Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in St. Louis, where Tony La Russa gave Albert Pujols(notes), Colby Rasmus(notes) and Yadier Molina(notes) a rest from the starting lineup. The strategy worked to a "TLR."
Game of the Day
Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4
Get me backups! Imagine playing the Indianapolis Colts on a day when their head coach decides to rest quarterback Peyton Manning and instead plays reserve Jim Sorgi. Pretty sweet for your team, huh? It's a little different in baseball (just ask George Carlin) but the Cards showed they can win at least one with Pujols' backup leading the way.
Wait, the Cardinals have a backup first baseman? Who knew?
Or is it "Craig Allen"? Allen Craig(notes) (pictured) batted third, just like Albert, and drove in three runs in the final two innings — on his 26th birthday, no less. Craig, who came into Sunday a non-robust 2 for 22 this season, lined a tying RBI single against Jonathan Broxton(notes) with two outs in the ninth. In the eighth, he got the Cardinals on the board with a two-run double.
He came from Class AAA, where he had a knack for driving in runs. Being a major leaguer, Craig says, is better.
"It's awesome," Craig said. "It's the best birthday present I ever had."
Pujols and Molina just needed the rest, La Russa said.
"You have to spot [Pujols] a day four or five times during the year," La Russa said. "Sometimes you just have to watch him.
"Their tanks are empty. Replenish it."
Five'll get ya' 10: The victory was the fifth straight for the Cards, who jumped to 10 games over .500 for the first time since June 5. They also slipped into back first place in the NL Central.
"The most significant thing is that we're 10 games over .500," La Russa said.
* * *
They Also Played ...
Twins 7, White Sox 6: A Hall of Fame at-bat by Orlando Hudson(notes) — a 10-pitch walk against Bobby Jenks(notes) — set the tone for a four-run ninth. The Twins could have scored 10 or 11 runs if they had to. Just a great victory.
Cubs 11, Phillies 6: They're two games out of a playoff spot — so why do the Phillies seem so hopeless? Granted, Roy Halladay(notes) (right) getting knocked around by the Cubs might blow some holes in your hope chest...
Marlins 1, Nationals 0: The Gnats went a combined 0 for 18 with runners in scoring position over the past two games. Oh for eighteen. Remember when we thought the Nats could be, you know, mediocre? Well, they're 40-52 and 14 back of first.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 2: The C.J. Wilson(notes) transition-to-starter continues to work out great. The Strangers were this close to a four-game sweep at Fenway. They're on their way to the AL West title. Crown 'em!
Pirates 9, Astros 0: They're making batting coach Jeff Bagwell look bad.
* * *
Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave