Cards Pick up 2 games on Cubbies in KC
Last week the Redbirds were embarrassed at home dropping all 3 games of a home series against the last place team in the AL East. Pujols and the Cards traveled down I-70 to try to get some redemption in Kansas City starting on Friday.
In game one it would look much like the previous series between the two ball clubs with St. Louis struggling offensively. The Cardinals weren’t shy of getting men on base, but couldn’t manage to bring runners home. They banged out 10 hits while manufacturing only 2 runs on the scoreboard. Gil Meche threw 7 solid innings for Kansas City improving his record on the season to 6-8. Pineiro, who has been a victim of no decision baseball lately, would get a decision in this ball game dropping to 2-4 after conceding 7 earned runs off 10 hits. Pineiro was able to eat up 7 2/3 innings for his team, however, allowing the bullpen to only have to retire one batter in the ball game.
On Saturday, the Cardinals were finally able to capitalize with their bats against the Royals’ pitching staff. With the Redbirds leading 2-0 in the 6 th Rick Ankiel belted his 15th dinger of the season off of Royals’ start Kyle Davies busting open a 4-0 lead. That was plenty of run support for Mitchell Boggs who got the ball instead of Mark Mulder. St. Louis relief pitchers Kyle McClellan and Russ Springer improved their dazzling ERA’s by combining for 3 innings of shut out baseball. The Cards won the ballgame 5-1 giving rookie Mitchell Boggs his 3rd win of the season next to 0 losses.
The Cards would again look to their bats to take 2 out of 3 from the Royals on the road. Braden Looper was knocked out of the game in the 4th inning, shortly before Royal’s starter Brian Bannister. The Cards got a big day from back-up catcher Jason LaRue. In the bottom of the 1st inning Cards outfielder Skip Schumaker threw a bullet to home plate after a Jose Guillen single. LaRue caught the ball and took a lick from Royal’s LF David Dejesus before hanging on to the ball for the out. How many times do you see a player make a great play on defense and then to something magical at the plate? Larue came up in the top of the 2nd after Adam Kennedy had drawn a walk and blasted his 3rd home run of the season. He would also later triple in the game totaling 4 RBI on the day. Albert Pujols cranked career home run 299 off of Joel Peralta in the 6 th. KC fans almost got to witness a milestone in Albert’s last at-bat as he gave a 2-0 fastball a ride that stopped short of the wall on the warning track. Looper was off the hook after this 9-6 victory for St. Louis. Chris Perez (2-0) would get the win and Brian Bannister fell to an even 7-7 on the season. Cardinal closer, Ryan Franklin recorded his 11 th save in 15 chances this season.
The Cardinals head back home Monday and will try to make up more ground in the NL Central against an inconsistent but heavily talented Mets club. Monday game will feature a good pitching match-up with Kyle Lohse (9-2) battling against Jon Maine (8-5).
New York Mets (40-41) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (47-36)
Cards Notes: Cardinals reliever Mike Parisi was sent down to Memphis after the activation of Mark Mulder.
By Zack Estes
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