The Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/11

A comeback win after a blown save enabled the Cardinals to avoid an embarrassing sweep in Cincinnati. Monday's day off comes at a good time for the reeling Redbirds, losers of five of their most recent eight games and two of their last three series.



Albert Pujols snapped a nothing-for-11 dive Sunday with his 12th home run of the season but the big hitters were Chris Duncan and Colby Rasmus, who knocked in five of the eight runs.


Duncan, who had just five hits in 34 at-bats against left-handed pitching last year, is 10-for-33 (.300) against lefthanders this season. He had a run-scoring single off Danny Herrera after earlier doubling home two runs against Edinson Volquez.


Rasmus, who had been 5-for 30, singled to drive in a run in the third inning and doubled home the game-winner in the 10th against Francisco Cordero.


Adam Wainwright, who had struggled with walks -- 20 in 35 1/3 innings -- issued only one on Sunday. But he also allowed two of the five homers given up by the Cardinals. "It's not a question of arm strength or stuff," said Wainwright. "The ball just isn't sinking the way it normally does and I'm throwing fly balls."


But, looking at being swept in a series for the first time, the Cardinals overcame Ryan Franklin's first meltdown (he allowed two homers in the ninth) by breaking a 7-7 tie in the 10th on a walk to 2B Joe Thurston and Rasmus' double to right center.


CARDINALS 8, REDS 7 (10 innings): The Cardinals went through eight pitchers, with RHP Chris Perez, who has battled control problems at time this season, being brought in with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth inning. Perez, throwing only one ball out of four pitches (C Yadier Molina had to reach high to make the save), retired pinch-hitter Paul Janish on a foul out to end the game. St. Louis pitching gave up five homers, but only one of them came with anybody on base.




--RHP Ryan Franklin suffered his first blown save of the season in his 10th save opportunity Sunday when he surrendered solo homers to SS Jerry Hairston Jr., and pinch-hitter Micah Owings in the ninth inning. Franklin hadn't been scored on in his first 13 outings. "I made two mistakes. In this ball park, you can't make too many mistakes," said Franklin.


--1B Albert Pujols, NL Player of the Month for April, had been 0-for-11 before he homered in the fifth inning. Pujols had gone hitless in three straight games after a four-for-four game.


BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Number of Cardinals rookies who have hit their first major-league homers -- OF Colby Rasmus and INFs Joe Thurston, Brian Barden and Tyler Greene.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm lucky to be walking today." -- CF Rick Ankiel, after losing his balance and taking on the left-center-field wall at Busch Stadium.




--3B Brian Barden's fourth-inning double snapped a nothing-for-14 slump. He had been NL Rookie of the Month for April but had seemed to be pressing in irregular duty in May.


--SS Khalil Greene has been swinging the bat with authority since his forearm strain has healed. Greene extended his hitting streak to five games with a ninth-inning single.


--2B Skip Schumaker, who had been 2-for-17, has hit safely in six straight games. He doubled in his first two at-bats on Sunday. He looked a bit shaky in the field on Saturday, making a couple of off-balance throws, but had a better day on Sunday before having to come out of the game.

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