St. Louis (21-29) at Colorado (25-28)

Fair Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Thu May 31, 2007
  • TV: FSMW, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Multiple RBI games have been surprisingly rare this season for Albert Pujols. That is one reason why the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals are eight games under .500.

Pujols and the Cardinals look to win consecutive road games for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday night when they finish a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Pujols keyed a five-run fifth inning with a three-run homer and Todd Wellemeyer worked five solid innings in his first major league start Wednesday as the Cardinals snapped a three-game skid with an 8-4 win.

Jim Edmonds also homered and Scott Rolen added two RBI doubles for St. Louis (21-29), which also ended a seven-game road losing streak.

“When those three guys hit, we have a chance to score a lot of runs,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

The Cardinals became the last NL team to reach double digits in road victories. St. Louis hasn’t won consecutive games away from home since it won four in a row April 8-11.

Pujols knocked in more than one run for only ninth time in 50 games this season. He had 19 multiple RBI games at this point in 2006.

“We haven’t swung the bats well this year,” said Edmonds, who went 3-for-5 with the homer and a triple to raise his season average to .245. “So we’ve gotten off to a slow start, and we’ve got a lot of making up to do.”

Wellemeyer, claimed off waivers from Kansas City on May 15, became the fourth Cardinals reliever to win as a starter, joining Braden Looper, Adam Wainwright and Brad Thompson - the team’s three winningest pitchers this season.

Thompson (3-1, 4.73 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season and second against Colorado (25-28). He limited the Rockies to one run and six hits in five innings on May 8, but did not factor in the decision. He has no record and a 1.80 ERA in five career appearances against Colorado.

The right-hander wasn’t particularly sharp Saturday against Washington, but still earned a victory after allowing three runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings as the Cardinals won 8-6.

St. Louis learned Wednesday that catcher Yadier Molina will miss four to six weeks with a fractured left wrist. Molina left Tuesday’s game in the fourth inning after being hit by a foul tip an inning earlier.

Backup Gary Bennett, who went 0-for-4 Wednesday and is batting .208, will receive most of the work in Molina’s absence.

Wednesday’s defeat cooled off the Rockies (25-28), who were attempting to win eight in a row for the first time since a franchise-record nine-game run from Aug. 26-Sept. 2, 1997.

Jason Hirsh was reached for eight runs and 10 hits in 4-2 3 innings on Wednesday after Colorado starters had allowed only 13 earned runs during the entire seven-game winning streak.

Sinkerballer Aaron Cook (4-1, 4.11) has played a big role in Colorado’s recent success. He has won four straight decisions and is coming off his first complete game of the season, a 6-1 victory at San Francisco on Saturday in which he limited the Giants to one run and five hits.

Cook is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in four career starts against the Cardinals. The right-hander has struggled against Edmonds, who is 6-for-10 with two homers in their meetings.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Thompson Hou vs. A. Cook Col
8-6 Record 8-7
4.73 ERA 4.12
53 K 61
40 BB 44
1.52 WHIP 1.34

Scoreboard

Thursday, May 31