Cards prevail in ninth in Walker's first game

The new acquisition participated in the winning rally led by Yadier Molina.
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals won their first game with Larry Walker when rookie Yadier Molina blooped a bases-loaded single to center with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday for a 2-1 victory over the New York Mets.
Walker, acquired in a trade with Colorado on Friday night, was welcomed with a standing ovation that lasted well over a minute when he pinch-hit with two on and one out in the seventh. A near-sellout crowd of 45,364 stayed on its feet throughout the at-bat and gave him another standing ovation even after he struck out against Kris Benson.
But Walker participated in the winning rally. The fans booed when the five-time All-Star was walked intentionally by Mike Stanton (0-5) with runners on second and third and two outs in the ninth. Molina followed by dumping a soft single into shallow left-center.
Walker, the 1997 NL MVP, arrived at Busch Stadium about a half-hour before the game, too late to be in the starting lineup with his new team. But he went to right field after pinch-hitting, perhaps easing his transition to St. Louis after 91/2 seasons in Colorado.
Steve Kline and Julian Tavarez (4-3) combined to strike out the side in the top of the ninth for the Cardinals, who have won 15 of 19 and have the best record in the major leagues at 71-38.
Reyes 2b4110Wmack 2b4000
Valent 1b4010Tvarez p0000
Matsui ss3011Rnteria ss4000
McEwg 2b1000Pujols 1b4000
Floyd lf3000Rolen 3b4110
Cmeron cf2000Edmnd cf3100
Hidalgo rf4000Mabry rf1011
Wright 3b3000RSndrs lf3010
VWilsn c3000Eldred p0000
Benson p2000Kline p0000
Wllams ph1000Luna 2b1000
Bttlco p0000Mtheny c2000
Stanton p0000LWalkr rf1000
WWlms p2010
MAndn ph1000
YMlina c1011
New York000001000--1
St. Louis000100001--2
Two outs when winning run scored.
E--Hidalgo (4). LOB--New York 5, St. Louis 8. 2B--Reyes (12), Rolen (26), WWilliams (4). SB--Cameron (17).
New York
Bottalico1 1-300002
Stanton L,0-5 1-311130
St. Louis
Tavarez W,4-3 2-300002
HBP--by Benson (Mabry), by WWilliams (Cameron).
Umpires--Home, Brian O'Nora; First, Rob Drake; Second, Ramon Armendariz; Third, Jerry Crawford. T--2:54. A--45,364.
Braves 6, Diamondbacks 2
PHOENIX -- Paul Byrd won consecutive starts for the first time in nearly two years, allowing two runs in his longest outing of the season.
Chipper Jones backed Byrd with two RBIs and Rafael Furcal had an RBI double. The Braves won for the ninth time in 10 games and improved to 17-5 since the All-Star break.
Quinton McCracken had a leadoff home run and a sacrifice fly for the Diamondbacks, who skidded to their 22nd loss in 26 games. The defeat left Arizona (35-77) a franchise-record 42 games below .500.
Furcal ss5231McCkn lf3122
MGiles 2b3211Terrero cf4010
JDrew rf4021DBtista rf4000
Mrrero rf0000Hlnbrn 1b4010
CJones 3b5012Tracy 3b4010
JEstda c2010Olson ss4000
AJones cf4010Hirston 2b4110
Lroche 1b4000Brito c2000
Thmas lf3110Devore ph1010
Byrd p2000Hill c0000
TMartn p0000EGnzlz p1000
Grybsk p0000AGreen ph1000
JuFrco ph0000Dssens p0000
NGreen pr0100Choate p0000
Smoltz p0000Fetters p0000
E--Byrd (2). DP--Arizona 3. LOB--Atlanta 7, Arizona 5. 2B--Furcal (16), Hillenbrand (20). HR--McCracken (2). CS--Furcal (4). S--Byrd, Dessens. SF--McCracken.
Byrd W,4-37 1-352204
EGonzalez L,0-5663355
HBP--by EGonzalez (MGiles). PB--Hill. Umpires--Home, Angel Hernandez; First, Mark Wegner; Second, Larry Young; Third, Adam Dowdy. T--2:40. A--33,249.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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