CINCINNATI (AP) - Orlando Cabrera made a strong relay throw to
the plate to nail Skip Schumaker for the final out, preserving the
Cincinnati Reds' 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in
baseball's Civil Rights Game on Saturday night.
Schumaker, who hit an RBI single to get St. Louis within one,
tried to score when Joe Mather doubled to left. Rookie Chris
Heisey, inserted for defensive purposes, got to the ball quickly
when it died against the wall and threw to shortstop Cabrera, whose
throw was to the foul side of the plate but fast enough for Ramon
Hernandez to get over for the tag.
Drew Stubbs hit a two-run triple in the sixth inning, foiling
St. Louis' strategy to pitch to him, and rookie right-hander Mike
Leake (4-0) remained unbeaten.
Stubbs hit his tiebreaking triple after Adam Wainwright (5-2)
intentionally walked Jonny Gomes, putting the Reds up 4-2. Stubbs
was batting .195 with a team-high 36 strikeouts at the time.
Leake allowed four hits and a pair of runs in six innings,
including Colby Rasmus' solo homer.
The 22-year-old rookie has been one of the biggest surprises of
the season, jumping straight from Arizona State to the majors. The
right-hander was Cincinnati's first-round pick last June - eighth
overall - and won the fifth spot in the rotation during the final
week of spring training.
Leake, known for his nasty curve, is the first Reds rookie to
win his first four decisions since 1976, when Santo Alcala went 5-0
and Pat Zachary started 4-0.
The annual game honoring those who have worked for equality drew
the Reds' first capacity crowd since opening day. The teams wore
replica caps and jerseys from 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke
baseball's color barrier.
The sport's problem attracting black athletes was evident in the
ceremonial first pitch. Hall of Famer Ernie Banks tossed one to
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, the only black player in
either starting lineup. Last year, only 9 percent of major leaguers
The game turned on a pair of intentional walks - one worked, the
With the score tied at 2 in the fifth, Leake intentionally
walked Albert Pujols with two outs and a runner on second. Matt
Holliday grounded into a forceout, ending the threat.
An inning later, the Cardinals tried the same ploy, walking
Gomes - who hit a solo homer in the fourth - to get to Stubbs with
two outs. Stubbs' struggles have prompted manager Dusty Baker to
drop him from the leadoff spot to seventh. Stubbs badly missed on
the first two pitches, held back on two out of the strike zone,
then lined the ball to right-center for a standup triple.
Wainwright gave up a season-high four runs in six innings.
NOTES: Hall of Famer Willie Mays, tennis pioneer Billie Jean
King and entertainer/civil rights activist Harry Belafonte were
honored on the field before the game. They received Major League
Baseball's Beacon awards at a luncheon on Saturday. ... Pujols
leads the NL with 12 intentional walks.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)