The Redbird Report 05/22

St. Louis Cardinals' Ryan Ludwick splits his bat down the middle while hitting a high chopper to third against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning. Ludwick drove in three runs on the night in the Cardinals 11-2 win over San Diego.

Albert Pujols was distracted, understandably, after taking the San Diego pitcher and catcher out of the game in separate plays in the third inning Wednesday. But the rest of the lineup picked him up.

Pujols, who had just one hit in five at-bats, got that hit when he stroked a liner off the head of Padres right-hander Chris Young, who suffered a broken nose. Then, before the inning was over, Pujols scored a run by sliding into the ankle of catcher Josh Bard, who suffered what was announced as a sprained ankle, Pujols went hitless the rest of the game.

"I couldn't concentrate all my other at-bats," he said. "I was kind of flashing back."

The Cardinals first baseman said an umpire told him that he couldn't control where he hit the ball, but Pujols said, "I wish I would have hit it somewhere else.

"It does bother me. I think I have good reason for it to bother me. I think it's going to bother me the next couple of days."

Ryan Ludwick and Troy Glaus each drove in three runs, while Skip Schumaker, his average rising back over .300, had four hits and a walk and made a diving catch in center field to snuff a San Diego rally.

Rick Ankiel, who was to make his lineup return Friday in Los Angeles after suffering a sprained right shoulder on May 16, got a jump on things by cracking a two-run pinch homer in the eighth inning. He then finished the game in the outfield.

Ten of the Cardinals' 11 runs scored with two outs, and the other run scored as the second out was being made.

CARDINALS 11, PADRES 3: Braden Looper endured five innings to gain his staff-high sixth win of the year. The Cardinals' 16-hit attack featured only one homer -- by Rick Ankiel -- and two doubles, but counting the Cardinals' seven walks, the club had 23 baserunners and blew the game open early with three-run bursts in the third, fourth and sixth.


--RHP Braden Looper gave up eight hits and walked two in five innings, but two of his five strikeouts came at a key spot in the third when he got both 1B Adrian Gonzalez and 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff with two runners on base.

--LF Chris Duncan, a left-handed batter, had been only 1-for-17 against left-handed pitching before he doubled home a run in the sixth inning off San Diego LHP Joe Thatcher.

--Four Cardinals relievers allowed just two hits and no runs over the final four innings, running the bullpen's count to 9 1/3 scoreless innings in the three-game series. San Diego had only two hits off the Cardinals bullpen in the series.

--1B Albert Pujols, visibly upset after injuring two San Diego players in the same inning -- RHP Chris Young with a line drive and C Josh Bard with a slide -- will welcome a day off Thursday, as will the rest of the team, before it plays at Los Angeles on Friday.

--2B Aaron Miles had three hits, meaning that the top two hitters in the Cardinals lineup, CF Skip Schumaker and Miles -- were on base eight times. They scored five runs.

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