Pujols and the Cardinals outlast Astros

 Pujols had 2 HRs and 3 RBIs to help the Cards beat the Astros 8-6 in 10 innings.  Pujols also had 2 other shots to dead centerfield that would have been way gone if hit to any other part of the park.  Pujols’ first HR put the Cards up 5-4 in the eighth and his second was a 2 run shot that made the score 8-5 in the tenth.  Eckstein had 2 hits including a HR in his return to the lineup.  So Taguchi went deep after entering the game as part of a double switch.  Juan Enc also went deep.  Braden Looper gave up 3 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings of work, but did not factor in the decision.   During the game, the Cards picked up veteran catcher Kelly Stinnett from the Dodgers for cash. 

Rick Hummel points out that never in the history of baseball has a team not had one starting pitcher from its World Championship team of the year before.  Well consider the 2007 Cardinals history makers, as after Reyes was demoted to Memphis, they now have no starters from last year’s team.  Even the Marlins had 2 starters left after their historic firesale after winning in 1998. 

Memphis outlasted Las Vegas (Dodgers) in a slugfest, coming out on top 14-10.  JRod homered in his third consecutive game since coming off the DL.  But he wasn’t done there, he finished 3-4 with 2 HRs, 3 RBIs, and 4 runs scored.  Edgar V. Gonzalez had 2 hits and 2 RBIs.  Mike McCoy was 3-5 with 4 RBIs including a 3-run HR.  Mike Smith was rocked for 5 runs in 4.1 innings.  Troy Cate gave up 2 runs in 1.2 innings.  Mark Worrell got the win in spite of giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in an inning of work.  He did strike out the side in the inning. 

Springfield took a beating at the hands of  Corpus Christi (Astros), 15-3,  in Game 1 of a doubleheader.  Kevin Ool was rocked for 10 runs on 11 hits in only 4 innings of work.  Jose Garcia was just as bad, giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and striking out 5 in 2 innings of work.  Nick Webber pitched gave up 2 hits but no runs in his only inning of work.  Mark Shorey was 2-3 with an RBI.  He is hitting .300 since being promoted from the Quad Cities.  Sean Danielson was 2-4.  Joe Mather and Bryan Anderson each had a hit.

In Game 2,  Springfield scored 3 in the bottom of the seventh (each game was only 7 innings) on a walkoff 3-run HR off the bat of Juan Richardson.  Joe Mather contributed a 2-run blast.  Colby Rasmus was 2-2 with 2 BBs and 2 runs scored.  Eric Haberer gave up 2 runs on 3 hits including a 2-run blast and walked 4.  Jason Motte got the win with 1.2 scoreless innings.

Palm Beach got 2 in the first but could plate no more, and fell to Clearwater (Phillies) 3-2.  The Cardinals only runs came on Allen Craig’s and Mark Hamilton’s back HRs.  It was number 12 for Craig and Hamilton’s seventh.  Dan Nelson had 2 hits and Isa Garcia added a single for all of Palm Beach’s offense.  Jim Rapoport was 0-3 and is hitting .167 since his promotion.  Tyler Norrick gave up 3 runs on 4 hits and walked 5 in 6 innings of work.  Norrick did record 7 Ks.  Fernando Salas pitched 2 perfect innings of relief.

Quad Cities doubled up Wisconsin (Mariners), 4-2.  The Swing only had 3 hits but were helped by Wisconsin’s 4 errors and 6 BBs.  Daryl Jones had 2 hits and 2 RBIs.  Brandon Buckman hit a 2-run blast, his twelfth.  Blake King pitched 3 interesting innings.  King gave up 1 run on no hits, walked 5 and struckout 6.  Michael Schellinger picked up the win in a perfect inning of relief.  Brandon Dickson gave up 1 run on 4 hits with 3 Ks in 4 innings.  Kenny Maiques picked up save number 13.

Blake Dewitt and the Inland Empire had the night off on Sunday.  On Saturday night, Dewitt was 3 for 3 with a run scored.  Blake is hitting .415 in his last 10 games.

Mizzou fell 4-3 to Louisville in the elimination game of the Columbia Regional.  So, on Monday at 1, the teams will meet up again with the winner moving on to the Super Regional.  The Tigers were down 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth.  That is when Jacob Priday led off the inning with a HR to pull the Tigers within 1.  Mizzou was able to get another runner on, but stranded him setting up Monday’s matchup.



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