Series: Game 3 of 4

St. Louis leads 2-1 (as of 6/9)

Game 1: Monday, June 7
St. Louis4Final
Chi Cubs3
Game 2: Tuesday, June 8
St. Louis3Final
Chi Cubs7
Game 3: Wednesday, June 9
St. Louis12Final
Chi Cubs4
Game 4: Thursday, June 10
St. Louis3Final
Chi Cubs12

Cardinals 12

(34-25, 21-10 away)

Cubs 4

(30-28, 17-14 home)

    2:20 PM ET, June 9, 2004

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 100410060 12 13 1
    CHC 000310000 4 10 0

    W: M. Morris (6-5)

    L: M. Prior (0-1)

    Tempers flare as benches clear

    CHICAGO (AP) -- A grand slam, a bunch of runs, some pitches so tight they could have left marks and a bench-clearing fracas.

    Just another day in the old, heated rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.

    "I don't really know why it happens," said Jim Edmonds, who homered twice Wednesday in the Cardinals' 12-4 rout. "The media was making a big deal out of this rivalry and it was April and May. Everybody keeps building it up, obviously something's going to happen, whether it's just exciting baseball or a little bit of words back and forth."

    This time, it was both. Edgar Renteria hit a grand slam, Edmonds drove in four runs, the Cardinals spoiled Mark Prior's second outing of the year, and some bad feelings that had been buried during the offseason resurfaced when Matt Morris buzzed a pitch at Derrek Lee's head.

    Both benches cleared in the fifth inning, but no punches were thrown and no one was ejected.

    "It's an intense rivalry," said Morris, who gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings, walking four.

    The rivalry was supposed to be between pitchers, though.

    Not only is Morris (6-5) the Cardinals' top pitcher, but he's particularly abusive to the Cubs, bringing a 10-3 career record against them into Wednesday's game. He was facing Prior, though, who is fresh off the disabled list after missing two months with Achilles and elbow soreness.

    When Prior came off the disabled list last year, he went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA. It looked like more of the same in his first start last Friday as he retired his first 13 batters, allowed two hits and walked none in six scoreless innings against Pittsburgh.

    But he wasn't nearly as crisp Wednesday. He lasted 3 2-3 innings and matched his career high with five walks, though one was intentional. He gave up five runs and five hits, and also threw a wild pitch.

    "I just didn't get it done," Prior said. "We needed a win and I could have given this team better results. I just didn't execute."

    He worked out of jams in the first and second innings, but wasn't so lucky in the fourth. He walked So Taguchi after getting ahead 0-2 in the count, then walked Yadier Molina. After Morris' sacrifice, Prior loaded the bases with a walk to Womack. He had been ahead of Womack 0-2, too, and he bent over and placed his hands on his legs after throwing ball four.

    It was about to get worse. Renteria sent Prior's 2-0 pitch soaring over the wall in left-center for a grand slam and a 5-1 lead. It was Renteria's first career hit off of Prior, and it ended the right-hander's day.

    "He was a little off today and I took advantage of it," said Renteria, who played despite missing Tuesday's game with the flu. "I was looking for a mistake. He's a great pitcher, and he's not going to make a lot of mistakes."

    Morris made a couple of mistakes, too, especially that pitch that almost hit Lee.

    The Cubs had sent So Taguchi and Edmonds sprawling earlier, and nothing is left unretaliated between these two teams. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Morris buzzed Lee with two fastballs. The second rose as it neared the plate, and Lee had to hit the ground to avoid being beaned.

    "My location wasn't good all day," Morris said. "That was a mistake. I was trying to go hard and in."

    But Lee and the Cubs thought differently. Lee pointed at Morris and the St. Louis dugout when he got back up, and Morris screamed right back. Plate umpire Ed Rapuano pulled Lee back as the Cubs and Cardinals slowly started coming out of their dugouts, and Lee walked away from the plate. He started back toward the mound after someone said something to him, and both teams rushed forward.

    "I don't mind them chasing me, just don't go above my shoulders. Don't throw at my head," Lee said. "Hit me in my elbow or ribs, just don't throw at my head. That's where a guy can get hurt."

    Umpires got between the teams. Words were exchanged for another few minutes before both teams wandered back to their dugouts.

    "I understand there's emotions in this rivalry," Prior said. "It's one thing to send a message, it's another thing to throw at a guy's head. I don't want to get too far into this, but I think we all understand there's a way to do things and a way not to do things."

    Game notes

    With Albert Pujols out for a third straight game, Edmonds made his first start at first base since June 6, 2001. ... Todd Walker's leadoff single in the first was the 1,000th hit of his career. ... With his disabled list already full and a 2{-week stretch without a day off, Baker used pitcher Glendon Rusch as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. Rusch, who homered Monday night, flied out to left.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press