So Taguchi matched career highs with four hits and three RBIs, and Jeff Suppan pitched seven strong innings to win for the third time in four starts in an 8-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
“We said last year that if he played more, it looked like he would do more,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Taguchi. “And he’s playing more and doing more.”
Luis Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Arizona, a season-worst eight games below .500.
Taguchi, starting because outfielders Larry Walker and Reggie Sanders are on the 15-day disabled list, had his second career four-hit game and first since May 20, 2004, at the New York Mets. He has six three-RBI games, five this season, and is batting .424 (25-for-59) with runners in scoring position.
“Tony gives me a lot of playing time, so I’m very happy,” Taguchi said. “I’m not a regular. Larry and Reggie are on the DL and when they come back, I’m back on the bench.”
Taguchi will face surging Arizona pitcher Brandon Webb on Wednesday.
Webb has snapped out of his recent slump to go 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA over his last three starts to improve to 10-8 overall. He has 17 strikeouts over his last 15 innings. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA in three career starts against St. Louis.