unproductive Cardinals outfield delivered four hits; three by left fielder So Taguchi, drove in two runs (both by Taguchi) and scored three times Monday night
in a 7-2 romp over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
hit .407 with men in scoring position last season, was only one for eight in
that department this year, but he delivered twice in two chances last night off
left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez. He is 8-for-22 (.364) against left-handed
pitching this season and 4-for-25 against right-handers.
Juan Encarnacion made a diving catch, had a hit and scored two runs. And center
fielder Jim Edmonds still is struggling at bat, but scored a run.
Albert Pujols made his usual contribution. He cracked his 12th homer, one short
of the record for April held by Luis Gonzalez and Ken Griffey Jr.
But unlike his
drive off Perez last week when he flipped his bat in an 8-2 game, Pujols quietly
went into his home-run trot this time.
Encarnacion, Taguchi and third baseman Scott Rolen also had strong defensive
games. "We had plays made all over the field," said manager Tony La Russa.
first baseman Albert Pujols homered in the first, the Cardinals peppered Oliver
Perez for three singles and three runs in the second.
wasn't as keen as he had been in his previous three starts (one run in 22
innings), but he gave up only two runs in six innings to post his third win in
"He wasn't as
sharp as he's ever been, but he made a lot of good pitches," said manager Tony
--C Yadier Molina, who threw out 23 of the 37 runners who tried to steal on him last
season, caught his first in five attempts this year when he nabbed Pittsburgh's
Jason Bay in the first inning Monday.
--2B Hector Luna had two more hits while starting at second base. Luna has three multi-hit
games as a starter and is 11-for-28 (.393) overall.
started the season as a utility man, gradually is winning the second-base job.
"We all feel
comfortable wherever he plays," said manager Tony La Russa.
--RHP Adam Wainwright continued his impressive relief pitching. He fanned two of the three
hitters he faced and has given up only five hits and one run in 9 2/3 innings.
have won 22 of their last 27 games with the Pirates.