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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 16, 2005
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Schilling stomps on Cardinals, Red Sox take 2-0 lead
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BOSTON (AP) -- Curt Schilling got out of bed and panicked.

�I woke up at 7 o�clock this morning, which is a tipoff right

there,� he said. �I�ve never woke up at 7 o�clock in the morning for anything in my life. I wasn�t going to pitch. I couldn�t walk.  I couldn�t move.�

He did pitch. He did walk. And he did move�the Red Sox within two wins of the World Series title that has eluded them since 1918.

His ankle stitched together for the second time in a week and blood soaking through his sock again, Schilling stomped on St.  Louis, leading Boston over the Cardinals 6-2 Sunday night for a 2-0 World Series lead.

�I just wish everybody on this planet could experience the day that I just experienced,� Schilling said.

Jason Varitek�s rare two-run triple, a booming two-run double by Game 1 star Mark Bellhorn and Orlando Cabrera�s two-run single�all with two outs�offset another night of damaging defense.  Boston made four errors for the second straight game, including a Series record-tying three by third baseman Bill Mueller.

Pedro Martinez will try to make it a 3-0 lead Tuesday night when he faces Jeff Suppan in Game 3 in St. Louis.

�We can�t relax,� Manny Ramirez said. �They�ve got a great history in the Series. They could come back.�

While the Cardinals have lost eight straight Series road games, they are 6-0 at Busch Stadium this postseason.

�We put ourselves in a tough situation, but hanging our heads is not what this team is all about,� Cardinals reliever Cal Eldred said.

Less than two weeks ago, Schilling thought his season might be over, after he was chased from the AL championship series opener by the Yankees after three innings. But, with three sutures holding his dislocated ankle tendon in place, he won Game 6 in New York on Tuesday night.

The stitches went back in Saturday, but Schilling knew by Sunday morning that something had gone wrong.

�Somehow we had put an extra stitch in this time because there was some issues we wanted to try and avoid from last time and we had caught a nerve in the leg,� he said. �As soon as we alleviated that nerve issue, things changed drastically. I went from, again, hobbling to being able to walk.�

His velocity inconsistent at times, Schilling threw a devastating splitter when he needed it against the Cardinals. He gave up just four hits and an unearned run in six innings, got the important outs he needed and held St. Louis to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

�You could see he was battling with his ankle,� Boston manager Terry Francona said. �We all know what the circumstances are. He was very, very good.�

The ankle isn�t the only problem. Schilling said he �tweaked� a hip flexor in the third inning, and he put a hot water bottle on it when he wasn�t on the mound.

�I thought early on, like the first two or three innings, he wasn�t quite as sharp,� St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.  ï¿½After that, whenever we even got a smell, he made quality pitches.�

Schilling, Alan Embree, Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke combined on a five-hitter, keeping the trio of Larry Walker, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds to a combined 0-for-11. Albert Pujols had three of the St. Louis hits.

�We hit some balls right at guys, and when they needed to make pitches, they did,� Edmonds said. �They took advantage of their situation and we didn�t.�

Schilling improved to 8-2 in the postseason and became the first starting pitcher to win in the Series for three teams, having also pitched for Arizona and Philadelphia.

Of the 33 teams to open the Series with two victories at home, 28 have gone on to win the title. Boston took a 2-0 lead at Shea Stadium in 1986 before losing in seven games to the New York Mets.

Working on three days� rest, Cardinals starter Matt Morris retired his first two batters before walking Ramirez and David Ortiz on full-count pitches. Varitek then launched a drive to the deepest part of the park, out toward the dirt triangle at the 420-foot mark, and tore his pants with a slide into third. He had just one triple in each of the last five regular seasons.

Bellhorn made it 4-1 in the fourth. Kevin Millar was nicked by a pitch, Mueller doubled and Bellhorn hit a drive off the base of the wall in center.

Pujols hit his second double of the game and scored in the fourth when Reggie Sanders� two-hopper bounced off Mueller�s chest.

Cabrera�s two-run single off Eldred made it 6-1 in the sixth.  Rolen had a sacrifice fly in the eighth at a time when St. Louis needed a big hit.

The Cardinals threatened in the second when Sanders drew a one-out walk and was running on Tony Womack�s single to right-center. Sanders stepped over the bag, however, and scrambled back to second.

�I think we�re one of the best baserunning teams I�ve ever seen,� La Russa said. �He just missed it.�

La Russa called for a double steal, but Schilling got Mike Matheny to hit a line drive right at Mueller, who tagged Sanders for a double play.

Three years ago when Arizona played the Yankees, Schilling�s favorite words were �aura and mystique.� After his victory Sunday night, he was asked what he thought when fans called him �courageous� and a �hero.�

�It�s better than bum and idiot,� he said.

Notes: Davey Lopes was the last player to make three errors in a Series game, back in 1981 for Los Angeles. Pepper Martin was the only previous third baseman to do it, in 1934 for St. Louis. ...  Bellhorn is 7-for-19 with three homers and eight RBIs in his last five games.


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