Reds Nip Cards, 4-3 Pull To Within A Half Game - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reds Nip Cards, 4-3 Pull To Within A Half Game

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

were black.

The game turned on a pair of intentional walks - one worked, the

other didn't.

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.)

 

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