The Cardinals certainly have protected their home field this season. They have played eight series at new Busch Stadium and they have won all eight.
Jason Marquis won his second straight after losing four in a row by working 7 2/3 strong innings, giving up all three New York Mets runs on home runs. Jason Isringhausen, who has been the subject of considerable scrutiny from an anxious fan base, posted his seventh save in a row and a league-high-tying 13th in 15 opportunities.
Manager Tony La Russa called Thursday's win like "winning a doubleheader," meaning that the Cardinals won the game, 6-3, the series, two games to one, and rested Albert Pujols in the process. Pujols, bothered by several injuries had been nothing for his last 12 and hasn't had a hit since last Saturday.
But the Cardinals missed little at first base Thursday. Scott Spiezio had two hits, drove in two runs and caught four foul pop-ups.
REPLAY: Scott Rolen drove in the game-winning run for the second day in a row after going 4-for-28 for the major portion of the home stand. Rolen's first-inning single scored David Eckstein, who had three hits, and Rolen came around to score on the first of Spiezio's two hits.
Jason Marquis, who gave up four hits in 7 2/3 innings, now has allowed only seven hits and four earned runs in his last 14 2/3 innings over two games. He served up a two-run homer in the fourth to Carlos Beltran and a solo drive in the eighth by Jose Valentin.
--SS David Eckstein had three hits for the fourth time this season. He was 15-for-35 (.429) on the homestand.
--With 1B Albert Pujols resting, 3B Scott Rolen batted third for the first time since April 19, 2003.
--The Cardinals have failed to homer in four straight games, their longest drought of the season.
--Since 2003, the Cardinals have won 17 of their last 22 games against the Mets.
--1B Scott Spiezio is batting .313 (15-for-48) in his 14 starts.
--C Gary Bennett, who has been handling RHP Jason Marquis lately in addition to RHP Jeff Suppan, caught for the second time in three days as .170-hitting Yadier Molina rested. But La Russa said, "I have no problem with 'Yadi' catching."