Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 7, 1970: Simba's First Home Run Sparks A Cardinals Rally

     On June 7, 1970, down 7-1 to the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium after four innings, the Cardinals began an epic comeback that ended with the Birds on top by the score of 10-7. The comeback began in the sixth inning when a 20-year-old catcher by the name of Ted Simmons belted the first home run of his career. The two run shot off of Roberto Rodriguez closed the gap to 7-3, but the San Diego hurler looked to settle down quickly as retired the next three men. However, the seventh inning proved to be the difference maker, as the Cardinals exploded for seven runs in the frame to turn the tables on the team from the West Coast.

     Pinch hitting for Bob Gibson, Vic Davalillo led the frame off with a single. Lou Brock followed him with a single to right, that moved Davalillo over to third, before Jose Cardenal picked up the third single in a row. The single by Cardenal scored Davalillo, moved Brock to third, and ended the day for Roberto Rodriguez. With the score sitting at 7-4 San Diego, Ron Herbal took over pitching duties for the Friars, and he would end up being charged with the loss, as he walked the bases full, gave up a two RBI double to Joe Torre, then watched Ted Simmons knock in the game tying run.

     That all came before there was even an out recorded in the inning, which came in the form of a double play ball. With the score knotted at seven all the visitors needed was one out to get out of the frame tied, but that one out did not come soon enough to the delight of the crowd at Busch. Herbal put Julian Javier on with an intentional pass before hitting the showers, and handing the ball off to Dave Roberts. Red Schoendienst called his shortstop Dal Maxvill back from the batters box, and sent Leron Lee into hit for him . The move paid off as he broke the deadlock with a two RBI double to give the Birds a 9-7 lead. One of the runs scored off of that double was charged to Herbal, which led to him adding a loss to his stats totals. Although, no Padres pitcher could get the job done in that frame.

     Before the seventh run outburst concluded the Cardinals batting order had come full circle, and Davalillo had another chance to inflict damage to the efforts of the opponent. And that he did, by rapping a single that scored Lee and gave the Cardinals a three run cushion. Roberts gave up another single to Lou Brock, before handing it over to the fourth Padres pitcher of the inning, Al Santorini who was able to pick up the third Cardinals out. Frank Linzy took over on the mound for the Cards in the eighth, and got the job done until he put himself into a jam in the ninth with two men on and one out. Ted Abernathy bailed Linzy out by coming in and locking down a save in what was a truly wild game in St. Louis.

Check out the box score here:

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