So Taguchi singled, tripled and drove in one. The rest of the team managed only five hits in total, so the offensive highlights were rare.
One year ago today
On August 8, 2005, Mark Grudzielanek drove in a career-high five runs while Abraham Nunez and So Taguchi provided a pair of run-scoring hits as the Cards defeated the Brewers, 8-4. Randy Flores earned the win, as he teamed with Julian Tavarez and Al Reyes for three scoreless innings of relief. The Cardinals improved to a season-best 30 games over .500 with the win, 20 games better than the current club.
Jason Marquis (12-9, 5.68) vs. Eric Milton (7-7, 5.20).
Eckstein, Belliard, Pujols, Rolen, Spiezio (LF), Encarnacion, Taguchi (CF), Molina and Marquis.
Out: Jim Edmonds, Chris Duncan and Aaron Miles.
In: David Eckstein, So Taguchi and Scott Spiezio.
On to the game…
Cards first – A shot
Pujols walked with two out, but Rolen flied out to Griffey in deep center.
Reds first – On the board
Ryan Freel singled leading off. Scott Hatteberg's 1000th career hit followed. Freel took third as Griffey grounded into a 4-6-3. A broken bat singled by Edwin Encarnacion scored the run. To end the inning, Rolen made a nice running catch down the third base line, made with his back to the plate. Reds 1-0.
Cards second – Starting over
Encarnacion took a walk. Molina doubled into the right field corner. Encarnacion was waved in. The two-hop relay from Rich Aurilia was at the plate in time, but the catcher David Ross was charged with an error. Encarnacion slid in as Ross reached back for the ball. Molina alertly took third, but was stranded. Tie 1-1.
Reds second – Quickly back in front
Aurilia put a ball into the second deck. In the process, Marquis increased his league-leading home run allowed count to 26. Ross then doubled, bringing Duncan the chawless out for a chat. On a Royce Clayton line drive, Ross was too far off second and was easily doubled up. Reds 2-1.
Cards third – Groundhog day
Pujols took his second consecutive walk. Rolen again flied out the track to end the inning, this time to right field.
Reds third – Drip, drip, drip
Freel led off with a high chopper to short that Eckstein bobbled. It was scored a single. Griffey singled and Encarnacion advanced the runner to third with two out. Adam Dunn's single to right was good for the RBI. Aurilia's single on a 3-1 count scored another, as So's throw home was feeble. Another Chawless Chat ensued. Ross walked to load the bases, which caused La Russa to pull him from the game in favor of Jorge Sosa. He fanned Clayton to minimize the damage. Reds 4-1.
Cards fourth – Triple wasted
Spiezio's attempt at a nice bunt single toward third just went foul. With two out, Taguchi tripled into the right field corner as the ball hit the base of the wall and shot away from Freel. Sosa was allowed to bat and didn't convert.
Reds fourth – Out of trouble
Milton singled leading off. Another 4-6-3 took care of that.
Cards fifth – Highlight (F)reel play
Eckstein and Belliard singled leading off. Freel saved at least one run, probably two, with a diving backhanded catch of Pujols' liner on the warning track in right center. It was as good as some of Jim Edmonds' best grabs. Spiezio singled one home to left, but that was all the Cards could muster. Reds 4-2..
Reds fifth – Promise snuffed
Griffey singled off Belliard's glove at second. Edwin Encarnacion singled, too. Griffey took third on a pop fly out. Sosa made a nice move to nail Encarnacion between first and second for the second out and a popup was collected on the next pitch.
Cards sixth – Around the corner
The 7-8-9 men went down 1-2-3.
Reds sixth – KKK
Sosa impressively fanned the side.
Cards seventh – Cloudy Weathers
1-2-3 went 1-2-3 against David Weathers.
Reds seventh – Tyler torched
Freel doubled into the left field corner off Tyler Johnson. Belliard didn't handle Hatteberg's soft grounder, putting runners on the corners with no out for Griffey. Looper is warming up quickly. Pujols got the lead runner, Freel, in a rundown between third and home as both runners moved up. Edwin Encarnacion was walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. The strategy backfired in one pitch as Dunn drove in two runs on a ball into the right field corner. Exit Johnson, enter Looper. He allowed an Aurilia sac fly to plate another. Reds 7-2.
Cards eighth – Scotty Hustle
Bill Bray pitched. Rolen led off with a single and moved up on an out. He alertly scored on a two-out infield single by So Taguchi. But, that was all. Reds 7-3.
Reds eighth – Roof caves in
Clayton singled leading off against Looper. He left the game with an apparent back injury after two more pitches. Josh Hancock was next on the mound. Molina tossed Freel's bunt attempt over Pujols' head. It was a sacrifice, an error and another run scored. Two more in scoring position with still none out. Hatteberg singled home yet another. Griffey walked to load the bases. Exit Hancock, enter Wainwright. A sacrifice brought in run #10. Reds 10-3.
Cards ninth – Closer closes
Closer Eddie Guardado was given some work, and he made it quick.
Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Wed., Aug. 9 @ Reds: Chris Carpenter (10-6, 3.06) vs. Aaron Harang (12-7, 3.53) 6:10 p.m. FSNM
Thu., Aug. 10 @ Reds: Anthony Reyes (3-5, 4.63) vs. Bronson Arroyo (9-7, 3.47) 11:35 a.m. FSNM/ESPN
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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