Cardinals 5, Pirates 4; Cardinals 5, Pirates 3
Rolen became the third St. Louis player to hit 30 homers this season, Carpenter got his 13th win of the season and Isringhausen got his second save of the day as the Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday to complete a day-night doubleheader sweep.
St. Louis won the opener 5-4 behind Dan Haren, who allowed three hits over 6 2-3 innings.
“It’s the best power lineup the Cardinals have ever had,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “I shook all three guys’ hands. It’s a big day with Scott doing that. With the history the Cardinals have, to have our three guys have their place in that history, that’s very significant.”
Rolen is one shy of his career high, set with Philadelphia in 1998.
“It’s too bad the other two guys had to wait about a month for me to get there,” he said of the 30-mark.
Carpenter (13-5), who won 12 games with Toronto in 1998, matched his season high with nine strikeouts, allowing three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He had missed his previous scheduled start due to tightness in his lower back.
“It sounds strange, but I feel like I’m getting stronger,” he said. “My arm feels as good as it has all year. This is what I expected that I could do if I was healthy.”
Isringhausen boosted his saves total to 35, one more than he had for Oakland in 2001.
“It was a tough, tough day, but a good day,” La Russa said.
St. Louis swept a doubleheader for the first time since Aug. 31, 2002, at Chicago and has won 13 of 17 games overall.
Pittsburgh, which had won nine of 12 coming in, played the sixth of at least seven doubleheaders this year—the most for the team since the Pirates had eight in 1984. The Pirates, 2-3-1 in the doubleheaders, had won their previous four games against the Cardinals.
“A couple of tough losses today,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
Rolen homered in the second inning of the night game, a drive off Nelson Figueroa, who made his first major league start since a 6-2 loss at St. Louis on Aug. 21 last year.
“He threw the ball good,” McClendon said. “He kept us in the ballgame and gave us an opportunity to win.”
Cardinals reliever Julian Tavarez was ejected from the opener after umpires conducted a lengthy inspection of his dirty, smudged cap before the eighth inning.
Tavarez flipped his hat to a fan in the stands behind the dugout on his way off the field. It’s the third time this season that Tavarez’ cap has come under scrutiny, with the Braves and Phillies also complaining, but it was the first time he was ejected.
He pitched one-third of an inning in the second game without incident, getting the final out of the eighth inning.
Figueroa, brought up from the minors between games, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and left with a 3-2 lead.
St. Louis rallied in the seventh. Jim Edmonds led off with a double off Mike Gonzalez (3-1), pinch-hitter Reggie Sanders had a two-out RBI infield single off Salomon Torres and Tony Womack had a go-ahead single.
Torres was philosophical about Sanders’ swinging bunt.
“It was a tough break,” he said. “It didn’t go very far. Things just didn’t go our way.
Edgar Renteria added an RBI single in the eighth.
Rob Mackowiak hit a two-run homer in the second inning for the Pirates, giving him a career-best 64 RBIs.
“The only thing he lacks is experience,” La Russa said of the 23-year-old Haren, a second-round draft pick in 2001. “He’s just a baby. He’s learning, and he’s getting better and better.”
Isringhausen struck out Jason Kendall for the second out with the potential tying run on first. Jack Wilson followed with a comebacker that hit off Isringhausen, and rolled toward first base. The Cardinals closer chased the ball down and flipped it to first for the final out.
The Cardinals optioned Haren (2-2), who is 9-4 at Triple-A Memphis, back to the minors after the game and purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Al Reyes for bullpen depth.
“I know the situation, I’m not stupid,” Haren said. “I knew we needed extra protection in the bullpen. I think I did my job.”
Josh Fogg (7-9) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, dropping to 1-6 with a 9.59 ERA against the Cardinals, including 0-3 this year while allowing 18 earned runs in 16 innings.
“Their guy threw a great game,” Fogg said. “I wasn’t able to go out there and match him, so I got the short end of the stick.”
The Pirates sent RHP Willis Roberts outright to Triple-A Nashville after he cleared waivers. … CF Tike Redman robbed Edmonds of a homer with a leaping catch in the seventh inning of the opener. … There were more than 15,000 no-shows for the opener, which began in steady rain. … Mackowiak’s homer was his first in 30 games since July 20.