Kline said. ''What's his business? Go back and sit back behind the plate and have a cheeseburger and watch the game.''

Manager Tony La Russa continued the argument with Froemming and was ejected.

''This guy gives up a double to the pitcher and he's mad at himself,'' La Russa said. ''I'm happy he's mad. We're supposed to care out here. You don't do things like that and just walk back and say, 'Hah, hah, big deal.'''

The Cardinals have been outscored 45-14 during their longest losing stretch since dropping seven straight in August 1999. St. Louis has not homered in 58 innings.

Vladimir Guerrero hit his 29th home run, a two-run shot in the first off Jason Simontacchi (7-4) as the Expos won for the fourth time in six games. Guerrero needs one homer to become the fifth player to hit 200 before his 27th birthday, which will be Feb. 9.

''He does things on a daily basis that amaze you,'' manager Frank Robinson said. ''He's just scratching the surface with his ability.''

Giants 4, Cubs 3, 10 innings

Barry Bonds must wait at least another day for his 600th homer. Instead, Jeff Kent took all the bows at Pacific Bell Park.

Jeff Kent hit an early two-run homer, then slid home with the winning run on Benito Santiago's infield single in the 10th as San Francisco beat Chicago at Pacific Bell Park for their fourth straight victory.

One night after hitting his 599th homer, Barry Bonds went 1-for-3 with a double and an eighth-inning walk. He had homered in three straight games in his bid to join Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays in one of baseball's most exclusive clubs.

Robb Nen (5-1) blew the save in the ninth on Bill Mueller's RBI triple.

Astros 7, Marlins 2

Roy Oswalt pitched three-hit ball for eight innings, and Jeff Bagwell homered and doubled in leading host Houston past Florida.

Daryle Ward and Geoff Blum each drove in two runs as Houston won its fourth straight and 12th in its last 15.

Oswalt (13-6) allowed two unearned runs, struck out four and walked three.

Brewers 6, Mets 2

Glendon Rusch stymied his former teammates, drove in two runs and snapped a six-game losing streak as Milwaukee beat New York.

Rusch (6-11), who gave up six hits in six shutout innings, stranded seven runners over the first three innings to win for the first time since June 25 at St. Louis. He beat Jeff D'Amico (5-10), who gave up six runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Diamondbacks 6, Braves 3

In Phoenix, Greg Maddux threw five strong innings but left with a strained muscle in his right side and Arizona ended Atlanta's seven-game winning streak.

Erubiel Durazo doubled twice, scored two runs and drove in the go-ahead run in Arizona's three-run eighth inning.

Matt Mantei (2-1) got the victory despite giving up a two-run, game-tying, 431-foot homer to Chipper Jones in the eighth.

Dodgers 4, Pirates 0

Shawn Green homered and drove in three runs and Andy Ashby ended a seven-start winless streak as Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh at Dodger Stadium.

Brian Jordan hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the fifth.

Ashby (8-9) allowed five hits over 7 1-3 innings, struck out seven and walked two to win for the first time since June 23 against Boston.

Padres 5, Phillies 2

Rookie Jake Peavy pitched 6 2-3 strong innings and Ryan Klesko homered and drove in three runs in San Diego's win over visiting Philadelphia.

Peavy (3-4) allowed two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk. The Associated Press