The Redbird Report 05/19

On Stan Musial Day, the Cardinals didn't want to let down the 87-year-old Hall of Famer, who was in attendance at Busch Stadium. They didn't, rallying for five runs in the last four innings.

"We didn't want to have a game that didn't look like Cardinals baseball," said manager Tony La Russa. "That was definitely our tribute to Stan. We wanted to play the kind of game that Stan would enjoy."

Center fielder Skip Schumaker, whose average had dipped from well over .300 down to the .270s, had his second straight two-hit game, including the game-winning double to end the game.

Right-hander Chris Perez, in only his second big-league appearance, gained his first big-league win with a perfect ninth inning.

Perez is touted as the Cardinals' closer of the future and La Russa said, "If he can repeat what he's done the last couple of days the rest of his career, he's going to be special."

The Cardinals' win was just their fourth in the last 12 games but their second straight in their last at-bat.

"It's a good sign of our toughness," said La Russa. "You're going to have some tough stretches and what you want to do is salvage some wins."

The next six games will be in San Diego and Los Angeles, beginning Monday night.

CARDINALS 5, RAYS 4: The Cardinals had 10 walks and 11 hits Sunday and missed capitalizing in the first five innings. But they scored at least one run each of the last four and rallied to take a series in which they easily could have been swept by Tampa Bay. A day after manager Tony La Russa posted his 2,400th career victory, first baseman Albert Pujols collected his 1,400th hit on his third of three singles.


--CF Skip Schumaker's game-winning double was his fifth game-winning RBI of the season, second only to 1B Albert Pujols' seven.

--The Cardinals drew 10 walks for the first time since Sept. 23, 2003, when they got 10 from Houston.

--RF Ryan Ludwick clouted his 11th homer and seven in his last 11 games.

--OF Rick Ankiel's right shoulder, which he strained during a swing on Friday night, was improved and Ankiel was not placed on the disabled list, as was expected. OF Joe Mather was on call to report from Class AAA Memphis, where he had homered in four straight games.

--INF Aaron Miles singled twice Sunday, giving him 24 hits in his last 53 at-bats in interleague games over the last two seasons.

--1B Albert Pujols has been walked intentionally 12 times, most in the major leagues.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2,400 -- Number of career victories for manager Tony La Russa, third on the career list, after a 9-8, 10-inning victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "That might be a little off." -- Rookie RHP Chris Perez, on the Busch Stadium radar gun catching him at 100 miles an hour on a pitch in his major league debut on Friday.

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