For the past three days, the Cardinals have been operating without Scott Rolen, who has stayed away from the park after being diagnosed with bronchitis, but veteran backup Scott Spiezio has had three consecutive productive games.
Spiezio is 5-for-11 with a home run, a double and a triple. The double and triple came Thursday night as Spiezio drove in two insurance runs in a 6-2 win over Washington.
The Cardinals won their season-high fourth game in a row and moved eight games over .500 at 15-7.
Jim Edmonds has had little success at the plate this season, batting .200, but he smacked a three-run homer in the first inning. He has 16 RBIs on just 13 hits.
REPLAY: Sidney Ponson held Washington to only three hits and no runs for the first six innings before surrendering a two-run double to Brian Schneider in the seventh. But Cardinal relievers Brad Thompson and Josh Hancock rescued him with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and St. Louis held on for a 6-2 victory.
Ponson improved to 3-0 after four starts, although this clearly was his best effort.
--C Yadier Molina continues to struggle. His 0-for-4 night Thursday dropped him to .167, and he has 10 strikeouts to one walk. Molina did throw out his second runner trying to steal.
--CF Jim Edmonds had scored in seven straight games, his longest streak since he scored in 11 in a row in 2004.
--The Cardinals' 15th win matched their best April victory total. They were 15-7 last year, and they are 15-7 now.
--The Cardinals scored in the first inning for the fourth straight game.
--LF So Taguchi, who was 2-for-3 Thursday night, is 16-for-49 when he starts and 0-for-8 when he doesn't.