So much for history.
Taguchi hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning,
the first pinch hit homer of his career including 10 years in
Japan, leading the St. Louis Cardinals past Florida 9-6 on
"My first pinch-hit home run anywhere, I can't believe it,"
Taguchi said. "I was waiting for middle [of the plate]. I saw the
ball come middle."
David Eckstein had three hits and two RBI along with a nice
running catch in shallow left center to rob Mike Lowell in the
third, and Mark Grudzielanek had three hits and an RBI for the
Cardinals, who have won four of five.
Damion Easley homered for Florida, which led 3-0 in the second
and 4-2 in the seventh, and Paul LoDuca and Jeff Conine each had
two hits and an RBI. After the game, Lenny Harris had a yelling fit
in the Marlins clubhouse, saying "We need to stop disrespecting
each other! We're better than this! We've got to quit feeling sorry
The Cardinals had 10 batters in a four-run seventh, highlighted
by Taguchi's sixth homer on a 1-0 pitch from Ron Villone (0-1), who
was working for the third straight day after being acquired from
the Mariners on the trade deadline.
"Did you think Taguchi would hit it out?" McKeon asked. "We
wouldn't, either. That's what happens once in a while. He's been
hitting singles to right field."
A wild pitch by Antonio Alfonseca allowed the fourth run to
score in the inning to make it 6-4. Nunez had an RBI single, and
Einar Diaz and Eckstein had run-scoring doubles in the eighth off
Taguchi has five pinch-hit RBI despite his 3-for-19 overall
showing and the homer, punctuated by a dugout curtain call, allowed
Matt Morris (12-4) to avoid losing three straight starts for the
first time in his career.
In seven innings, Morris gave up four runs and nine hits. He's
7-1 with a 3.79 ERA against the Marlins. In his previous two starts
-- losses to Los Angeles and Chicago -- Morris had surrendered 11
runs in 13 innings.
"Early on they seemed to be on every ball I threw," Morris
said. "Luckily I was in there until the seventh."
Two of the first three games in the four-game series have been
decided by pinch hitters, with Harris hitting a go-ahead three-run
double in the sixth inning of Monday's series opener.
Beckett pitched 6 1/3 innings in his third outing since coming
off the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left stomach muscle,
allowing four runs and four hits. He had five strikeouts and two
Villone had worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, in
his first two appearances with the Marlins. He lasted one-third of
an inning in the third appearance, giving up two runs and three
"I'm feeling good and I'll be ready tomorrow," Villone said.
"I've got to scrap this one and forget about it."
A run-scoring groundout by Conine and an RBI single by Miguel
Cabrera gave the Marlins the lead in the first for the second
straight game. Easley hit his ninth homer in the second for a 3-0
Jim Edmonds doubled and scored on Grudzielanek's one-out hit in
the second and Eckstein's second homer in four days came in the
fourth to cut the gap to a run.
Edmonds also made a diving catch going back toward the wall in
center field on a ball hit by pinch-hitter Chris Aguila in the
The Cardinals are 9-9 against the NL East, but Morris is
3-0 against the division. ... In three starts at Busch Stadium,
Beckett is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA. ... Edmonds is 7-for-14 against
Beckett with six doubles, a homer and four RBI.