The Redbird Report - The Sky is Falling?

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Gary Bennett, left, tags out Colorado Rockies' Brad Hawpe at home during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2007 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Just when you think the sky is falling on the last-place Cardinals, they rebound to win two series. After taking two of three from Houston last weekend, they completed a series victory over Colorado on Wednesday by taking the final game of a three-game set to move from last to fourth place in the NL Central Division standings.

While the Cardinals banged out 13 hits, the key to the game well could have been an unusual play by Gold Glove first baseman Albert Pujols in the fifth inning. With the score tied at 2-2, nobody out and Colorado's Brad Hawpe at third base, Pujols ranged to his right to backhand a smash by Todd Helton, and instead of taking the out at first, he fired home to catcher Gary Bennett, who tagged out the sliding Hawpe.

The Rockies did not score again in the inning, and the Cardinals subsequently got two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.

"Gold Glove-caliber play," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Pujols' exploits.

After scoring in only four of their previous 57 innings, the Cardinals scored in four of eight innings in which they batted Wednesday. They had not scored in more than one inning in a game since May 1.

CARDINALS 9, ROCKIES 2: Right-hander Adam Wainwright posted his second consecutive victory despite allowing nine hits over six innings. The Cardinals hadn't scored as many as nine runs in a game since April 22 in Chicago, when they won 12-9 in 10 innings. And, after scoring three runs or fewer in 23 of their first 30 games, they have scored more than three in each of the last two.


--3B Scott Rolen, who is 1 for his last 34, got a day off Wednesday ahead of a scheduled day off for the club Thursday. Rolen was replaced by Scott Spiezio, who had two hits and drove in two runs.

"Scott Spiezio is a unique player," manager Tony La Russa said. "He plays well when he starts, and he stays ready on the bench. I like it when I play Scott because I know he's always going to do something."

--The experiment of hitting LF Chris Duncan fourth is over, at least for the moment. Duncan, who went 0-for-3 as the cleanup man Tuesday, was back in his No. 2 spot Wednesday, and CF Jim Edmonds hit fourth behind 1B Albert Pujols. Both Duncan and Edmonds had one hit Wednesday. Pujols went 2-for-4.

--SS David Eckstein, who was plunked in the left shoulder by a pitch on Tuesday, sat out Wednesday. Eckstein, hitting .221, was replaced by Aaron Miles, who had three hits.

"That's his role," an appreciative Tony La Russa said of Miles. "Get three hits the day you play and come out Friday and get your heart broken when you're not in the lineup. On another club, he would be playing (more)."

--C Yadier Molina was rested Wednesday, giving Gary Bennett a start.

--2B Adam Kenney had a run-scoring single Wednesday and is 5-for-13 as a leadoff man over three games. SS David Eckstein had been leading off until the last week and is likely to be restored to that position, but manager Tony La Russa said, "I don't see any reason to hurry that up."

--RHP Adam Wainwright had a hit and his first career walk Wednesday. He is hitting .333 as a starter (4-for-12).

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