Game Observations– Wed. 6/21 – White Sox 13-5

The St. Louis Cardinals were embarrassed by the Chicago White Sox for the second consecutive game in their interleague series at U.S. Cellular Field, losing by a 13-5 mark Wednesday night. The Cardinals' record is now 42-28 as their NL Central lead dropped to four games over Cincinnati.

On Wednesday night, it was Jason Marquis' turn to stink up Chicago's park and that he did. On a night after the bullpen had to go over six innings, Marquis was left in to take one for the team. He allowed 14 hits and 13 runs over five innings, including four home runs.

Hector Luna had three singles, a run scored and an RBI. Timo Perez, who entered the game when Jim Edmonds was injured, had two hits, a run and an RBI. Juan Encarnacion kept up his hot hitting with a single, double and run scored.

One year ago today
On June 21, 2005, it was another bad day for double-digit run-allowing performances as the Cardinals absorbed an 11-4 loss to the Reds. Jason Marquis had his shortest outing (2-1/3 innings) as a Cardinal and fell to 8-5. So Taguchi paced the offense with three hits and Yadier Molina was 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly.

How bad was it?
On Tuesday night, the Cardinals allowed the most runs in a game since July 9, 1988 (21 runs at San Francisco). Their team ERA jumped from 3.99 to 4.23, the highest it has been since April 10 (4.35). The 24 hits allowed were the most by a Cardinals club since August 3, 1961, when they also allowed 24 hits by the Pirates.

The match-up
Jason Marquis vs. Mark Buehrle.

The line-up
Eckstein, Taguchi (LF), Rolen, Edmonds, Encarnacion, Luna (DH), Molina, Duncan (1B) and Miles.
Back in: Hector Luna, Yadier Molina and Chris Duncan.
Out: Scott Spiezio, John Rodriguez and Gary Bennett.

On to the game…

Cards first – Lead taken
So Taguchi homered to left with one out. Seems like the 1-0 lead is a repeat from the previous night. Cards 1-0.

Sox first – Lead gone in an instant
Scott Podsednik shot a double past Edmonds in center leading off. Tadahito Iguchi singled to right to collect the RBI. Jim Thome hit a ball toward the track in right. Encarnacion had time to get back, but got all tangled up and the ball went over his head for a double. Paul Konerko homered to left. No doubt about it. Dave Duncan came out to impart some wisdom. Or not. But, from there on, three outs ensued. Sox 4-1.

Cards second – Coming back
Edmonds homered to right leading off. Luna singled to left. He moved up to second and came home on a two-out single down the right field line my Miles. Sox 4-3.

Sox second – Tanked again
The first hitter, former Pirate Rob Mackowiak, singled to right. Encarnacion played the ball well, as it could have been a double. Juan Uribe singled to put runners on the corners. Podsednik singled just over a leaping Miles to collect the RBI. Iguchi doubled past first and as Encarnacion bobbled the ball, two scored and the hitter ended on third. Double and an error. Thome put the next pitch into the left field seats for two more. Then, three outs. Sox 9-3.

Cards third – Runner, but no runs
Encarnacion singled with two out. That was it.

Sox third – Edmonds injured
Edmonds made a great, leaping attempt to catch Joe Crede's shot to left center, but hit his head on the ground as he fell. No one knew whether the ball was caught or not. It was not. Edmonds left the field under his own power. Timo Perez came in to play left as So slid over to center. Sox 10-3.

Cards fourth – Doubled up
Luna singled into right center to start the inning. A 3-6-1 double play ended that.

Sox fourth – Continuing the pain
Iguchi walked leading off and took second on a Thome single. Konerko brought one home and A.J. Pierzynski shot a ground rule double for another. That's 13 hits and 12 runs so far. Duncan missed fielding the potential third out, but Miles and Marquis teamed up to cover him. Sox 12-3.

Cards fifth – Trading places
Eckstein singled with one out, but two force plays at second ended the frame.

Sox fifth – Missed the extra point
Leading off, Uribe hit another Marquis batting practice pitch out to left. Sox 13-3.

Cards sixth – Better than nothing
Encarnacion doubled into the left field corner to start the inning as Braden Looper warmed up in the pen. A Timo Perez bloop single to left put runners on the corners. Luna dropped another dying quail to short center to collect the RBI. Duncan fanned on a low, outside breaking ball. Go figure. Miles also took a curve looking to end this chance. Sox 13-4.

Sox sixth – Konerko exhausted?
Looper walked Konerko leading off. Konerko was relieved by a pinch-runner, likely winded by all the baserunning the last two nights. A double play ended the inning. Hooray! They didn't score. They only had three batters. Three more innings of pain.

Cards seventh – 1-2-3
Down in order.

Sox seventh – Wainwright on the job
Adam Wainwright was given the call. Since he was the last reliever other than Izzy to work the last two nights, it makes sense. After one K, Mackowiak reached on a strike three passed ball. Ugh! Another double play ended it.

Cards eighth – Timo, not Tino
Timo Perez homered with one out off reliever Matt Thornton. Sox 13-5.

Sox eighth – Thompson's turn
Brad Thompson was given a chance to redeem himself after Tuesday's debacle. Jim Thome and Ross Gload each singled with two out, but neither scored.

Cards ninth – It's over (until tomorrow)
Closer Bobby Jenks fanned the first two before pinch-hitter John Rodriguez made the 27th Cardinals out. I am going to take Thursday's game off. See you Friday against Detroit.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Thursday @ White Sox: Anthony Reyes vs. Freddy Garcia 7:05 p.m. FSNM
Friday @ Tigers: Chris Carpenter vs. Justin Verlander 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Saturday @ Tigers: Jeff Suppan vs. Kenny Rogers 6:05 p.m. WB11
Sunday @ Tigers: Mark Mulder vs. Jeremy Bonderman 12:05 p.m. WB11

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

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