After a scoreless first inning, the Cardinals got on top of the Colorado Rockies in the second with three consecutives hits, to include a two-out single by starting pitcher Adam Wainwright to move SS Aaron Miles to third, followed by an RBI base hit by second baseman and leadoff man 2B Adam Kennedy to give the Cardinals an early rare 1-0 lead.
Still in the second, LF Chris Duncan batting back in the two hole in front of 1B Albert Pujols, walked to load the bases giving the Cardinals an opportunity to have a rare big inning in this homestand with Albert Pujols coming to plate. Pujols worked the count to 3-2, before he drew a walked to pick up an RBI and the Cardinals went ahead 2-0.
CF Jim Edmonds the eighth batter to come the plate in the second inning, was up with the bases still loaded after Pujols' walk. Edmonds who had lined out in the first, worked the count to a 3-2 before he stranded the bases loaded as he went down swinging on a changeup to end the inning.
Colorado came back in the second scoring a run on back to back base hits by SS Troy Tulowitski and an RBI double by 1B Todd Helton to pull within one. Wainwright retired the next two batters as the Rockies left the tying run on second.
The Cardinals had a chance to bust the game wide open again in the third inning as they loaded the bases for the second time. With two outs Adam Kennedy flied out to left for the final out. Through the first three innings the Cardinals stranded eight runners on base and it looked to be another long day at the ballpark.
On the first play in the top of the fifth, a two-base throwing error by third baseman Scott Spiezio on a routine play, allowed a runner to move into scoring position. Brad Hawpe up next, drove the runner in with an RBI double to right field to tie the game at two. A wild pitch to the next batter Todd Helton, allowed Hawpe to move to third and on a ball hit back to first Hawpe is thrown out at the plate by Albert to preserve the tie.
Still in the fifth inning the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs, after Garrett Atkins singled and Chris Lannetta was hit by a pitch. Omar Quintannilla lined out to second to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Ryan Ludwick's RBI double in the bottom of the fifth drove in Scott Spiezio to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. The RBI was Ludwick's third RBI in his first four games with the club.
The Cardinals scored another four runs in the sixth inning with an RBI base hit by Jim Edmonds and a RBI double by Scott Spiezio and an error on a ball hit by Ryan Ludwick led to the third run being scored and Spiezio moved to third on the play and later scored on a ground out double-play. Ludwick didn't get credit for an RBI, but he put the ball in play and as far as I'm concern that's four RBI in four games.
The Cardinals weren't done, adding another run in the seventh inning as Scott Spiezio drove in his second run on the day to give the Cardinals a 9-2 lead that would stand up till the end of the game.
What offensive slump? The Cardinals scored nine runs on 13 hits Wednesday, but if you always see the glass as half empty, the Redbirds did leave 12 runners on base.
The Cardinals bullpen; Randy Flores, Russ Springer and Brian Falkenborg combined for three scoreless innings of relief, as the bullpen continues to shine in the Cardinals early season struggles.
The St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up their six game homestand of three vs. Houston (2-1) and three vs. Colorado (2-1), taking both series. A good sign for a team that is still not playing their best baseball to date.
The Cardinals hit the road on their off day Thursday for one of their longest trips of the year in a three-city, nine game swing to San Diego, Los Angeles and Detroit.
The Cardinals begin Friday playing a stretch of games in which they are on the road for 16 of 22 of them.
DAY OFF: Third baseman Scott Rolen who had only one hit in his last 35 at-bats had the day off, along with SS David Eckstein and C Yadier Molina, with Scott Spiezio, Aaron Miles and Gary Bennett starting in their places respectively.
ENCARNACION WATCH: Outfielder Juan Encarnacion is down to his final three days on his rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield. He continues to struggle at the plate, hitting only .167, but will likely bump somebody off the roster this weekend.
MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Chris Carpenter (right elbow inflammation) went on the disabled list retroactive to April 2. He threw a simulated game May 1, but the elbow continued to experience swelling. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs on May 8, a procedure that will keep him out until August.
RF Juan Encarnacion (left wrist surgery) opened the season on the disabled list. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on April 23. He's expected to return at the end of this week.
LHP Mark Mulder (rotator cuff surgery in September 2006) is on the 15-day disabled list. He won't pitch in the majors until July. RHP Josh Kinney (Tommy John elbow surgery in March 2007) is out for the season. He is on the 15-day disabled list.
UPCOMING GAMES AND MATCHUPS
Thur., May 10: OPEN DATE - DAY OFF
Fri., May 11 vs. PADRES: Kip Wells (1-6, 6.59) vs. Jake Peavy (4-1, 1.75) 9:05 p.m.
Sat., May 12 vs. PADRES: Braden Looper (4-2, 2.66) vs. Chris Young (4-2, 3.29) 9:05 p.m.
Sun., May 13 vs. PADRES: Anthony Reyes (0-5, 5.03) vs. Justin Germano (0-0, 1.50 ERA) 3:05 p.m.