In a nice bit of synergy, Jim Edmonds, Chris Duncan and Scott Spiezio each had two RBI. Edmonds had three hits and Spiezio also walked. But, Duncan was the star, with a pair of solo home runs, his ninth and tenth of the season in just 137 at-bats.
One year ago today
On August 10, 2005, the Cards blanked the Milwaukee Brewers by a 3-0 score. Jeff Suppan tossed seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, for his 11th win. So Taguchi plated the eventual winning run on a suicide squeeze. David Eckstein drove in a pair of insurance runs with an eighth-inning single.
The otherwise good ESPN play-by-play man Gary Thorne was on the call Thursday. Unfortunately, he chooses to butcher the last name of the Cardinals right fielder. In this series, the problem is twice as bad, since the Reds' third baseman has the same surname.
Anthony Reyes (3-5, 4.63) vs. Bronson Arroyo (9-7, 3.47).
Eckstein, Duncan (LF), Pujols, Edmonds, Spiezio (3B), Taguchi (RF), Miles, Bennett and Reyes.
Out: Yadier Molina, Ron Belliard, Juan Encarnacion and Scott Rolen.
In: Gary Bennett, Aaron Miles, So Taguchi and Scott Spiezio.
The entire bench from Wednesday is starting on Thursday, as the new bench consists of four Wednesday starters.
On to the game…
Cards first – Lead taken with help
Eckstein led off with a single. Pujols lined out to second, but Phillips' throw hit Eckstein in the back. The error allowed Eckstein to take second. Edmonds shot a 3-2 pitch into left center for an RBI single. Spiezio walked, but Taguchi fanned swinging. Cards 1-0.
Reds first – Great start
Reyes collected two strikeouts, including Griffey to end the 1-2-3 inning.
Cards second – Leadoff double wasted
Miles slammed a double off the left field wall to start the inning. After Bennett struck out, Reyes singled to center to put runners on the corners. Eckstein and Duncan fanned, too, but Arroyo has already thrown 49 pitches.
Reds second – Two HBP and no hits
Edwin Encarnacion was hit in the back with a pitch leading off. Dunn struck out. Phillips was also struck on the hands with an up-and-in pitch. Ross whiffed. #8 hitter Juan Castro walked to load the bases and put a second runner into scoring position! Arroyo drove a ball to the track in right for the third out.
Cards third – Another Edmonds homer
With one out, Jim Edmonds put an Arroyo offering into the first row of seats in right. Cards 2-0.
Reds third – No-hitter lost
Scott Hatteberg singled with one out.
Cards fourth – Another leadoff double wasted
Again, Miles found himself at second base again. And again, Bennett fanned. So did Reyes. Eckstein hit a comebacker to end it.
Reds fourth – Another So defensive miscue
Dunn led off with a single. David Ross was hit in the back with one down. That is three HBP on the day for Reyes. The great defensive player Taguchi caught a fly ball for the second out, but he thought it was the third out. As So put his head down and started to trot in, Dunn easily took third. Arroyo flied out to center to help cover to stupid mistake.
Cards fifth – Duncan and Spiezio deep
Chris Duncan put a ball up into the right field seats. Pujols hit a deep single to left center. He fell down with a big turn past first, but the relay got away from Phillips. Edmonds fanned. Spiezio slammed a long home run deep into the bullpen in right. It was his third long ball of the series for the hot-hitting reserve. Arroyo tied Jason Marquis for the most home runs allowed in the National League with 26. Cards 5-0.
Reds fifth – More trouble
Pitching with the big lead, Reyes walked Freel leading off. La Russa and Barry Weinberg both came out to the mound for an undisclosed reason as the bullpen began to stir. Griffey grounded into a nice 3-6-3 to end the inning.
Cards sixth – Reyes out of the game
Bennett fanned for the third time and Marquis pinch hit for the apparently gimpy Reyes.
Reds sixth –KKK for WW
Adam Wainwright came into the contest. Edwin Encarnacion singled leading off as Edmonds made a diving attempt to catch it. Duncan was perfectly positioned behind Edmonds to hold the runner to first. The dangerous Dunn struck out as did the next two hitters.
Cards seventh – Nice glove
Juan Castro made a great play deep to his left at short and his throw just beat Pujols to the bag. Edmonds singled to right for his third hit of the night. But, that was it.
Reds seventh – Shutout lost
Wainwright stayed on. Javier Valentin hit for Arroyo and hit he did, with a home run to center. Hatteberg and Griffey consecutive singles put runners at the corners. Duncan the homerless came out as Randy Flores warmed up. Adam got Encarnacion to ground out to Eckstein unassisted. Cards 5-1.
Cards eighth – No help for So
Taguchi reached on an infield single against Todd Coffey, but he didn't move up. Pinch-hitter Juan Encarnacion struck out swinging for the third out.
Reds eighth – The return of Brad
Randy Flores lasted almost no time, as Dunn shot a line drive off the top of the wall in right. The ball bounced back into the field of play, though it appeared to hit the yellow line. Reds manager Jerry Narron argued to no avail. Brad Thompson took over. He induced a 5-4-3 off the bat of Phillips. Miles made a nice, quick turn. A two-out walk kept the pressure on until Castro was deposed for the third out.
Cards ninth – Duncan again
Rheal Cormier pitched. Duncan the magnificent homered into the left center field bullpen. Cards 6-1.
Reds ninth – Brad finishes
Thompson finished off the Reds just one harmless single by Hatteberg.
Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Fri., Aug. 11 at Pirates: Jeff Suppan (9-6, 4.85) vs. Zach Duke (7-10, 5.35) 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Sat., Aug. 12 at Pirates: Jeff Weaver (2-2, 6.93) vs. Ian Snell (9-8, 4.78) 6:05 p.m. WB11
Sun., Aug. 13 at Pirates: Jason Marquis (12-10, 5.82) vs. Paul Maholm (4-10, 4.81) 12:35 p.m. WB11
Mon., Aug. 14: Open date
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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