posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 12:24 PM
Shortly after hitting his 300th career home run, Jim Edmonds got put in his place.
Former teammate Mark McGwire left a taunting message on Edmonds' cell phone, reminding him just how far he is from Big Mac's 583.
"I can't remember the number he said, but I've got a long way to go," Edmonds said after the St. Louis Cardinals' 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles
Dodgers on Saturday night. "And I don't think I'm going to make it."
Jason Marquis won his 11th straight decision and the Cardinals won their eighth in a row, matching their season high.
The NL Central leaders needed only two hits - tying their season low - to beat the NL West-leading Dodgers for the second straight night. Playing in
front of a sellout crowd of 45,692, they tied their longest winning streak of the season and won for the 13th time in 15 games.
Adrian Beltre had three hits and drove in his 100th run with an eighth-inning double for the Dodgers to cut the gap to 5-1. He's only the third third
baseman in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero.
But the Dodgers' first error in seven games was a much bigger statistic.
Center fielder Steve Finley dropped a routine two-out fly ball by Reggie Sanders with runners on first and third in the sixth, allowing both to score
and make it 5-0. It was only the third error of the season for Finley, a four-time Gold Glove winner.
"At the going rate right now, it's been once every five years. I just missed a ball," Finley said.
"It happens and I'm not going to be mad at it. It's something that happened and you probably won't see it happen again for a long time."
Edmonds became the 103rd member of the 300-homer club with a two-run shot in the second off Kazuhisa Ishii (13-7). It also was his 40th homer of the
season - giving the Cardinals their first pair of 40-homer men in franchise history - and his ninth in 10 games.
Albert Pujols, 0-for-2 with two walks, and Beltre are tied for the NL lead with 43 homers.
Edmonds was never a power hitter in the minors, topping out at nine over five seasons. He's hit 179 in almost five seasons with the Cardinals,
including a career-best 42 in 2000.
"I never thought I would ever be in this situation," Edmonds said. "I never thought I would have 50 homers or 100 homers, let alone 300."
Manager Tony La Russa also served to keep Edmonds humble, pinch hitting Hector Luna for him in the eighth. La Russa said he was just trying to get
Luna an at-bat and get Edmonds a snippet of rest.
"You know Tony," Edmonds said. "You just do what he says and move on."
Marquis (14-4) became the fourth Cardinal starter to reach 14 wins and first to win 11 straight since John Tudor accomplished the feat in 1985.
Marquis pitched seven scoreless innings, had a season-best nine strikeouts and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in his final inning by
fanning pinch-hitters Robin Ventura and Milton Bradley.
Marquis followed the lead of Matt Morris, who struck out a season-best 11 in a two-hit, 3-0 victory on Friday.
Marquis, who hasn't lost in 17 starts since May 26, allowed eight hits and walked none. Over his last three starts, he's thrown 17 1-3 scoreless
innings, and he also matched his career victory total prior to 2004, accomplished over parts of three seasons.
"It's definitely a nice thing and it's definitely fun to be a part of it," Marquis said. "I said earlier this year: I'll take wins any which way they
Scott Rolen added a run-scoring single, giving him an NL-leading 117 RBIs, in the three-run sixth.
Ishii lasted 5 2-3 innings and surrendered five runs - three earned - on two hits.
"The only ball hit off him was the home run that Edmonds hit," Tracy said. "The only unfortunate thing was there was a walk in front of it."