The Redbird Report 05/23

Eckstein, who had not led off since April 30, had gone 15-for-49 (.306) in the interim, and he had three hits to spark a 9-4 win Tuesday.

Manager Tony La Russa had suggested some lineup revisions after the Cardinals were swept in Detroit, and he implemented a couple for Tuesday night's game with the Pirates.

The most significant was a return of shortstop David Eckstein to the leadoff spot after some three weeks hitting eighth, ninth or not playing at all.

"He set the table," La Russa said. "We got nine runs, and a big part was him getting three hits."

La Russa said Eckstein would hit first again in the final two games of the series.

Right-hander Adam Wainwright allowed the Pirates to get three hits in three different innings out of the first four, but he allowed just two runs to score. Wainwright, who fanned six, ended two of the potentially damaging innings by striking out Adam LaRoche.

He found an old friend Tuesday.

"My breaking ball was way better tonight," he said. "I've been telling you it was going to come back."

CARDINALS 9, PIRATES 4: The Cardinals, for the most part, survived four bases-loaded spots Tuesday. Their pitchers gave up 12 hits to Pittsburgh, but all the hits were singles and St. Louis did a better job of situational hitting, as it snapped a five-game losing streak. Adam Wainwright needed 96 pitches to get through 5 1/3 innings, but he got the win.


--RF Juan Encarnacion, who had been 7-for-13 against Pittsburgh LHP Zach Duke, batted fourth instead of the normal cleanup hitter, 3B Scott Rolen, who was dropped to fifth in the lineup. Encarnacion had two hits and drove in a run.

--3B Scott Rolen was hitting .134 over his previous 67 at-bats before he collected two hits Tuesday.

--C Yadier Molina singled in the second inning Tuesday, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest by a Cardinals catcher in 14 years.

--Look for manager Tony La Russa to hit LF Chris Duncan fourth Wednesday against Pittsburgh RHP Ian Snell. Duncan hit his fourth homer of the month -- and the Cardinals' fifth -- when he cracked a three-run homer off RHP Shawn Chacon in the seventh inning Tuesday.

--2B Aaron Miles had three hits and is 9-for-16 against the Pirates this season.

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