PERCIVAL AND ANGELS BREATHE SIGH OF RELIEF ANGELS 3, ST. LOUIS 2.Byline: Joe Haakenson Staff Writer
ST. LOUIS - Troy Percival Troy Eugene Percival (born August 9, 1969 in Fontana, California) is a Major League Baseball reliever on the St. Louis Cardinals. Percival came out of retirement on June 8, 2007 when he signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals. knows Jim Edmonds James Patrick "Jim" Edmonds (born June 27, 1970 in Fullerton, California) is a left-handed batter who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. Edmonds is affectionately known as Jimmy Baseball , "Lassie" and as "Hollywood" among Cardinals fans. well. So well, the Angels closer wasn't about to challenge his friend and former teammate Thursday with the game on the line.
With a one-run lead and the potential tying run on third base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Percival walked Edmonds on four pitches. Percival got the next hitter, Tino Martinez
Martinez was the 1st round draft pick for the Seattle Mariners in 1988 out of the University of Tampa where Tino starred during his time on , to pop out and allow the Angels to hold on for a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals For the National Football League team that played in St. Louis from 1960 to 1987, see .
The St. Louis Cardinals (also referred to as "the Cards" or "the Redbirds") are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. in front of 36,385 at Busch Stadium This article is about the current sports venue in St. Louis, Missouri that opened in 2006. For the stadium in St. Louis that operated from 1966 to 2005, see Busch Memorial Stadium. For the ballpark known as "Busch Stadium" from 1953 to 1966, see Sportsman's Park. .
Many Angels called it a big victory on an emotional day at Busch, where Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck John Francis "Jack" Buck (August 21, 1924 – June 18, 2002) was an American sportscaster, best known for his work announcing Major League Baseball games of the St. Louis Cardinals. Buck received the Ford C. was honored with a memorial service before the game. The Angels avoided a sweep and broke their losing streak at four games.
Angels starter Scott Schoeneweis Scott David Schoeneweis [SHOW-en-WEISS] (born October 2, 1973, in Long Branch, New Jersey) is an American left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. He plays for the New York Mets. (6-5) endured the 94-degree heat to go 5 2/3 innings, getting just enough support from an offense led by leadoff hitter In baseball, a leadoff hitter is a batter who bats first in the lineup. Strategy
Leadoff hitters must possess certain traits to be successful: they must reach base at a proficient rate and be able to steal bases. David Eckstein David Mark Eckstein, (born January 20, 1975 in Sanford, Florida), is a Major League Baseball shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is noted for his size, as he is a small (for professional sports) 5' 7", but weighs 175 pounds. , who had three hits and scored two runs. But the game came down to the ninth with Percival, who had not pitched since June 12, left to finish it off.
Percival threw 23 fastballs in the inning and one curveball. That curve was hit sharply by Kerry Robinson Kerry Keith Robinson (born October 3, 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American professional baseball player, currently retired. Robinson is also known as the hero from "Three Nights in August" where he delivered a game-winning, walk-off home run off Chicago Cubs' relief pitcher leading off the inning, but second baseman Adam Kennedy made a nice play for the first out.
Edgar Renteria followed with a flyball to deep left field, the ball going over left fielder Garret Anderson's head and off the wall, and Renteria wound up with a triple.
With a chance to tie the game, Eli Marrero didn't last long against Percival. After ball one, Percival blew Marrero away with three consecutive fastballs clocked at 98-, 97- and 98- mph. That brought up Edmonds, and though it wasn't an intentional walk, Percival kept the ball off the plate far enough to put Edmonds on first base.
``I can't say I faced him right there,'' said Percival, who has 16 saves in 18 chances this season. ``I think everybody in the park knew what was going on there. I can't let a guy of his caliber beat me right there. Nothing against the next guy (Martinez), but there aren't many players like (Edmonds). I've seen him do it too many times.''
The strategy worked when Martinez popped to Kennedy at second base.
``The first thing I thought was it's miserably hot out there and if I tie this up, the players will have a mutiny,'' Percival joked. ``It was at the point where I'd rather give up a two-run homer so the guys will still be able to play tomorrow.''
Percival's teammates unanimously agreed with his strategy to pitch around Edmonds and they said they had confidence in him even after the Cardinals put the tying run on third with one out.
``We've got Troy Percival,'' Eckstein said. ``Sometimes with a runner on third he gets even better.''
The Angels might not have had to sweat this one out if they had done a better job of capitalizing on scoring opportunities earlier. Cardinals starter Bud Smith (0-5) went into the game with a 0-4 record and 8.74 ERA, and the Angels loaded the bases with nobody out in the first.
They got one run on Tim Salmon's RBI RBI
runs batted in
Noun 1. rbi - a run that is the result of the batter's performance; "he had more than 100 rbi last season"
run batted in single and another on Scott Spiezio's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead but wasted several chances the rest of the way, stranding six baserunners in scoring position.
However, they got a big run in the seventh when Eckstein scored from second on a single to center by Darin Erstad. Marrero made a strong throw from center, but Eckstein made a nice head-first slide, swiping his left hand across the plate and avoiding catcher Mike Matheny's tag.
``We've hit a little rut,'' Erstad said of the offense, which scored only seven runs in the series against the Cardinals. ``We're swinging the bats well, but we hit some balls hard right at guys. We've been so good the last six weeks, we're all trying to execute, but it hasn't been happening. But the main thing is our approach is right.''
Scott Schoeneweis allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings in the heat of St. Louis.
Tom Gannam/Associated Press