|St. Louis «||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||1|
SAN FRANCISCO -- Mark Mulder threw his reliable sinker as well as he has all season, and he made the same kind of quick work of the Giants that he used to of opponents across San Francisco Bay in Oakland.
Mulder (10-5), pitching in the area for the first time since the Athletics traded him in December, won his second straight decision. He allowed four hits, struck out one and walked one in an impressive 73-pitch performance before he came out with a tweaked left groin that isn't considered serious.
Some 15 friends were in the stands to support him.
"I had so much fun here, such a good experience," Mulder said. "It almost feels like I'm coming back home, even though it's the other side of the bay. It feels familiar, even the weather."
On a night when mist hovered over the outfield for most of the game, Mulder improved to 6-2 in eight starts against San Francisco. The 6-foot-6 lefty needed only five pitches to get through each of the fourth and sixth innings -- just the kind of efficiency the former A's ace became known for in five seasons with Oakland.
"I had a good sinker and kept going to it," he said. "I think I kept them off-balanced out there."
On the first pitch Mulder threw to Jason Ellison in the seventh, the pitcher slipped and injured the groin.
"It's not a big deal," he said.
He was traded to the Cardinals in December, two days after the A's dealt Tim Hudson to Atlanta and broke up the Big Three. Mulder outpitched Giants ace Jason Schmidt in their first head-to-head meeting.
Schmidt (6-5), who was trying to win for the fourth time in five starts, allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked four. He allowed runners in all but the second and sixth innings.
The right-hander bit his lip in apparent frustration after giving up two straight walks in the fifth, then received a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti and catcher Mike Matheny moments later. He then struck out Scott Rolen.
Walker hit his 10th homer in the first, sending the first pitch from Schmidt deep into McCovey Cove. The ball landed some 30 feet out in the water near a buoy -- a shot that traveled an estimated 455 feet.
"(John) Mabry said the Coast Guard's looking for me," said Walker, who will get Saturday's day game off to nurse what manager Tony La Russa called "a couple sore spots."
Walker became the ninth opposing player to hit a splash homer. Arizona's Luis Gonzalez has done it twice, while Barry Bonds has 31 splash homers.
"Basically, it was one bad pitch," Schmidt said. "It was exactly the one pitch I didn't want to throw to Walker -- a fastball that ran right over the plate. The changeup to Sanders was the pitch I wanted to throw, so I've got to tip my hat to him."
Walker's infield single in the third loaded the bases after a two-out double by Jim Edmonds and a walk to Albert Pujols. But Rolen lined out to third to end the threat.
Sanders connected for his 18th homer of the season leading off the fourth.
San Francisco second baseman Ray Durham returned to the lineup and led off after missing the previous two games with a strained left wrist. He went 0-for-4 with a walk.
Matheny received his third career Gold Glove award from La Russa before Matheny faced his former team. La Russa and the entire Cardinals team came out to greet Matheny with a hug and handshake at home plate just before first pitch. And Matheny received a lengthy standing ovation from the SBC Park crowd.
|Mark Mulder pitches seven innings of four-hit ball, improving to 10-5. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Eckstein, SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Jim Edmonds, CF||3||1||1||0||2||2||1||.274|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||0||0||0||2||0||5||.338|
|Larry Walker, RF||3||1||2||2||1||0||0||.269|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||5||.260|
|Reggie Sanders, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.278|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.275|
|Einar Diaz, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Mark Mulder, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.118|
|Al Reyes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- John Mabry, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.282|
|b- So Taguchi, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.285|
|Jason Isringhausen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-announced for Reyes in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Mabry in the 9th|
|2B - Jim Edmonds (20, Schmidt)|
|HR - Larry Walker (10, Schmidt), Reggie Sanders (18, Schmidt)|
|RBI - Larry Walker 2 (35), Reggie Sanders (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Larry Walker 2 (17)|
|CS - David Eckstein (6, 2nd base by Schmidt/Matheny)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Grudzielanek-Eckstein-Pujols|
|E - David Eckstein (11, Throwing error)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Mark Mulder (W,10-5)||7||4||0||0||1||1||0||4.34|
|Al Reyes (H,10)||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||2.06|
|Jason Isringhausen (S,24)||1||2||0||0||0||1||0||1.84|
|HBP - Vizquel (by Mark Mulder)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 73-45, Al Reyes 22-13, Jason Isringhausen 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 15-5, Al Reyes 1-1, Jason Isringhausen 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 27, Al Reyes 6, Jason Isringhausen 4|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Ray Durham, 2B||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.279|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.303|
|Pedro Feliz, LF||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.276|
|Moises Alou, RF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.316|
|Lance Niekro, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.296|
|Deivi Cruz, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.282|
|Mike Matheny, C||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.245|
|Jason Ellison, CF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.278|
|a- Michael Tucker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.261|
|Jason Schmidt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|b- Brian Dallimore, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.143|
|Jeremy Accardo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jack Taschner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Alex Sanchez, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.331|
|a-grounded into a double play for Ellison in the 9th|
|b-grounded out for Schmidt in the 7th|
|c-singled for Taschner in the 9th|
|2B - Mike Matheny (21, Mulder)|
|HR - Pedro Feliz (11, Reyes)|
|SH - Jason Schmidt 2 (4)|
|RBI - Pedro Feliz (51)|
|2-OUT RBI - Pedro Feliz (20)|
|CS - Omar Vizquel (9, 2nd base by Mulder/Diaz)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Moises Alou 1|
|DP - Alou-Niekro|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Jason Schmidt (L,6-5)||7||5||3||3||4||5||2||5.01|
|HBP - Eckstein (by Jason Schmidt)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jason Schmidt 107-65, Jeremy Accardo 16-10, Jack Taschner 19-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Schmidt 4-11|
|Batters Faced - Jason Schmidt 30, Jeremy Accardo 5, Jack Taschner 4|
|Attendance - 41405|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Mark Wegner|