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Updated: Monday October 14, 2002 7:27 AM
  MLB PREVIEW
St. Louis Cardinals
Team Page |  Schedule |  Injuries
Stats: Batting |  Pitching
Matt Morris W-L ERA
Postseason 0-1 14.54
Career vs. Giants 4-3 2.60
 
Kirk Rueter W-L ERA
Postseason 1-0 9.00
Career vs. Cardinals 10-3 2.96
San Francisco Giants
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Stats: Batting |  Pitching
Game Time: Oct. 14 8:05 PM EDT |  Today's Scoreboard
  Matt Morris
  Kirk Rueter

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Barry Bonds can finally see one of biggest dreams come true on Monday night when the San Francisco Giants look to move into the World Series as they play Game Five of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bonds is one step away from reaching the World Series for the first time in his illustrious career. He had a chance with Pittsburgh in 1992 but the Atlanta Braves scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in the decisive seventh game of the NLCS.

Bonds played a key role in San Francisco's 4-3 victory on Sunday that gave the Giants a three games to one lead in the series. He was issued a two-out intentional walk in the eighth inning and Benito Santiago followed with a two-run homer for a 4-2 advantage.

Closer Robb Nen allowed an RBI single to Jim Edmonds in the ninth that put runners on the corners with one out. But he recovered to strike out Albert Pujols and J.D. Drew for his fifth save of the postseason.

"Well, yeah, we know that if we win tomorrow, we're going to the World Series, but you know, we know we still have a lot of work to do," Giants first baseman J.T. Snow said. "That's a good team over there. We've played some pretty good games the last four games, and they keep coming back at us and we keep coming back at them."

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was left defending his decision to walk Bonds, which put the go-ahead run on base.

"Well, a lot of times strategy is judged on whether it works," he said. "So it didn't work. Bad strategy. But, you know, Bonds is the most dangerous hitter in the game right now, and it's tough to walk in that clubhouse with giving him a chance to get the hit to beat you."

The Cardinals nursed a 2-0 lead until Snow came through with a two-run double with two outs in the sixth inning to tie the game. Starter Livan Hernandez worked in and out of trouble and allowed just six hits through his final 5 1/3 innings.

St. Louis left 12 runners on base and wasted strong pitching that limited San Francisco to four hits. The Cardinals suffered their first loss in four road postseason games.

Giants lefthander Kirk Rueter (1-1, 12.38 ERA) tries for his second victory of the LCS. Rueter was the winner in Game One as he allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings in a 9-6 victory.

Rueter went 5-5 with a 3.02 ERA in 16 starts at home this season. The veteran is 2-1 lifetime with a 2.02 ERA against the Cardinals.

"I take the same philosophy here or on the road," Rueter said. "Even though this is more of a pitcher's park, you still have to make your pitches because, I mean, this park has proven that you can give up home runs. I mean, obviously, Barry hits a lot of them here."

Matt Morris (1-1, 6.35) looks to bounce back after his loss in Game One for St. Louis. He was pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 9-6 loss.

"You know, I'm going to go out there and keep my same game plan that I had in Game One," Morris said. "I don't think I ever was able to get to the execution part of it. The other day was kind of a blur. I'm going to focus on making pitches and keeping the ball down. I know that's what I said last time, too, but I'm serious this time."

Morris yielded just six hits in eight innings in a 4-0 victory here on July 23. He has allowed just one earned run in 15 career innings at Pacific Bell Park.

The Cardinals are trying to become the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS since the Atlanta Braves did it to them in 1996.

"You can't get down now, you have to play like there is no tomorrow because, well, there is no tomorrow," Pujols said.

© 2002 Sportsticker
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