The Redbird Report: 05/20

Behind four home runs, the St. Louis Cardinals dispatched the Padres in San Diego Monday night by an 8-2 score. Todd Wellemeyer picked up the win.

The Cardinals have left runners on in bunches lately and stranded 11 more Monday night. But they also hit four homers, two of them by Albert Pujols.

Meanwhile, the most effective Cardinals pitcher this season has been converted reliever Todd Wellemeyer, of all people. The righty is 5-1 after a strong six-inning stint.

Pujols launched one homer into the third deck and his second gave him 11 for the season. And right fielder Ryan Ludwick is making serious noises that he wishes to be the permanent cleanup man behind Pujols. Ludwick cracked his 12th homer among three hits and is 22-for-55 this month with eight home runs.

Ludwick is doing such a good job of protecting Pujols that the latter hasn't drawn a walk in his last five games after walking 41 times in his first 41 games.

"The more (Pujols) is in play, the better chance we have," manager Tony La Russa said.

With third baseman Troy Glaus, batting fifth, also hot La Russa said, "Everybody's paying attention to what those two guys are doing, especially Ludwick."

As for Ludwick's meteoric start after he opened the season as the fourth outfielder, La Russa said, "Health and opportunity. If he'd been healthy, he'd have done this several years ago."

Ludwick has had to overcome several leg injuries in his career.

CARDINALS 8, PADRES 2: The Cardinals scored their third straight victory and every starter but second baseman Adam Kennedy had at least one of the 16 hits off three San Diego pitchers. Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick each had three hits as the Cardinals won for just the second time in their last seven road games.

--LHP Mark Mulder has been shut down again. Scheduled to work a minor-league rehabilitation start for Class AAA Memphis at Nashville on Tuesday night, Mulder will not resume his rehab for 10 to 14 days after some irritation in his left shoulder has limited his range of motion.

--SS Cesar Izturis hit his first homer since 2006 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Izturis is 6-for-13 in his last three games.

--INF Brendan Ryan's pinch hit single in the seventh extended his hitting streak to five games (6-for-18).

--LHP Randy Flores, and LHP Ron Villone and RHP Russ Springer each worked a perfect inning of relief.

--RHP Todd Wellemeyer has given up only five earned runs in his last four starts covering 24 innings.

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.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories