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Ankiel's grand slam pushes Cardinals past Reds

Sep 1, 2007 - 5:13 AM By Jim Walsh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Rick Ankiel's grand slam erased a deficit and helped make Tony La Russa the winningest manager in franchise history as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 8-5, on Friday.

It was win No. 1,042 for La Russa, passing Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst. During his tenure with the Cardinals, which began in 1996, La Russa has led the team to the postseason seven times, winning two National League pennants and one world championship.

"I'm glad to be a part of the history of the franchise," La Russa said. "I have great respect for (Schoendienst) as a great player and manager."

Ankiel, whose storybook comeback started with his return to the major leagues on August 9, hit his first career grand slam in the sixth, wiping out a 4-3 deficit. It was the fifth home run of the season for the pitcher-turned-outfielder, who won 11 games for La Russa as a 20-year-old rookie in 2000.

"I was so excited, it felt so good," Ankiel said. "When I hit it, I wasn't sure if it was gone, but I knew it had a chance. Once I realized it was a home run, especially a grand slam to put us ahead, there's no better feeling than that."

"(Ankiel) has been really impressive, but it's no surprise," La Russa said. "He's playing exactly to his ability. It is fun to watch and it has given us a great lift."

After the Cardinals loaded the bases against Gary Majewski (0-2), veteran lefthander Eddie Guardado was called on to face the lefthanded-hitting Ankiel. On a 1-1 count, Ankiel lifted a shot into the first row of the right-center field seats to give the Cardinals their first lead of the night.

"With the bases loaded, one out, I was really just looking for a pitch to drive," Ankiel said. "Something I could get out into the outfield. Luckily, I got a pitch I could handle and put a good swing on it."

"I threw a pretty good breaking ball to him when he swung and missed," Guardado said. "I tried to come back (with a) sidearm breaking ball that I do fairly well with lefties. Obviously, I have to make a better pitch there. He connected, he did what he had to do there and that was it."

Randy Flores (2-0) pitched the fifth and sixth innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out one to notch the victory.

The Reds rocked starter Anthony Reyes early, scoring three runs in the first.

Josh Hamilton connected for the first leadoff home run of his career, sending a pitch 417 feet into the right-center field bleachers. Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI triple down the right field line and Adam Dunn plated him with a double to center.

Cincinnati's second inning started in a similar fashion as Edwin Encarnacion recorded the first inside-the-park home run at the new Busch Stadium. A fly ball deep into the left-field corner sent Chris Duncan crashing into the wall, and Encarnacion circled the bases while Duncan chased down the ricochet as it rolled along the warning track.

It was the shortest outing of the year for Reyes in what has been an utterly disappointing season. The Cardinals have lost 16 of the 19 games in which he started.

"I just tried to keep battling," Reyes said. "I didn't have a good release point on every pitch. I was trying to keep the ball away from the middle of the plate. It was just a struggle with command today."

The winner of Game One of the 2006 World Series, Reyes was lifted in the second inning after allowing four runs and four hits with a walk.

The Cardinals got back into the game on Yadier Molina's two-run homer in the bottom of the second that cut the deficit to 4-3.

"We scored early and got to their starter," said Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin, whose team lost for only the third time in its last 11 games. "Tony went to the bullpen early, and their bullpen shut us down the rest of the way. We didn't do the same."

Reds starter Tom Shearn was unsuccessful in his second major league start. The 30-year-old lasted only 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 7 0
    ST LOUIS 1 2 0 0 0 4 1 0 x 8 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - TOM SHEARN, JON COUTLANGUS (5TH), GARY MAJEWSKI (6TH), EDDIE
    GUARDADO (6TH), MIKE STANTON (7TH) AND JAVIER VALENTIN
    STL - ANTHONY REYES, TODD WELLEMEYER (2ND)

    Aug 31 11:27 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED NORRIS HOPPER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 5
    ST LOUIS 8 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A GONZALEZ (.269, 0-FOR-3, HBP)

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 11:24 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN FRANKLIN SCORED AARON MILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R FRANKLIN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4
    ST LOUIS 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: B RYAN (.318, 1-FOR-3)

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 10:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY RICK ANKIEL (5) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF EDDIE GUARDADO SCORED SO TAGUCHI, BRENDAN RYAN AND DAVID
    ECKSTEIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4, ST LOUIS 7
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.318, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 10:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY YADIER MOLINA (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF TOM SHEARN SCORED CHRIS DUNCAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4, ST LOUIS 3
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A MILES (.297, 1 HR, 24 RBI)

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 8:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO INSIDE-THE-PARK HOME RUN BY EDWIN ENCARNACION (11) TO
    DEEP LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE 2ND OFF ANTHONY REYES.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4, ST LOUIS 1
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: T SHEARN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 8:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JIM EDMONDS SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3
    ST LOUIS 1 END BOTTOM, 1ST

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 8:34 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 3 3 3 0
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CIN - TOM SHEARN
    STL - ANTHONY REYES

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.290, 2 HR, 25 RBI)
    R ANKIEL (.321, 4 HR, 10 RBI)
    A PUJOLS (.319, 30 HR, 84 RBI)

    Reds vs. CardinalsAug 31 8:24 PM