Record-tying seventh inning lifts St. Louis past Chicago
Jake Westbrook worked seven innings of three-hit ball and the Cardinals finally backed him – and then some – by tying a 76-year-old major league record with seven doubles in seventh inning of a 12-0 victory on Saturday night.
”I knew my spot was coming up hitting so I knew I was probably done,” Westbrook said. ”I just wanted to hopefully get some runs there, and we did. It was a fun inning.”
Rafael Furcal’s go-ahead single in the seventh turned out to be a mere appetizer as the Cardinals also matched an 86-year-old franchise record for runs in an inning. St. Louis totaled 10 hits with multiple hits by three players including pinch-hitter Allen Craig, who doubled twice with an RBI.
”It was crazy. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that in the big leagues,” Craig said. ”I came into the game in a big spot and I was glad I could make something happen, and the rest of the guys took it from there.”
The Cardinals managed five hits the first six innings before jumping on Justin Germano (0-1) and three other relievers. They tied the major record for doubles in an inning by the Boston Bees at St. Louis in the first inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader on Aug. 25, 1936.
They tied the franchise record for runs in an inning set Sept. 16, 1926, against the Phillies, in the third inning of the opener of a doubleheader in Philadelphia.
”We’ve had some against us that felt like 12,” manager Mike Matheny said. ”You look at this offense and they can come in bundles.
”It’s nice to see the guys, too, just keep putting good at-bats together no matter how many runs we’ve had or how many hits they’ve had already.”
The Cardinals totaled nine doubles for the first time in franchise history since setting a modern major league record with 13 doubles on July 12, 1931, against the Cubs.
Cubs starter Matt Garza was taken out after three scoreless innings with cramping in his right triceps, an injury that wasn’t obvious and prompted speculation that he had been traded. The Cubs added a bit of intrigue, waiting until the bottom of the sixth to announce the injury and the fact X-rays – as a precaution for possible elbow issues – were negative.
”The trade thing, I’m not so concerned about that,” Garza said. ”I’d rather go out there and throw eight or nine (innings) than come in here and say, ”I can’t throw the ball.”’
Germano got unlimited warmups in the fourth, an indication he was entering because of an injury or ejection, although the rule book also allows for an unspecified sudden emergency. Germano allowed a run in three-plus innings before the roof caved in on the Cubs, who allowed 12 runs in an inning for the first time since July 30, 2010, at Colorado.
James Russell gave up a career-high six runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Manuel Corpas gave up four runs without getting an out, surrendering three doubles and a walk.
”Russell’s our setup guy,” manager Dale Sveum said. ”He’s got a long four months basically without a hiccup like that, and those things will happen.
”Unfortunately, it was a nothing-nothing game.”
Previously, the Cubs hadn’t allowed more than six runs in a single inning. The Cardinals topped their previous season best of eight runs April 27 against the Brewers.
Westbrook (8-8) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first, falling behind 3-0 in the count against Geovany Soto before inducing a groundout. The sinkerballer permitted only two baserunners his last six innings, a leadoff single by David DeJesus in the third and a walk by Luis Valbuena in the fifth, and neither of them made it second.
”The first couple of innings, I was a little erratic, I might have been a little geeked up,” Westbrook said. ”After that, I felt really strong.”
— Associated Press —