- The Washington Times - Monday, June 9, 2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Scott Rolen gave his mother a fine birthday present.

Rolen hit a tiebreaking grand slam and Jim Edmonds drove in three runs on two homers, powering the St. Louis Cardinals to an 11-10 victory yesterday over the Baltimore Orioles.

“This was a big win, a big team win. It was a good day for me,” Rolen said. “Today was my mom’s birthday and she was here. She was here today and I saw her clapping in the stands.”

She had plenty of reasons to applaud. Rolen went 4-for-5, his fifth career four-hit game, as St. Louis finished with 18 hits. Rolen’s single in the third inning was the 1,000th hit of his career.

Edmonds had three hits, a walk and three runs scored.

“I wasn’t feeling that good today, actually,” said Edmonds, who was ejected in the sixth inning Saturday for arguing a strike call. “I got two hours of sleep last night and I was frustrated when I did wake up. I guess I was really relaxed. I took extra BP this morning. It’s just one of those days. Things seemed to work out.”

The Cardinals, who have won six of seven overall, took two of three in the first series between the former city rivals. The St. Louis Browns left to become the Baltimore Orioles after the 1953 season.

Tony Batista homered and drove in four runs for the Orioles, who had 16 hits. Melvin Mora singled in the fifth inning to extend his career-best hitting streak to 20 games. Baltimore has lost five of six.

St. Louis had a 4-0 lead after three innings, but Cardinals ace Matt Morris couldn’t hold it. Morris gave up a season-high 11 hits and seven runs, lasting just five innings.

“The offenses were lit up today,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. “Matt wasn’t himself so the offense had to pick him up like he picks up most of the time. Jim had a huge day and Scott had the big swing. The guys were relentless.”

Jason Simontacchi (4-3) got the win in his first relief appearance after making 11 starts this season. Simontacchi worked a perfect sixth inning and led off the bottom half with a double before scoring the tying run.

Cal Eldred, the fifth St. Louis pitcher, got five outs for his seventh save.

Baltimore led 7-6 when Travis Driskill (1-2) allowed Simontacchi’s double. J.D. Drew singled with one out, and Albert Pujols’ RBI double tied it.

The Orioles called in lefty B.J. Ryan, who walked Edmonds. That brought on Rick Bauer, and Rolen sent his first pitch into the left-field bullpen for an 11-7 St. Louis lead. Rolen has 50 RBI this season.

“I haven’t been swinging the bat well recently,” Rolen said. “I tried to relax a little bit today and use the whole field. I got a pitch I could handle with the bases loaded.”

Bauer said he left a fastball up in the strike zone.

“I was trying to get it down and in, hoping to get a double play or at least something to keep a run from scoring,” Bauer said. “I left it up and he crushed it. That’s what he gets paid to do. You can’t make pitches like that to someone like him.”

The Orioles rallied with three runs in the seventh off Esteban Yan, who got just one out, to make it 11-10. Batista hit a two-run homer for his third hit.

“I’m kind of tired about taking positives out of defeat, but we showed again today we’re not going to quit,” Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. “The Cardinals are a very, very good team.”

The Cardinals built a 4-0 lead before Baltimore rallied against Morris.

Back-to-back doubles by Jay Gibbons, who went 4-for-5, and Batista and a single by Deivi Cruz cut the St. Louis lead to 4-2 in the fourth inning.

Baltimore got five runs on five hits in the fifth, with the big blow coming on a two-run homer by Cruz that hit the left-field foul pole and gave Baltimore a 7-4 lead.

A two-run double by Tino Martinez in the fifth cut it to 7-6.

Edmonds hit a two-run shot in the first inning and led off the third with a home run. The Cardinals scored a run in the second when Morris singled home Martinez.

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