Game Observations – Sun. 6/18 – Cards 4-1

The St. Louis Cardinals swept the Colorado Rockies in their weekend series at Busch, winning game three by a 4-1 mark Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals' record is now 42-26 and their NL Central lead grew to 5.5 games over Cincinnati. 16 games over .500 is a new high water mark this season.

The St. Louis Cardinals swept the Colorado Rockies in their weekend series at Busch, winning game three by a 4-1 mark Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals' record is now 42-26 and their NL Central lead grew to 5.5 games over Cincinnati. 16 games over .500 is a new high water mark this season.

Chris Carpenter outlasted a 40 minute rain delay, going seven strong innings. He allowed seven singles and just one walk and the one run. Jason Isringhausen collected his league-leading 24th save.

Scott Rolen's two-run home run was all Carpenter needed. So Taguchi had two hits and scored twice. Aaron Miles tripled and collected an RBI.

One year ago today
On June 18, 2005, Matt Morris improved to 8-0 with a 5-2 win at Tampa Bay. Albert Pujols belted his 17th home run, a two-run shot for his 12th game winning RBI of the season. Morris became the Cards' first starter since Garrett Stephenson (2000) to start 8-0. Scott Seabol and So Taguchi both had their second straight multi-hit games of the series. Jason Isringhausen earned his 20th save.

The match-up
Chris Carpenter vs. former Pirate Josh Fogg.

The line-up
Miles, Taguchi (LF), Rolen, Edmonds, Encarnacion, Duncan (1B), Molina, Luna (SS) and Carpenter.
Back in: Jim Edmonds and Chris Duncan.
Out: John Rodriguez and Scott Spiezio.
Aaron Miles and Hector Luna swapped spots in the order with the righthander Fogg on the mound.

On to the game…

Rockies first – Big jam
Cory Sullivan singled to right with one down. Helton blooped a single in between deep short and short left. Matt Holliday walked to load the bases as Carp stayed down and away. Garrett Atkins hit a short fly to center for the second out before Carpenter fanned Brad Hawpe swinging on a high fastball.

Cards first – Rolen again
Taguchi singled to left with one down. As it began to rain, Scott Rolen hit a home run over the left field bullpen. Edmonds took a walk. Encarnacion grounded into a broken bat 5-4-3 to end it. Cards 2-0.

Rockies second – Go away
With one out, a 40-minute rain delay began. It didn't immediately affect Carpenter, who retired them in order.

Cards second – On the corners
Chris Duncan singled with one out as he took an outside pitch to short center. Luna grounded into a force out of Duncan at second. Carpenter shot a first-pitch single to left, putting runners at the corners. Unfortunately, Miles grounded out.

Rockies third – Rocks on board
With one out, Sullivan again singled to right. Helton hit a ball that came up on Duncan. The double play was out of the question, but Duncan did beat Helton to the bag. Holliday collected the RBI on a single to right. Rolen made a tremendous play from foul territory, throwing out Atkins on a one-bouncer to Duncan. Replays seemed to show Atkins was safe, but no one argued. Cards 2-1.

Cards third – Another run
Taguchi singled leading off. He stole second and when the throw went into center, he easily took third. After Rolen popped up, Edmonds was intentionally walked. Encarnacion's slow dribbler to third scored the run as Edmonds took second. Duncan fanned swinging. Cards 3-1.

Rockies fourth – Leadoff single no harm
Hawpe singled to right leading off. J.D. Closser hit a ball off Carpenter, but he wasn't hurt and made the throw to first in time. No other action.

Cards fourth – Drip, drip
Molina singled past third base for a leadoff single. Aaron Miles shot a one-hopper off the wall in right center. Molina chugged home just ahead of the relay home. Miles motored into third with a triple. It was a huge break whenthat ball stayed in play instead of bounding into the seats. Cards 4-1.

Rockies fifth – Look out!
With two out, Helton reached on a ball to deep second base as Carp and Helton almost collided at first. That was it, though.

Cards fifth – Doubled up
Edmonds reached for the third time, this one on a sharply-hit single to right with one out. Encarnacion lined into a double play at second as Edmonds was breaking from first.

Rockies sixth – Carp strong
Down in order.

Cards sixth – In order
Lefty Tom Martin pitched. Duncan fanned on another low and away offering. Two more outs followed, including Luna striking out to end it.

Rockies seventh – Harmless runner
Jamey Carroll reached on an infield single to Rolen with two out. Scott made a nice bare-handed throw, but the ball was hit too slowly to retire him. Pinch-hitter Jorge Piedra fanned swinging.

Cards seventh – Nada
Timo Perez pinch-hit for Carpenter and flied out to right. Two more outs followed.

Rockies eighth – Pen work
Randy Flores retired Helton and yielded to Adam Wainwright, who also got his two men.

Cards eighth – Last hit
Scott Dohmann was the new hurler. Encarnacion singled with two out. That was it.

Rockies ninth – Izzy time
Closer Jason Isringhausen looked dominating and fanned Clint Barmes swinging to end the game.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Monday: Off day
Tuesday @ White Sox: Mark Mulder vs. Javier Vazquez 7:05 p.m. FSNM
Wednesday @ White Sox: Jason Marquis vs. Mark Buehrle 7:05 p.m. FSNM
Thursday @ White Sox: TBD vs. Freddy Garcia 7:05 p.m. FSNM

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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