MLB InsidersThe Cardinals, after falling behind 6-0 in the second inning to Milwaukee Brewers Friday night, were headed for their second losing streak of four games this year. That total would have represented two more than the number of such losing streaks in last year's 100-win, first-place season.
But the Cardinals' offense -- and too many walks by Milwaukee pitching -- took Mark Mulder off the hook. Mulder allowed all six Milwaukee runs in the first two innings.
The Cardinals rallied for 10 runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings and five relievers gave up just two hits and no runs in the last six innings as the Cardinals scored a rather improbable 10-6 win.
After a day spent in second place for the first time since May 11, the Cardinals reclaimed the top spot in the National League Central Division by a half-game over Cincinnati.
The comeback to win was their biggest of the season, one run better than the 5-0 deficit they erased against Kansas City on May 19 in a 9-6 win.
Two Milwaukee pitchers, Jorge De La Rosa and Joe Winkelsas walked a total of six hitters in the third and fourth innings. All six scored.
REPLAY: Scott Spiezio, starting at first base even though he hasn't recovered completely from his viral infection, wrapped up a six-run fourth with a bases-loaded double against Joe Winkelsas. Spiezio had been 0-for-11 until the hit.
Jason Isringhausen, after three days off to refuel, gained his league-leading 19th save by getting the last four outs. Josh Hancock was in the right place at the right time, more or less, gaining the win with perfect relief in the fourth and fifth.
The Cardinals won 10-6 Friday.
--LHP Mark Mulder now has allowed 27 hits and 21 runs (18 earned) in his last 14 innings over three games. "He's still got me baffled a little," said pitching coach Dave Duncan. "I was excited about this game, because the work he's done in the bullpen has been so good. I expected him to pitch well tonight, but he just wasn't executing."
--3B Scott Rolen had a first-inning single, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, one shy of his career high.
--The much more patient Cardinals drew eight walks for the game, seven more than the total they had collected in the previous two games, both losses.
"A walk is like a hit," said hitting coach Hal McRae. "You always score more runs when you walk."
--The Cardinals have given up 42 runs in their last six games, all but two innings of which have been played without 1B Albert Pujols, who will be out a month with a strained oblique muscle. They have allowed six or more runs in all six games.
"The only way we -- or anybody -- survives this thing is pitching," said manager Tony La Russa.
--The procedure to take care OF Larry Bigbie's umbilical hernia went well, trainer Barry Weinberg said. Bigbie likely will be out the rest of the month.