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‘They were throwing batteries’

Phillies fans hurl insults, projectiles at J.D. Drew

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Posted: Wednesday August 11, 1999 02:56 AM

  J.D. Drew Phillies fans had nothing good to say -- or write -- about J.D. Drew. AP

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Ron Gant crushed his former team again Tuesday night, delivering a three-run double in the eighth off Ricky Bottalico that gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 7-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Gant, who homered twice in a 12-6 loss Monday, drilled an 0-1 pitch to the right-center gap with the bases loaded to complete a stirring four-run inning.

It was a second straight night of sweet revenge for Gant, who feuded with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa after he was traded to Philadelphia -- in a deal that included Bottalico (1-6) -- in the offseason.

It also spoiled a big night for J.D. Drew, who responded to ferocious booing with a triple, two runs, an RBI and a stolen base. He also survived having large batteries thrown at him from the stands.

“I've heard some rumors around that they do it every now and then,” Drew said. “In the back of my mind, I was hoping that they wouldn't. I think they did a good job the way they handled it.”

Mark McGwire, leading the majors with 44 homers, left the game in the second inning with tightness in his lower back. McGwire, homerless in 13 at-bats since hitting his 500th and 501st last Thursday, walked in his only plate appearance. The Cardinals said he came out as a precaution.

Reliever Jim Poole (1-1) got the victory despite allowing Drew's RBI single in the top of the eighth that gave St. Louis a 5-2 lead. Wayne Gomes pitched the ninth for his 17th save.

Alex Arias' RBI double off Manny Aybar cut it to 5-3 before Gant's clutch hit. Scott Rolen, whose error led to three unearned runs in the fourth, scored Gant with an RBI single to make it 7-5.

Drew was booed and serenaded by the crowd of 48,514 in his first game in Philadelphia because of his contract squabble with the Phillies two years ago. The game was delayed nearly 10 minutes in the eighth after debris landed near Drew in center field.

“They were throwing batteries,” La Russa said. “With that history, to me, the first battery that comes out on the field the game's over. I hope that precedent's set. Somebody throws a battery, Phillies lose.”

While making a pitching change, La Russa escorted Drew off the field and met with the umpires. Public address announcer Dan Baker warned the crowd that the Phillies would have to forfeit the game if more objects were thrown on the field.

Drew popped out to left in his first at-bat, then tripled to the gap in right-center in the third and scored the Cardinals' first run on Ray Lankford's RBI double.

In the eighth, Drew lined an RBI single up the middle to score Joe McEwing to make it 5-2. He stole his 10th base on a double steal.

Drew, who missed the first game of the series with a bruised right hand, heard what longtime observers called the most brutal treatment of a visiting player at the Vet since Dodgers pitcher Burt Hooton was rattled by an obnoxious crowd during the 1977 NL championship series.

Hooton had to leave Game 3 of that series in the second inning when he became wild and was unable to throw a strike the more the crowd razzed him.

Notes: Cardinals OF Thomas Howard was 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles and two RBIs and is 6-for-6 in the series. ... Cardinals starter Jose Jimenez walked seven in six innings, allowing two runs and three hits. Phillies starter Robert Person allowed four runs -- one earned -- and six hits in six innings. ... Phillies C Mike Lieberthal made a sensational diving catch on pinch-hitter Placido Palanco's foul bunt in the eighth -- full extension, body parallel to the ground as he caught the ball.

Related information
Mac big in BP, then leaves game with back pain
Jeff Pearlman's Out in Left Field -- McGwire-Sosa: Act II, sham I
Cardinals-Phillies Box Score
All the negative attention didn't seem to bother Drew's performance on the field. (1.82 M)
To Phillies fans it wasn't J.D. Drew, but J.D. booo!
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