Rewind: Giants vs Cardinals Game #4

Cruz hits a two-run homer in the sixth

Hot, humid, sticky, muggy, an afternoon game and everything else that the Giants aren't used to, it was get away day in St. Louis as the Giants look to sweep the Cardinals. The top offensive team in the NL looked vulnerable against Giants' pitching, and what better way to end the four game series than to send Kirk Rueter to the mound?

July 3, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 5 10 1
St. Louis 0 8 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 9 13 0

WP J. Simontacchi (6-4) 6IP 7H 5R 5ER 1BB 5SO 1HR 6.64 ERA
LP K. Rueter (7-3) 3IP 9H 8R 8ER 2BB 1SO 3HR 4.44 ERA

Looks aren't everything, what a popular theme for the Giants. Kirk Rueter wanted the redeem himself after having an unstable last start against Oakland. He was 5-0 at Busch Stadium in his career before today, but history meant nothing and the present meant everything to the Cardinals, who were embarrassed by the Giants pitching staff in the past three days. Rueter went up against Bay Area native, Jason Simontacchi.

Rueter had his work cut out for him in the bottom of the second as the Cardinals started off by equaling the total amount of runs scored in the three previous games. Scott Rolen and Eduardo Perez led off with back-to-back singles, and Edgar Renteria homered to straight away center giving the Cards a 0-3 advantage. With no outs, Rueter quickly gathered himself and struck out Tino Martinez, but Mike Matheny followed with a double down the third baseline. Simontacchi singled and Bo Hart put down a safety squeeze that enabled Matheny to score on the play.

In the same inning, a key call against Jim Edmounds doubled the Cardinals' lead. With two outs and on a full count, a pitch was called ball four against Edmounds, the same pitch that was called strike one and two in the same at-bat. So instead of ending the inning, the Cardinals had runners on first and second with Albert Pujols at the plate. You can guess what happened next. Pujols ripped one into the bleachers, bloating the Cardinals' lead to a 0-7. Rueter gave up a solo jack to Rolen before getting out of his fifty-one-pitch monstrosity.

Rueter stayed in the game for one more inning, but Chad Zerbe relieved him in the fourth.

The Giants looked to stay alive in the fifth as Ray Durham and J.T. Snow hit back-to-back doubles to put the Giants on the board. With Snow on second, Jose Cruz, Jr. continued to show signs of revival offense by jacking his 14th homerun of the season, making the score 3-8.

The dead offense of the best offensive team continued its resurrection against Zerbe as Hart led off the sixth with a double. Edmounds singled and with Hart at third, Pujols hit a sacrifice fly to left field where Hart tagged and scored the Cardinals' ninth run.

The Giants would not go away. Edgardo Alfonzo gathered his fifth hit of the series with a single and Yorvit Torrealba doubled. Neifi Perez pinch hit for Zerbe and slapped a single into left field where Alfonzo and Torrealba scored, making it a four run game at 5-9. With a runner on first, Andres Galarraga came into the game to pinch hit for Snow to counter the lefty Lance Painter. What seemed like a good idea with the count going to 3-1 ended horridly for the Giants as Galarraga grounded a full count into an inning ending double play.

A third southpaw came into the game as Jason Christiansen relieved Zerbe, who worked three innings. Christiansen had a scoreless inning.

The Giants mounted another threat in the eighth as Cruz walked and Rich Aurilia collected his third hit of the game with another single. However, both runners were stranded as rookie Francisco Santos struck out and Alfonzo flied out, leaving the Giants frustrated again.

The Giants sent yet another lefty to the mound as Scott Eyre relieved Christiansen. Eyre retired the heart of the Cardinals order, Edmounds, Pujols, and Rolen.

Torrealba led off the ninth with a single but it was meaningless as Perez flied out and Marquis Grissom, pinch-hitting for Eyre, grounded into a game ending double play.

Game Notes: Kirk Rueter has never given up eight runs in one inning before in his career. All the Giants' pitchers in the game were lefties. The Giants held Albert Pujols to 2-16 for the series, but Pujols had four RBIs in today's game. Carlos Valderrama was sent back to the minors to activate J.T. Snow from the DL. Despite Felipe Alou sitting their everyday 3, 4, 5 hitters (Grissom, Barry Bonds, Benito Santiago), the Giants were able to muster up five runs. The Giants take the series, 3-1.

SFDugout.com's Players of the Game: On a day where the Giants didn't send their offensively strong line-up into the game, everyday players Jose Cruz, Jr., Rich Aurilia, and Edgardo Alfonzo redeemed themselves from their recent slumps with a few hits. Cruz had another roundtripper, Aurilia went 3-4, and Alfonzo had five hits in the series against St. Louis. Neifi Perez came out of the dugout with another clutch pinch hit to give the Giants some life. There was another outstanding performance from the bullpen in Chad Zerbe and Jason Christiansen, allowing only one more run after the third inning. Scott Eyre had another brilliant outing, retiring the three big sluggers of the Cardinals in order in the eighth.



Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at shoot_hoops33@hotmail.com

The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.

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