Friday, September 5, 2014

September 6, 2002 - Cards' 11-Run Inning Almost a Franchise Record

Friday, September 6, 2002 - At Busch Stadium II (Andy Benes - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent:  Chicago Cubs (Alan Benes - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance:  38,661

In a rare brother vs brother pitching match-up, older brother Andy got the better of his younger sibling - on the mound and even in the batter's box.  Andy's third-inning lead-off single off his kid brother started an amazing eleven-run rally - and just to prove it was no fluke - Andy did it again, with two out, to drive in the sixth run of the inning - which also ended Alan's night.  When the dust had settled, the younger Benes (1-1) was charged with eight runs in 2.2 innings - not to mention, his first loss of the season.

Meanwhile, Andy (5-4)  pitched the only complete game he'd log in seventeen starts in '02 - allowing two meaningless runs in the last two innings - good for an easy 11-2 win over the Cubs.

The eleven run outburst was just one run shy of tying the franchise record for most runs in an inning - which was tied on July 21, 2012 - in a game at Busch Stadium III against - who else? - the Cubs.

What made this big inning especially unusual - aside from having an opposing pitcher get two base hits off his brother - was the fact that Scott Rolen made the first and last outs - striking out both times.  Go figure.  Mike Matheny had the distinction of making out number two in the third, when he flew out to right field.  Strangely enough, Rolen and Matheny were a combined 0 for 8 in the game, and were the only players in the starting lineup without scoring at least one run - but I'm sure none of their teammates brought up that embarrassing fact in the post game revelry.

Here's what the rest of the lineup did:

Benes - 2 singles - 2 runs scored - 1 RBI
Vina - 2 singles - 2 runs scored - 1 RBI
Marrero - 1 single, 1 base on balls - 2 runs scored - 1 RBI
Edmonds - 1 base on balls, 1 double - 2 runs scored - 2 RBI
Pujols - 1 single, 1 double - 1 run scored - 4 RBI
Martinez - 1 double - 1 run scored - 2 RBI
Renteria - 1 base on balls (intentional) - 1 run scored

With this win, the Cardinals improved to 79-61 on the season - 5.5 games ahead of the second-place Houston Astros.  They would complete a three-game sweep of the Cubs en route to closing out the season with a NL-best 18-4 record, before sweeping the Diamondbacks in three straight NLDS games.

Alas, they may have been too hot for their own good - cooling off quickly in the NLCS loss to the Giants in five games.

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