The Homestead Grays carry a three game winning streak onto the field of play tonight, as the old boys welcome their rival from the city of St Lou, the St Louis Stars, and their awe-inspiring long baller, first baseman, Albert Pujols. Veteran Grays starter Tim Redding strikes out the imposing Pujols, and retires the Coach’s son Chris Duncan for his first scoreless frame. As the sun sets over the cement rim of RFK Stadium the Grays head in and pick up the lumber.
The Homestead Grays are wearing off-white uniforms with navy blue piping along the side of the pants and jerseys and just about everyone’s got the dark blue socks pulled high, adding nicely to the effect, navy blue caps with a bold block-letter “G.” St. Louis sports the Stars gray away uniforms, navy blue caps with a stylized “StL“ across the frontpiece, and red knee highs stretched tight from cleat to knee.
Stars starter Kip Wells continues his season-long struggles this evening, loading the bases with two out in the first, as the right-handed hurler looks to avoid adding to his Major League leading fourteenth loss. Left fielder, Ryan Church looks to cash in the early runs, works to a full count, and stands amazed as a breaking ball drops in for strike three.
Redding issues a two-out walk to Adam Kennedy, who scores the first run of the game in the second, coming around on the pitcher Kip Wells’ hard hit single through the right side of the infield. 1-0 Stars. Wells is throwing a lot of pitches, but has only surrendered two hits on his way to three scoreless.
Back to back hits off Redding by the pitcher, Wells, and David Eckstein with two outs in the fourth, and Jim Edmonds looks to lengthen the Stars lead with an RBI hit. Edmonds tries to bunt for a hit on the first pitch, but fouls it off, Redding comes up and in in response with the next pitch, and an angry Edmonds tries to demolish the next offering and it ends up on the warning track in center fielder Nook Logan’s glove. 1-0 St.Louis after four.
Kip Wells looks nothing like a (4-13) pitcher tonight, but the meager run-support he’s received all season is still a factor as Wells works two-thirds of the way through a fifth scoreless, but still holds only a 1-0 lead. Felipe Lopez erases that lead with one swing of the bat. Wells throws a wild pitch early in the at bat, allowing Tim Redding, who had grounded into a force at second, to move into scoring position before Lopez lines to left and brings the tying run home. 1-1 ballgame after five.
Tim Redding is locating his fastball as he gets Juan Encarnacion with the high heat, paints the outside corner to get Adam Kennedy staring at strike three, and then goes back upstairs to get Yadier Molina, who can’t hold back and is called out chasing cheese as Redding strikes out the side in the sixth. 1-1 tie.
THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! Ryan Zimmerman lines an outside fastball into the right center gap for a leadoff double off Wells in the Grays sixth. DY grounds to the right side allowing Zimmerman to take third. Austin Kearns walks. Ryan Church comes up with men on first and third, and grounds out on the first pitch to strand both runners. 1-1 after six.
Grays starter Tim Redding gets a ground out from the opposing pitcher for the first out of the seventh, but is lifted after issuing a one-out walk to David Eckstein. The diminutive Stars star, Eckstein, steals second on the first pitch from Grays reliever Ray King. King gets Jim Edmonds swinging at strike three, and after walking Pujols, King gets Chris Duncan to fly out to left. Stand up and stretch…
Kip Wells walks Grays catcher Brian Schneider to start the Grays seventh. NOOK Logan beats out a bunt with Logan-like speed as “The Adjective” gets the Grays started. D’Angelo Jimenez pinch hits in the pitcher’s spot. Ryan Langerhans on to run for Schneider. Wells throws four ball with Jimenez offering to bunt. Bases loaded for Lopez, Felipe that is. LaRussa’s leaving Wells in?…Nope. The Cardinals Manager goes to the pen for righty Russ Springer. Springer pops Lopez up to short left. One out. Ronnie Belliard? Flies out deep enough to right to score Langerhans, who tags at third and trots home. Zimm? Lines to Rolen who takes the force at second. 2-1 after seven.
The Tallest Pitcher To Ever Wear A Grays Jersey Jon Rauch enters the game in the eigth. Ryan Zimmerman throws hight to allow Encarnacion to reach safely with one out in the frame. Adam Kennedy singles through second sending Encarnacion to third. Yadier Molina drops a pop in front of Logan, Encarnacion scores. 2-2 tie. Zimmerman throws out Scott Spiezio for the second out. Eckstein pops out to end the Stars eigth.
Randy Flores walks Robert Fick to start the eigth. Austin Kearns fllies out. Jesus Flores into a force at second, but beats out the double play. Ryan Langerhans singles into left moving Flores to third. Two on, two out. Nook Logan down swinging.
The Flat-Brimmed Closer, Chad Cordero, is out for the ninth in a 2-2 tie. Edmonds down swinging at an outside fastball. Pujols? Fly ball out to center. Chris Duncan lines a single to right. Cordero blows a fastball by Rolen, and gives the Grays a chance to walk off. Ryan Franklin takes the hill for St. Louis. Tony Batista lines a broken bat single to left. Felipe Lopez grounds into a force at second. Belliard drops a single into short right. Zimmerman! Zimmerman? THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! GROUNDER THROUGH SHORT! LOPEZ SCORES! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! THE GRAYS BEAT THE STARS!!! THE GRAYS BEAT THE STARS!!!
Grays now 49-60.