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Cincinnati at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: R. Flores (2-0) L: G. Majewski (0-2)
HR: CIN - J. Hamilton (18), E. Encarnacion (11)   STL - Y. Molina (5), R. Ankiel (5)

Ankiel's grand slam helps La Russa become winningest Cards skip

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Maybe St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was right and not just hopeful when he predicted Rick Ankiel had a big future as a power-hitting outfielder. The first three weeks or so could not have gone any better.

Ankiel's go-ahead grand slam added another chapter to the former phenom pitcher's comeback story. His sixth-inning drive and Yadier Molina's two-run homer powered St. Louis over the Cincinnati Reds 8-5 Friday night as La Russa passed Red Schoendienst to become the winningest manager in Cardinals history.

"That's fairy-tale stuff," La Russa said of Ankiel, batting .328 with five homers and 14 RBI. "Fantasy Island."

St. Louis again closed within two games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, winning for the 13th time in its last 17 home games.

Cardinals outfielder Juan Encarnacion was taken to a hospital for a CT scan after being struck on the left eye by a foul ball while waiting in the on-deck circle in the sixth inning. Encarnacion had been preparing to pinch hit when Aaron Miles fouled off an 0-1 pitch from Gary Majewski (0-2).

"I just made contact with it, and the next thing I know he hit the deck," Miles said. "It's one of those things that can happen and you go a long time without seeing something like that. I just hope and pray that his eye is OK and he'll be able to do everything and continue his career."

La Russa got his 1,042nd victory in 12 seasons with the Cardinals. He's third on the career list with 2,362 overall, trailing only Connie Mack (3,776) and John McGraw (2,840).

Josh Hamilton hit his first career leadoff homer and Edwin Encarnacion hit an inside-the-park homer in the second for the Reds, who lost for only the third time in 11 games.

Ankiel gave up on pitching in 2005 after prolonged bouts of wildness combined with injuries. He has hit five homers since being recalled by the Cardinals on Aug. 9.

St. Louis trailed 4-3 when he drove a 1-1 pitch from Eddie Guardado into the seats in right-center with one out in the sixth.

"I was so excited and 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."

And no worse feeling for Guardado, although even he could appreciate the occasion.

"Obviously you've got to tip your hat to the kid because this game is a mental game and it can crush you, and I think he knows that," Guardado said. "He's come a long way. He's beat it."

Randy Flores (2-0) allowed one hit and a walk in two innings, striking out two. The Cardinals' bullpen gave up only two hits in eight scoreless innings.

St. Louis is 15-10 since La Russa began hitting the pitcher eighth on Aug. 4, and that slot was productive on Friday. Reliever Ryan Franklin singled in the seventh for his first hit and RBI of the year in only second his second at-bat. Starter Adam Wainwright singled as a pinch hitter in the fourth, and So Taguchi doubled as a pinch hitter in the sixth and scored on Ankiel's homer.

St. Louis rallied after Anthony Reyes, pushed back due to ineffectiveness and starting for the first time in a week, managed only three outs. Brandon Phillips added an RBI triple and Adam Dunn had a run-scoring double in the first for a 3-0 lead.

Edwin Encarnacion led off the second with his first career inside-the-park homer, capitalizing when left fielder Chris Duncan crashed into the wall near the foul line while missing on a leaping attempt. It was the Reds' first inside-the-park homer since Felipe Lopez on May 6 last year at Arizona, and the first at new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006. The last opponent to do it against the Cardinals was Ken Griffey Jr. who hit a game-winning homer off Andy Benes on Aug. 20, 2001.


  • Griffey hit his first triple since June 24, 2003, at old Busch Stadium.
  • Guardado has allowed 11 runs and 14 hits in 6 2/3 innings since returning from the DL on Aug. 7.
  • The Cardinals have hit three grand slams this season.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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The Rick Ankiel feel-good story of the summer continues with a grand slam and curtain call.  (AP)
The Rick Ankiel feel-good story of the summer continues with a grand slam and curtain call. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

R. Ankiel
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Hamilton
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Cincinnati Reds
Josh Hamilton, CF5112002 .278
Alex Gonzalez, SS4110011 .271
Ken Griffey Jr., RF4010113 .286
Brandon Phillips, 2B4111022 .290
Adam Dunn, LF1011300 .263
Javier Valentin, C4000014 .287
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3000103 .306
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3111002 .282
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Eddie Guardado, P0000000 .000
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
   a- Norris Hopper, PH0100100 .324
Tom Shearn, P1000100 .000
    Jon Coutlangus, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Keppinger, 3B2010001 .361
a-walked for Stanton in the 9th
2B - Adam Dunn (23, An. Reyes)
3B - Ken Griffey Jr. (1, Flores), Brandon Phillips (6, An. Reyes)
HR - Josh Hamilton (18, An. Reyes), Edwin Encarnacion (11, An. Reyes)
RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (43), Brandon Phillips (80), Adam Dunn (92), Edwin Encarnacion (58)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Ken Griffey Jr. 1
DP - A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg
Cincinnati Reds
Tom Shearn 4.1733231 4.76
Jon Coutlangus 1000110 3.82
Gary Majewski (L,0-2)0233000 9.17
Eddie Guardado (BS,2) 0.2111001 14.85
Mike Stanton 2211000 6.16
HBP - Eckstein (by Gary Majewski), Eckstein (by Mike Stanton)
WP - Jon Coutlangus (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Shearn 84-53, Jon Coutlangus 19-12, Gary Majewski 13-8, Eddie Guardado 14-7, Mike Stanton 31-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Shearn 5-4, Jon Coutlangus 1-1, Mike Stanton 3-2
Batters Faced - Tom Shearn 21, Jon Coutlangus 4, Gary Majewski 3, Eddie Guardado 3, Mike Stanton 8
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS2100112 .288
Rick Ankiel, RF5124003 .328
Albert Pujols, 1B4100111 .317
Jim Edmonds, CF3011100 .252
Chris Duncan, LF4110002 .269
Yadier Molina, C4122002 .278
Aaron Miles, 2B4120021 .300
Anthony Reyes, P0000000 .083
    Todd Wellemeyer, P1000001 .091
   a- Adam Wainwright, PH1010000 .286
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
   b- So Taguchi, PH1110000 .297
    Ryan Franklin, P1011000 .500
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Brendan Ryan, 3B4110004 .315
a-singled for Wellemeyer in the 4th
b-doubled for Flores in the 6th
2B - Jim Edmonds (12, Shearn), Aaron Miles (15, Shearn), So Taguchi (13, Majewski)
HR - Rick Ankiel (5, Guardado), Yadier Molina (5, Shearn)
RBI - Rick Ankiel 4 (14), Jim Edmonds (38), Yadier Molina 2 (32), Ryan Franklin (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Edmonds (16), Ryan Franklin (1)
SB - Aaron Miles (1, 2nd base off Stanton/Valentin)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Pujols-Eckstein, Eckstein-Pujols, Eckstein-Miles-Pujols
PB - Yadier Molina (6)
St. Louis Cardinals
Anthony Reyes 1444122 5.63
Todd Wellemeyer 3000300 5.46
Randy Flores (W,2-0) 2100120 4.66
Ryan Franklin (H,23) 2100110 1.86
Jason Isringhausen 1111100 1.64
HBP - A. Gonzalez (by Anthony Reyes)
WP - Jason Isringhausen (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Reyes 41-22, Todd Wellemeyer 36-18, Randy Flores 36-21, Ryan Franklin 24-17, Jason Isringhausen 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Reyes 1-0, Todd Wellemeyer 5-1, Randy Flores 1-3, Ryan Franklin 1-4, Jason Isringhausen 1-2
Batters Faced - Anthony Reyes 9, Todd Wellemeyer 9, Randy Flores 8, Ryan Franklin 8, Jason Isringhausen 5
Game Information
Attendance - 43564
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether