The Redbird Report 07/03

Scott Rolen's triple -- just the sixth by the Cardinals this season -- highlighted a five-run eighth. Rolen is 5-for-10 with five RBIs in his last two games after having 30 RBIs all season.

Blanked on one hit in their last confrontation with Arizona's Brandon Webb, the Cardinals took some walks (five) and got some of those ground balls to the outfield Monday night.

Twelve of their 13 hits went for singles as they broke open a close game with nine runs in the final three innings against Webb and relievers. "The score was very misleading," said manager Tony La Russa. "If you're a fan of the game and you watch the first six innings, it's a different game."

Skip Schumaker, who came into the game as a pinch hitter, keyed both a three-run seventh and five-run eighth with singles after having been three for 23 as a pinch hitter.

Two misplays by Diamondbacks infielders gave the Cardinals a rare opportunity to have Albert Pujols bat with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh. Pujols knew what to do, singling to break a 3-3 tie.

"That's what you're supposed to do," said Pujols. "Take advantage of every opportunity."

Braden Looper, coming off the disabled list to pitch after experiencing shoulder stiffness last month, was exceedingly sharp through five innings, walking no one, before the D-Backs got three runs in the sixth.

Hitting coach Hal McRae said he didn't see any real significance in Rolen's last two games -- yet. "It's a start," said McRae. "The consistency of it is what you're really striving for, but it's a start."

CARDINALS 11, DIAMONDBACKS 3: The Cardinals had seven hits in 16 at-bats with men in scoring position and their bullpen threw three scoreless innings. It marked the second straight game in which the Cardinals had scored 11 runs after they had tallied only 12 in the previous six.

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