Cardinals 7, Braves 2, 10 innings
ATLANTA (AP)—Skip Schumaker insists he’s not a home run hitter. At least for one night though, he was.
Schumaker, who entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter, drove an 0-1 pitch from Tyler Yates (2-2) over the right-field fence for his second homer. It came after Aaron Miles singled to open the inning.
Schumaker is 17-for-33 (.515) in July and increased his batting average to .315.
“I’m definitely not a power hitter. When I hit them, it’s pretty much luck,” Schumaker said.
“I was just happy it stayed fair. I knew I hit it pretty good, but I was yelling at it to stay fair,” he said of the high fly that just dropped into the stands at the 330-foot mark a couple of feet inside the foul pole.
“We needed that. He (Schumaker) obviously came up big for us,” he said.
“You can’t make a mistake to a hitter the caliber of Albert Pujols and expect to get away with it,” Atlanta’s Chipper Jones said.
“It was a huge win for us,” said Pujols, who appeared to be favoring his right side (oblique) before hitting the home run.
“It’s fine. It wasn’t bothering me. You think I would be swinging like that (hit home run) if it was?” he said.
Jones drove in a run with a double and Kelly Johnson hit a solo home run to give Atlanta an early 2-0 lead.
St. Louis got within 2-1 in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Encarnacion.
“We blew too many games this homestand,” said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox of the 5-5 run at Turner Field that ended Sunday night.
“We could have had a dynamite homestand. A couple of clutch hits here and there, a little better pitch location,” he said.
Jason Isringhausen (4-0) picked up the win with four strikeouts in two perfect innings.
Rookie left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes started for Atlanta and went 5 1-3 innings. The left-hander allowed one run, three hits, walked four and struck out three in his third start since being called up from the minors. He lowered his ERA from 8.68 to 6.14.
Reyes allowed only one hit before So Taguchi led off the sixth with a single and went to third on a double by Pujols. Encarnacion followed with his run-scoring grounder, sending Pujols to third. The rookie walked Ryan Ludwick on four pitches and was replaced by Peter Moylan, who got Rolen to hit into a double play, ending the inning.
St. Louis starter Brad Thompson pitched six innings. The right-hander allowed two runs, six hits, walked three and struck out two.
Thompson gave up a single to Edgar Renteria in the third and Jones, who was 8-for-13, including a homer and six RBIs in the four-game series, scored Renteria with a double to left-center.
Johnson hit his 10th homer on an 0-1 pitch, over the right-field fence in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
Willie Harris, who went 6-for-6 in Saturday night’s 14-6 win over the Cardinals, went 0-for-4 with a walk on Sunday. … Harris made a sensational diving catch in the fifth off the bat of Thompson, saving at least a double. … Taguchi saved a run in the fifth with a one-handed, over-the-head catch against the wall on a drive by Renteria. Harris, who reached on an error, was rounding second when Taguchi caught it but easily made it back to first.