Cardinals 9, Rockies 2
ST. LOUIS (AP)—The St. Louis Cardinals scored a couple of runs, then scored again, and again. For this team, it was practically uncharted waters.
“Today was a lot of the old-time Cardinals, turning over the batting order,” said Aaron Miles, who had three hits and an RBI. “You look through the lineup, and we had a lot of hits.”
Scott Spiezio added two hits and two RBIs in a 12-hit attack that led to two runs in the second, two in the fifth, four in the sixth and one in the seventh. St. Louis completed a 4-2 homestand with no home runs, getting by before the finale with a pair of three-run innings and a four-spot in the other three wins.
“That’s one of the brightest things that’s happened since the season started,” manager Tony La Russa said. “If you’re struggling like we’re struggling and you end up shaking hands, that’s a real good sign.”
The Cardinals totaled 16 runs in the previous eight games and have scored two or fewer runs in half of their first 32 games. The last time they scored in multiple innings was May 1, when they had single runs in the second and third innings of a 12-2 loss to the Brewers.
“Today was something I’m not used to,” Hirsh said. “It’s inexcusable. I just feel like I’m way out of sync.”
Despite their recent success, the Cardinals’ 14-18 record is their worst since an identical start in 1990, the year manager Whitey Herzog resigned in frustration in July.
Wainwright (3-2) gave up two runs, one earned, and nine hits. He struck out four, didn’t walk anyone, and stranded nine runners his first five innings. It’s his second straight effective start while rebounding from arm fatigue related to his conversion from the bullpen along with mechanical issues.
“I was all right,” Wainwright said. “It was better today than it was my last time out, and hopefully the next time it’ll be better than today.”
St. Louis missed a chance for more in the early going, stranding eight runners the first three innings, before padding the lead on RBIs by Ryan Ludwick and Miles in the fifth. The Cardinals started the sixth with four straight hits, including a run-scoring single by Jim Edmonds and Spiezio’s RBI double.
Hirsh needed 43 pitches to get out of the second inning, allowing two runs and three hits with two walks. That led to his earliest exit of the season.
Zach McClellan gave up four runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning for the Rockies, who wrapped up a 4-5 trip.
“All those plates we had spinning well, they’re kind of wobbling a little bit,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve got to find a way to get back on track. It’s a good time to be going home.”
Rockies CF Willy Taveras missed his third straight game with a groin injury. Steve Finley started all three in his place, going 1-for-13. … Pujols entered the game in an 0-for-13 slump. … The Cardinals have not repeated their leadoff hitter for 12 straight games while giving David Eckstein time to work out an early season slump from the eighth slot. Eckstein got a day off and Kennedy batted leadoff for the third time, going 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.