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Diamondbacks 8, Cardinals 6

Arizona rides Drew

He hits for cycle in comeback win

By Andrew Bagnato
Associated Press / September 2, 2008
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PHOENIX - In black magic marker, a scuffed baseball told the details of the biggest game of Stephen Drew's career.

Five hits and a cycle - the first in Chase Field history.

The Arizona Diamondbacks needed every hit in an 8-6 comeback victory over St. Louis yesterday.

"I'm kind of in shock right now," said Drew, who carried his keepsake baseball into the postgame interview room. "I'm just trying to put good 'ABs' together. It was meant to be."

Drew wasn't the only Diamondbacks player who had a big day. Newly acquired David Eckstein singled home the winning run, and Adam Dunn, Chris Young, and Mark Reynolds also homered as Arizona overcame a poor start by Randy Johnson.

The Diamondbacks needed a lift after losing two out of three over the weekend to NL West rival Los Angeles. Arizona entered yesterday with a shaky 2 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers.

"To hit for the cycle, it's fun, but it wouldn't have really meant anything to me if we didn't win," Drew said.

Batting leadoff, the 25-year-old shortstop singled in the first, tripled in the third, and homered in the fifth against St. Louis Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro. He hit a ground-rule double in the seventh against reliever Kyle McClellan (2-7) as the Chase Field crowd rose for a standing ovation.

Drew added another double in the eighth for his fifth hit, matching a career high and a franchise record.

"It seems like he gets a good at-bat every time up," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "Five hits, cycle, the whole bit - it's certainly going to be a day that he's going to remember. You don't get too many like this. It'll be one of the most exciting offensive days of his life."

Drew also became the third Diamondbacks player to hit for the cycle in the franchise's 11-year history. Luis Gonzalez did it July 5, 2000, at Houston and Greg Colbrunn did it Sept. 18, 2002, at San Diego.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa wasn't very happy after watching his team cough up a 5-1 second-inning lead on its way to its fourth straight loss. The Diamondbacks chipped away at Pineiro, who allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.

Arizona tied it, 6-6, in the sixth, when Reynolds hit a two-run shot on the first pitch from McClellan.

The Diamondbacks took the lead for the first time in the seventh on a single by Eckstein, who was acquired from Toronto Sunday and started at second base. Another run scored on a wild pitch by Russ Springer.

The Diamondbacks' rally spared Johnson his 10th loss.

One day after ace Brandon Webb lasted only 3 1/3 innings, the Diamondbacks needed a lengthy outing from Johnson. But the Big Unit lasted only 3 2/3 innings, matching his shortest start of the season. Johnson is winless in his last four starts.

Johnson gave up four homers, matching a career high, to Yadier Molina, Joe Mather, Albert Pujols, and Felipe Lopez.

Chad Qualls (3-8) pitched the seventh to earn the win. Brandon Lyon pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 31 chances.

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