Albert Pujols' altercation with Gary Bennett is going to cost him and St. Louis. How much? That's the question.
Spot starter Kerry Robinson tripled and scored the go-ahead run
in the seventh inning and also drove in a run as the Cardinals won
3-1 to complete a three-game sweep Sunday. Both benches cleared in the first inning when Albert Pujols was
hit in the shoulder blade on the first pitch he saw from Adam
Eaton, a day after Pujols lingered at the plate following his
game-winning, two-run home run in a 9-7, 11-inning victory. Eaton was immediately ejected, and Pujols, Padres catcher Gary
Bennett and San Diego manager Bruce Bochy also were kicked out.
During a brief confrontation Pujols punched Bennett in the face. "Last night he hit the hell out of it and watched it and
watched it and watched it,'' Bennett said. "Look, nice going. Just
get around the bases. It irritated a lot of us.'' The Padres were livid about the ejection of Eaton because there
had been no warning before the game. Eaton said he got tossed after
throwing his slowest breaking ball of year, which he said should
have made it clear he wasn't trying to hurt anyone. "I was shocked,'' Eaton said. "I said 'me?' It was a complete
fiasco.'' Specifically, they were mad at home plate Mark Carlson. "It was the worst judgment I've ever seen,'' Bochy said. "The
pitch didn't warrant an ejection. It's irritational, and can't
happen.'' Pujols wasn't available for comment, leaving for the All-Star
Game before the game ended. Manager Tony La Russa didn't exactly
defend Pujols' actions Saturday night. "Thirty years ago when Stan (Musial) and Red (Schoendienst)
played it would never happen,'' La Russa said. "But everybody,
when you hit a dramatic home run, you make gestures. "The Padres do it, everybody does it.'' The Cardinals are 29-4 against the Padres since the start of the
1999 season and have swept them five of the last six series. St.
Louis, the defending NL Central champions, entered the All-Star
break at 49-45. "It's not a great record, but it's in contention and it makes
for an exciting second half,'' La Russa said. "We knew what we did
good and we know where we've got to get better. "We're not fooling ourselves.'' Rookie Dan Haren allowed one run in six innings in his third
major league start for the Cardinals. La Russa said Haren will
remain in the rotation after the All-Star break. The Cardinals helped Haren by matching their season best with
four double plays, two of which began with line drive outs, during
his outing. Right-fielder Robinson, who made his first start since July 4,
had a run-scoring groundout in the fourth for the game's first run.
He tripled to lead off the seventh off Mike Matthews (3-4) and
scored on Mike Matheny's sacrifice fly. The Padres have lost four of five. A bobbled grounder by Klesko handed the Cardinals the first run
of the game. He had an easy force at home on Robinson's one-out,
bases-load grounder, but dropped the ball after gloving it and
ended up only with a play at first. Three hits off three Cardinals pitchers tied it in the seventh.
Sean Burroughs' leadoff single chased Haren, Ramon Vazquez singled
off Jeff Fassero with one out and Miguel Ojeda's single off Jason
Simontacchi (8-4) drove in the run. Simontacchi, bumped from the rotation last week, has won the
last two games in relief. Jim Edmonds scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Wilson
Delgado, just beating the throw home with a nifty slide. Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his fifth save in six
chances. Isringhausen blew his first save of the year on Saturday,
allowing a run in the ninth.
An Edgar Renteria bobblehead doll giveaway attracted a
crowd of 48,102, the second straight sellout at Busch Stadium.
Renteria was 0-for-4. Saturday night was Camera Day. ... Burroughs
was 1-for-4 and has reached base in 17 straight games. He's
23-for-63 during that time with two homers, 12 RBIs and 16 runs.
... Edmonds singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to