Cards top frustrated RaysJul 2, 2011 - 4:03 AM
Colby Rasmus belted a three-run homer in the eighth, an inning that saw the ejection of both Maddon and Howell, as St. Louis held on for a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay to begin a three-game series.
Westbrook (7-4) allowed two hits and fanned seven batters to snap a three- start winless stretch. Rasmus drove in four runs for the Cardinals, who have won four in a row. Yadier Molina added an RBI single.
"It took me a little while to get into a groove, but in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings I was able to get ahead in the count," Westbrook said. "I guess it worked out for the better. It took me a while to get into that rhythm."
Matt Joyce hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to follow Evan Longoria's RBI double, but the Rays lost for the third time in four tries.
Wade Davis (7-6) yielded six hits and two runs over seven frames and had a three-start winning streak snapped.
Home plate umpire Vic Carapazza squeezed the strike zone on Howell in the eighth inning. Maddon was particularly upset at a call on a pitch that Howell threw that seemed to hit the inside corner to Lance Berkman. That pitch resulted in a walk. First base umpire Doug Eddings then called Howell for a balk and David Freese walked to set up Rasmus' homer down the right field line for a 5-0 difference.
"Based on how the game was being called we started expanding our zone a little bit towards the end," Maddon said. "That did not help us."
A frustrated Howell slammed down his glove in frustration and when he got the ball back, threw that into the ground. He apparently was asking for another baseball from Carapazza, who then ejected the reliever.
Second base umpire Dana DeMuth ejected Rays pitcher David Price and utility player Elliot Johnson, both of whom weren't in the game at the time.
Longoria doubled to right to score Reid Brignac in the bottom of the eighth, and then Joyce homered to right off Lance Lynn.
Fernando Salas retired the side in order in the ninth for his 14th save of the year.
Rasmus' groundout plated Berkman in the second and Molina followed with an RBI hit to center.
The Rays wasted a chance with two men on base in the second and third innings, and had B.J. Upton at third in the fourth inning when Sam Fuld fanned to end the frame.
Westbrook moved to 7-3 lifetime against the Rays...Tampa Bay is 19-21 at home this season compared to 26-16 on the road. The Rays are 5-7-1 in series play at Tropicana Field. Last season, the Rays did not lose their seventh series at home until Sep 17-19 vs. the Angels.
- ST. LOUIS: 5
TAMPA BAY: 3
Jul 1 9:52 PM
- Daniel Descalso grounded out pitcher to first. None on with one out and Skip Schumaker due up.
Cardinals 5, Rays 3 Top 9, 1 OutJul 1 9:37 PM
- Evan Longoria double to right scored Reid Brignac. Runner on second with two out and Matt Joyce due up.
Cardinals 5, Rays 1 Bot 8, 2 OutsJul 1 9:28 PM
- Colby Rasmus two-out, three-run Home Run (9) to right scored Lance Berkman and Nick Punto. Yadier Molina due up.
Cardinals 5, Rays 0 Top 8, 2 OutsJul 1 9:13 PM
- Yadier Molina single to center scored David Freese. Runner on second on the throw with one out and Mark Hamilton due up.
Cardinals 2, Rays 0 Top 2, 1 OutJul 1 7:30 PM
- Colby Rasmus grounded out second to first scored Lance Berkman. On the play, David Freese advances to second. Runner on second with one out and Yadier Molina due up.
Cardinals 1, Rays 0 Top 2, 1 OutJul 1 7:28 PM
- ST. LOUIS: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 1 7:10 PM
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