The Redbird Report 09/27

Albert Pujols reached the 100-RBI mark for the seventh consecutive year with a first-inning homer Wednesday night.

The Cardinals' victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night may have fallen into the "let sleeping dogs lie" category.

As the Brewers were mashing the Cardinals for the second straight time on Tuesday, Albert Pujols had to lean out of the way of a sinkerball by Jeff Suppan that got away head-high.

That precipitated manager Tony La Russa yelling at the Milwaukee dugout, and in turn, the Brewers staff yelled back at him.

Then, early in Wednesday's game, right-hander Brad Thompson drilled Milwaukee start Prince Fielder with a base open.

"I wasn't trying to hit the guy," said Thompson, who added that pitching inside "is part of the game."

Nevertheless, that act merited a warning by the umpires and, when Pujols came to the plate with nobody on and one out in the eighth inning of a one-run game, right-hander Seth McClung, just brought into the game, threw behind Pujols, nicking him in the elbow.

McClung and Milwaukee manager Ned Yost both were ejected, and the Cardinals, perhaps suitably aroused, reeled off four runs in the inning to put the game away.

"I knew it was coming," Pujols said. "The error their manager made cost them game. It cost them four runs."

La Russa said he didn't think the plunking was deliberate. "The pitch just got away," he said, perhaps believably.

Pujols reached the 100-RBI mark for the seventh consecutive year with a first-inning homer. And, despite a calf injury, he scored three runs, giving him a chance to score 100 runs for a seventh straight season. He's at 96 runs for the year.

Thompson, working on three days' rest, pitched his second straight strong game. He went six innings in each game and won both, allowing a combined three runs (one earned).

CARDINALS 7, BREWERS 3: The Cardinals ended their road losing streak at 11 games by taking the final game of the three-game series in Milwaukee. Ryan Ludwick doubled home what proved to be the decisive runs in the third inning. The Cardinals won the season series from Milwaukee, 8-7.


--CF Jim Edmonds, who tweaked a previous groin injury while making a diving catch Tuesday, won't play in the field the rest of the season, manager Tony La Russa said. Edmonds was announced as a pinch hitter Wednesday.

--Reports from Boston indicate that RF Juan Encarnacion has had a procedure done in the area of his right eye socket, which was hit by a foul ball a month ago, and that he is doing better.

--RHPs Russ Springer (neck spasms) and Troy Percival (elbow) were held out of the Milwaukee series but might be ready for the final four games of the season.

--The Cardinals continue their run of 35 games in 34 days to end the season with a one-game makeup at New York on Thursday night, followed by three games at Pittsburgh.

--La Russa said he would make sure that SS David Eckstein finishes at .300 or above. Eckstein, who fell to .307 in a hitless game Tuesday, was held out Wednesday night.

BY THE NUMBERS: 27 -- Number of games out of his first 58 in which closer Jason Isringhausen pitched in a non-save situation.

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