Showering boos on the opposition, and even on the home team, is a house specialty in Philadelphia.
With J.D. Drew playing his first game at Veterans Stadium Tuesday night, batteries were the object of derision du jour. And no one was more embarrassed about it than the Phillies.
"It's a disgrace," said Ron Gant, who crushed his former team for the second straight night with a three-run double that gave the Phillies a 7-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. "That's not an intelligent thing to do."
It must have been sweet 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 feels good to beat my ex-club," said Gant, who pumped both arms in the air when he arrived at second base. "Everybody always feels that way. I was excited because we're in a race and we won a game."
Drew responded to ferocious booing with a triple, two runs, an RBI and a stolen base. An impassioned environment turned ugly in the eighth when play was stopped for about 10 minutes while umpire Ed Montague dealt with the battery shower.
"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."
Lost in it all, Mark McGwie 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. He is day-to-day.
"Sometimes you can save yourself a trip to the DL by sitting out a couple of innings," said McGwire, leading the majors with 44 homers.
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.
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.
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.
Dave Parker was once peppered with batteries at the Vet, the way he was in his own ballpark in Pittsburgh in the 1970s.
"With that history, to me, the first battery that comes out on the field the game's over," La Russa said. "I hope that precedent's set. Somebody throws a battery, Phillies lose."
Phillies manager Terry Francona said he went to apologize to La Russa, but sent the message through the trainer. He didn't think La Russa would appreciate the intrusion after the loss.
"We had a couple of dummies try to mess it up for everybody else," Francona said.
Drew popped out to left in his first at-bat, then tripled to the right-center field gap 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.
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