Cards survive annother crazy night at Coors Field

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

There have been plenty of crazy nights at Coors Field the last eight years. This one might rank with the best of them.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies combined for 36 hits and used 15 pitchers Tuesday night in a 13-inning game that lasted 4 hours, 38 minutes.

''I'm tired,'' Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds said. ''In a game like this that goes so long, you just hope nobody gets hurt and somebody wins eventually. We were very lucky.''

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Mike Matheny's three-run homer in the 13th sent St. Louis to a 15-12 win, ending Colorado's four-game winning streak.

Scott Rolen led off the 13th with a walk. With one out, Eduardo Perez singled and Matheny hit his first homer of the season off Dan Miceli (0-1) - the ball bouncing out of left fielder Gabe Kapler's glove as he hit the wall.

''It's not like I crushed it, but I hit it good enough for this park,'' Matheny said. ''They told me (Kapler) had it in his glove. We'll take it. It's great to see this team fight.''

It was the first big offensive outburst this season at homer-happy Coors, which opened in 1995. The Rockies began their home schedule with a three-game sweep of Arizona last weekend, allowing just seven runs the entire series.

But when the bats finally came out, not many fans were there to see it. The crowd of 21,563 Tuesday was a record low for the Rockies - the previous low was 25,197 on Saturday.

The teams traded five-run innings. Except for four starting pitchers, St. Louis used all of its players, and the Rockies had only reliever Brian Fuentes and backup catcher Bobby Estalella left on the bench when it ended.

Cal Eldred (1-0), who entered with a 135.00 ERA, pitched two perfect innings for the win.

''This is a game we won't forget all year long,'' Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, ''because there were so many heroics, and it ended up with Cal, knowing he's the last guy out there, getting six outs. That's unbelievable.''

Edmonds had a three-run homer and matched career highs with four hits and five RBIs.

Todd Helton's homer tied it at 12 in the seventh, and he finished with four hits and three RBIs for the Rockies. With three walks, Helton reached base in all seven plate appearances. Jay Payton added four hits and two RBIs.

Cubs 6, Expos 1

At Chicago, Dusty Baker quickly warmed to Wrigley Field.

With snow dusting the brown ivy on the outfield walls and the gametime temperature at 32, the Cubs won Baker's first home game as their manager in a makeup of Monday's snowout.

Matt Clement (1-1) allowed three hits in 7 1-3 innings, Moises Alou drove in three runs and Alex Gonzalez had three hits to raise his average to .536. Vladimir Guerrero homered for Montreal.

Brewers 5, Pirates 3

At Pittsburgh, Glendon Rusch (1-1) allowed one hit in seven shutout innings and Milwaukee gave new manager Ned Yost his first victory, spoiling Pittsburgh's home opener after it was delayed a night by rain. The Pirates lost their home opener for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

Mets 4, Marlins 2

At Miami, Al Leiter (2-0) pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Ty Wigginton hit a three-run homer.

Florida lost its third straight and is last in the NL East. Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez walked five times to tie an NL record for a nine-inning game since 1900.

Phillies 4, Braves 3,

10 innings

At Philadelphia, Tomas Perez's two-out RBI single in the 10th won it. Phillies manager Larry Bowa served a one-game suspension for inciting the benches to clear during a spring training game against Toronto.

Padres 9, Giants 4

At San Francisco, Rondell White hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh and San Diego overcame a homer by Barry Bonds, ending San Francisco's season-opening seven-game winning streak.

Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 3

At Los Angeles, Paul Lo Duca hit his second RBI double in the seventh to drive in the go-ahead run. Eric Gagne got his first save.

Matt Williams and Luis Gonzalez homered for Arizona.