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Womack leaves with back spasms
10/20/2004 6:40 PM ET
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals leadoff hitter Tony Womack had his stroke back, but his back knocked his stroke out of the lineup early in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday.

The Cardinals announced that Womack had to leave the game after three innings because of a lower back spasm, a condition that apparently only came up during Wednesday's game. Womack, the starting second baseman for St. Louis, played in 145 games during the regular season, and had played every inning of the postseason up to the point of his injury.

Cardinals trainer Barry Weinberg said the club won't know Womack's status for Game 7 until Thursday.

"We'll just check him out," Weinberg said. "It will be a game-time decision."

Womack came out of the game when the Cardinals went out to take the field in the top of the fourth, replaced in the field and in the top spot of the order by Hector Luna.

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"My back just tightened up on me," Womack said. "I couldn't bend over to catch a ground ball. I wasn't going to risk us winning Game 6 because of me not being able to play.

"It took a lot of pride for me to come out, because I do think about myself as a competitor. But to jeopardize not making a routine play on a ground ball, it didn't make sense."

After going 3-for-21 in the first five games of the NLCS and batting .150 (6-for-40) for the postseason, Womack smacked a pair of singles in his first two at-bats in Game 6.

He scored on Albert Pujols' two-run homer in the first inning, just after he'd gotten a great jump, and would have stolen third if Pujols hadn't fouled off the pitch. He also singled with two outs in the second off Astros starter Pete Munro.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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