Cardinals 4, Reds 3

Preview | Box Score | Recap

ST. LOUIS (AP)—The St. Louis Cardinals lost another catcher, and kept on winning.

Pinch hitter So Taguchi singled over a drawn-in outfield in the ninth inning for his second straight game-winning hit in a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cardinals won for the fifth time in six games without Gary Bennett, who left in the second after getting hit by an Aaron Harang breaking ball.

Manager Tony La Russa said Harang should be suspended for letting the pitch get away. The team described the injury as a contusion to the back of the skull and La Russa said he had not been updated on Bennett’s status.

“There isn’t anything in baseball that I object to more,” La Russa said. “Whether we hit them or they hit them, I’ve said it for almost as long as I’ve been managing: I’d suspend a guy two weeks to start with.

“A month the next time and then a season, if a major league pitcher doesn’t have better command than that.”

Bennett took over regular duties after Yadier Molina broke his left wrist last week. Bennett walked to first alongside a team trainer before heading to the clubhouse, leaving after a headache developed.

After the game Bennett said his head was still pounding “a little bit,” but thought he would be OK.

“The doctor checked me out and he thinks everything is going to be all right,” Bennett said. “I hope the headache goes away and we go from there.”

Kelly Stinnett, signed on Sunday, finished the game while getting a crash course on the pitching staff.

“He’s pretty much learning as it goes,” reliever Ryan Franklin said. “I had to tell him all seven of my pitches in a matter of like, 30 seconds.”

Juan Encarnacion homered and David Eckstein had three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals. Jason Isringhausen (3-0) walked two and struck out two in the ninth against the Reds, who stranded 15 runners and left seven on over the last three innings.

Aaron Miles drew a leadoff walk in the ninth off Jared Burton (0-1), advanced on a sacrifice and went to third on Jon Coutlangus’ wild pitch. Taguchi hit a 3-2 pitch over the head of right fielder Norris Hopper, two days after homering in the 10th inning at Houston.

“He’s a terrific late-game player,” La Russa said. “He’s just absolutely cool under pressure and he can make a lot of things happen.”

Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer battled control problems in his second career start, walking six in 3 2-3 innings. Wellemeyer walked the bases loaded to start the fourth, then struck out Juan Castro and Harang—both on full counts after falling behind—before Hopper walked to force in a run.

During that sequence, Wellemeyer threw 36 pitches and Reds batters took only five swings.

“The first three innings were great,” Wellemeyer said. “And then evidently I hit a wall and couldn’t throw a strike in the fourth.”

Harang lasted six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.

“Early on I was struggling with my location,” Harang said. “It’s just one of those nights. I knew I was going to throw a lot of pitches.”

Chris Duncan returned to the Cardinals’ lineup after missing six games with an infected left knee and the left fielder made a spectacular juggling catch at the wall to rob Adam Dunn of extra bases and an RBI to end the first.

“I thought the ball bounced off the wall,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “The umpire said Duncan’t back was to him and he didn’t see the ball fall, and he just couldn’t see it come off the wall.”

Jim Edmonds’ RBI double off the center field wall put the Cardinals ahead in the first and Eckstein’s single made it 2-0 in the second. Hopper’s bases-loaded walk and Tyler Johnson’s bases-loaded wild pitch allowed the Reds to tie it in the fourth without a hit.

Encarnacion’s third homer of the season, all in the last six games, put the Cardinals ahead 3-2 in the sixth. The Reds tied it again in the seventh when Brandon Phillips tripled with one out and scored on Dunn’s broken-bat single.

The Reds stranded five runners in the seventh and eighth against Ryan Franklin.


Ken Griffey Jr., who didn’t start for the first time since late April, is 4-for-25 during a seven-game trip with two RBIs. … Eckstein is 15-for-33 (.455) during an eight-game hitting streak with two homers. … Josh Hamilton was 1-for-4 with a double and walk in his first start since being sidelined by gastroenteritis on May 22.

Related Articles