Monday, August 13, 2007

Ankiel is backroiliac

Rick Ankiel's MLB comeback continued as he homered twice and drove in three runs, the latest power display by the former pitcher, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 on Saturday. Ankiel, who scored three times, hit the first pitch he saw in the first and seventh innings to right field, giving him three home runs since he was called up from Triple-A Memphis on Thursday.

After an embarrassing bout of wildness and an arm injury, the one-time phenom scrapped his pitching career during spring training in 2005. He capped his first game back in the majors -- as an outfielder -- with a three-run homer against San Diego on Thursday. The home crowd gave Ankiel a standing ovation and demanded a curtain call -- as they did Thursday -- after his first home run against the Dodgers. The second one was met with a quick doff of the cap, and the right fielder got another standing ovation as he jogged off the field after making two strong defensive plays in the eighth.

If the Cards are lucky, Rick will become the second coming of Babe Ruth. Only without the talent. Or obesity. Or blood-alcohol level.

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