The Redbird Report - Cards Win Cubs Series

Perhaps the Cardinals should play all of their games on Sunday afternoon. After beating the Chicago Cubs 12-9 in 10 innings, the Cardinals have scored 32 runs in their three Sunday afternoon games, winning all of them, and have scored just 30 runs otherwise, including one in a Sunday night game.

"We've got to figure a way to convince our guys that Tuesday (when the Cardinals play next) is Sunday," manager Tony La Russa said. A team that had hit only 10 homers and batted .227 before Sunday, scoring three or fewer runs in 13 of 17 games, exploded for four homers and 17 hits.

The Cardinals' team average rose to .238, and Scott Rolen shot from .200 to .268 on the strength of the first five-hit day of his career.

Before Sunday, Rolen had only 14 total bases for the season. He had 10 Sunday.

"What kind of year was I having? Not so good," Rolen said. "I had room for improvement."

CARDINALS 12, CUBS 9 (10 innings): Albert Pujols clouted his fifth homer, a three-run drive off Chicago Ryan Dempster in the 10th inning. Scott Rolen's two-run triple, his fifth hit of the day, had given the Cardinals a 9-7 lead in the ninth, but the Cubs tied the score on a bloop single off Jason Isringhausen, who blew his first save in five opportunities. Besides Rolen and Pujols, Chris Duncan and Jim Edmonds (hitting his first) also homered.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--SS David Eckstein sat out for the first time Sunday as Aaron Miles replaced him. Eckstein, who normally has to be all but hogtied to miss a game, agreed with manager Tony La Russa's decision after Eckstein had slipped to .227.

--CF Jim Edmonds started for a third straight day Sunday for the first time in the regular season. The club had been careful with Edmonds after he had shoulder and toe surgeries after last season.

--LHPs Randy Flores and Tyler Johnson continued to be spotless. Flores hasn't allowed a run in 6 2/3 innings, and Johnson hasn't yielded a run in seven innings.

--RHP Russ Springer got the final two outs Sunday, but he didn't receive credit for a save. His last save was nearly six years ago, April 24, 2001.

--Cardinals pitchers have allowed 15 first-inning runs, seven by RHP Anthony Reyes, which represent the most they've allowed in any inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of Cardinals homers not hit by LF Chris Duncan or 1B Albert Pujols before the team banged four on Sunday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We deserve more than we're getting, but that's just the rut you get into sometimes." -- Manager Tony La Russa on his team's slumping offense prior to Sunday's explosion.


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