The Cardinals rapped into
three double plays Friday night, which is nothing unusual as they all major
league teams with 108 in just 99 games.
But it also was business
as usual for first baseman Albert Pujols and right-hander Chris Carpenter
against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pujols had been a .387
hitter at PNC Park with 26 career homers -- the most by
any visiting player there - before Friday night's game. Then he ripped No. 27 in
the first inning and added two doubles and a single for just his second four-hit
game of the season in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh. Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm has
been one of Pujols' favorite targets over the years, and he is now 21-for-36
(.583) against him. Pujols got two of his hits against Maholm. He improved his
career average at PNC to .393.
Carpenter raised his
record against the Pirates to 12-2 with eight sturdy innings. Though Carpenter,
pitching more like a staff ace, allowed 10 hits and admittedly didn't have his
best stuff, he recorded his sixth victory of the season and fifth in a row since
he started 1-7.
"We had a lot of trouble
early (in the season) scoring runs for Chris," said Pujols, who also made a
couple of good plays on liners to help Carpenter in the field Friday.
As Carpenter is pitching
better -- he retired the last seven men he faced -- he also, strangely, is
hitting better. He had two hits, including a run-scoring single in the third
inning, and has hit safely in three straight games. His RBI was his first since
Sept. 10 of last year.
"At bat, you always try
to do something," said Carpenter. "All of us on the staff do not want to be
This was the first
meeting of the two teams at PNC this year (there are eight more remaining) and
enabled the Cardinals to catch the Pirates, who had started the night in first
place in the National League Central Division.
"They're in first place
and you want to knock those guys down," Pujols said.
RHP Kyle Lohse, who had
returned to St.
Louis to have an inflamed middle finger on his pitching
hand examined, still is scheduled to take his turn against the Pirates on
Sunday. He completed a short side session Friday afternoon. Lohse, who wore a
split during Friday's game, said there was no renewed discomfort during his
bullpen session. "Getting the MRI and receiving the report I got, we were
satisfied I wasn't going to do any further damage. It's just inflammation,
something that can be treated. I'm good with that diagnosis. After hearing that,
I feel I'm good to go," Lohse said.
C Yadier Molina and 3B
David Freese both had been in slumps lately, but Molina had three hits Friday
and Freese two, with both homering. Molina, whose homer was a 400-foot-plus shot
to dead center, had been 1-for-17 and Freese 1-for-18. Molina's homer was off
RHP Chris Resop. "I was ready for a fastball and he threw it," Molina said.
outfielders contributed defensively. CF Jon Jay threw out a runner at third to
end the Pirates' second and LF Matt Holliday, though clearly frustrated by a
nothing-for-five night, threw out Pirates RF Garrett Jones at second in the
midst of five straight Pittsburgh hits in the sixth
Emotions were high right
from the start before a packed house. Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan
barked something to home-plate umpire Laz Diaz on the first pitch of the game
and later, Carpenter, who was at first base, was talked to by the umpires for
something they thought he said. Manager Tony La Russa went to first base and
appeared to tell the competitive Carpenter that La Russa would handle any
further dialog with the umpires.
The Cardinals aren't
getting much lately out of SS Ryan Theriot, their leadoff man. Theriot is one
for his last 24 and didn't get the ball out of the infield on Friday.
BY THE NUMBERS: 116-64 -
Cardinals' record against Pittsburgh since 2000.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You look
at all the ball parks. He does it every place he plays. He's
- Manager Tony La Russa on 1B
Albert Pujols, a .393 hitter at Pittsburgh's
RHP Kyle Lohse (inflamed
middle right finger) left the team July 21 to have an exam in St. Louis. He threw a side
session July 22 and is still scheduled to start July 24 at Pittsburgh.
INF Nick Punto (sore
right elbow) left the July 16 game. He pinch-hit July 17 but didn't play July
18-19. He played as a reserve July 20, and he started at second base July
LHP Brian Tallet
(strained right intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive
to July 4. He was injured while sneezing.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild
right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13.
He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed
soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He might
return in late July.
RHP Adam Wainwright
(Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25.
He will miss the entire 2011 season.
July 23 vs. PIRATES: Jaime Garcia (9-4, 3.11) vs. Kevin Correia (11-7, 4.04)
6:05 p.m. (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: Manager Tony La Russa discusses the positives of Friday's 6-4 victory over the Pirates.
Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter express their delight after Friday's win against Pittsburgh.