MLB Insiders - Cards over Tigers 7-2

The Cardinals, forced to use rookie right-hander Anthony Reyes as their first-game starter in the World Series because it took them seven games to win the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets, now have their three best pitchers lined up after a 7-2 win over Detroit on Saturday night in Game 1 of the Series.

"I hope the next three pitch as good as the first one," said manager Tony La Russa after Reyes had spun eight brilliant innings. "We make no secret of it. If we were going to win a game in New York, it would have been nice to win (Game 6) so that it would set up better. This was asking a lot."

But, even if right-hander Jeff Weaver loses Game 2, the Cardinals will have their top pitchers, right-handers Chris Carpenter and Jeff Suppan, ready for Games 3 and 4 in St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Cardinals hadn't gotten much out of the No. 2 spot in the batting order in the postseason, but DH Chris Duncan doubled with two out in the third to knock in a run, giving the Cardinals the lead. With a base open, Detroit manager Jim Leyland chose to pitch to Albert Pujols, and Pujols cracked a two-run homer off losing pitcher Justin Verlander.

Third baseman Scott Rolen ended a nothing-for-15 World Series skid that he had to endure in the 2004 Series by hitting a second-inning homer and sixth-inning double.

Center fielder Jim Edmonds, who had only a bunt single in that Series, had two singles Saturday.

But Reyes, working for only the second time in nearly three weeks, was the story. He retired 17 hitters from the first into the seventh, belying the fact he was 5-8 in the regular season and that he lasted only four innings in an NLCS start last week.

In that game, Reyes threw 86 pitches in four innings. He got through eight innings with 90 pitches Saturday night.

REPLAY: The Cardinals, who were only 9-for-52 with men in scoring position in the National League Championship Series, were 3 for their first 4 Saturday night in pounding out a 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series.

The win was the first World Series win for the Cardinals in 19 years and manager Tony La Russa's first in 17 years, since he was with Oakland.

"I hadn't thought about it," said La Russa, unconvincingly.


--1B Albert Pujols knocked in two runs with a third-inning homer. That doubled his RBI total for the NLCS and was one shy of his total for the Division Series.

--The Cardinals made it to 91 wins with their eighth postseason victory this year. It was the first time in four games they had beaten the Tigers in Detroit this season.

--RHP Anthony Reyes tied his career high of eight innings. Reyes went eight innings at Chicago against the White Sox on June 22 of this year but lost that game even though he allowed just one hit, a home run by DH Jim Thome.

--The 17 straight hitters Reyes retired from the first into the seventh represented the longest such streak since Cincinnati's Jose Rijo retired 20 hitters in a row against Oakland and manager Tony La Russa in Game 4 of the 1990 Series.

--OF So Taguchi made his first postseason start and went 1-for-4 after going 4-for-4, including two home runs, as a reserve player in the postseason.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Consecutive batters retired at one point by RHP Anthony Reyes in Game 1 of the World Series.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know if I can top this." -- RHP Anthony Reyes after his impressive victory in Game 1.

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