The Redbird Report 05/09

RHP Kelvin Jimenez, who worked 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief Tuesday, gained credit for his first big-league win.

The Cardinals aren't leaving themselves much margin for error these days. They have scored in only four of their last 57 innings, but three of those innings have been big enough to net victories, including a four-run seventh inning Tuesday night in a 4-1 win over Colorado.

Scott Spiezio, whose hitting has suffered this season because he has battled various ailments and a strange defensive position in right field, stroked only his second pinch hit in seven at-bats. His bases-loaded double put the Cardinals ahead, and Adam Kennedy singled home two more through a drawn-in infield.

Brad Thompson, taking the start the Cardinals were hoping Chris Carpenter would make, worked a career-high five innings, giving up just one run on Matt Holliday's third-inning homer. He got no decision because he trailed when he came out, but manager Tony La Russa considered it a win for Thompson.

"What a lift he gave us," said La Russa, who added that Thompson would get another start next week in Los Angeles. "I don't know how you can not give him the ball."

La Russa, striving to end a streak of nine games in which the Cardinals had scored three runs or fewer, batted Chris Duncan fourth for the first time. Duncan didn't get a hit in three at-bats, but he contributed on his weaker side, his defense.

From left field, Duncan threw out Brad Hawpe at home in the second inning and made a spectacular diving catch near the line to rob Todd Helton of a double in the sixth.

CARDINALS 4, ROCKIES 1: The Cardinals, hitting .237 at game time, had a rare four-hit inning in the seventh Tuesday. It added up to four runs, and the Cardinals won for only the third time in their last 10 games. Jim Edmonds ended an 0-for-20 slide, and his third hit of the game, a one-out single in the seventh, started the four-run rally.


--LF Chris Duncan, who had been the Cardinals' best hitter at .320 with five home runs while batting second, was moved into the cleanup spot Tuesday. He went hitless but made two great defensive plays.

"It's not (a move) I want to do, but you play for a month and there aren't runs on the board. ... you've got to do something," manager Tony La Russa said.

--2B Adam Kennedy had a two-run single in the seventh inning Tuesday. Kennedy has had four hits in two games as the leadoff hitter this week.

--RHP Chris Carpenter had bone spurs removed from his right elbow Tuesday. He will begin therapy next week and is expected to be out three months.

--The Cardinals haven't scored in more than one inning since May 1 at Milwaukee.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- The number of games in the first 29 in which the Cardinals scored in the first inning.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a tough game, and it will try to bury you." -- 2B Aaron Miles on the slumping Cardinals.

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