for this game

Looper, Cardinals blank Pirates

Apr 10, 2007 - 12:14 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- The Braden Looper experiment yielded positive results in its second test.

Looper worked seven outstanding innings and combined with two relievers on a three-hitter as the St. Louis Cardinals posted a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were playing their home opener.

The reigning World Series champion Cardinals made a risky decision this offseason, opting to let starters Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver and Jason Marquis leave via free agency.

A setup man or closer over his first nine seasons in the majors, the 32-year-old Looper (1-1) was chosen to fill the void in the rotation. He took the loss in his first start, allowing three runs in six innings Wednesday against the New York Mets.

"He just did so many good things," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Moving the ball around, showing a lot of different looks. I can't give him enough credit. He carried it deep into the game, too."

Despite battling game-time temperatures of 37 degrees, Looper was brilliant in his second career start, yielding just two hits and three walks while striking out three.

"I definitely felt like I made some good pitches today," Looper said. "I was able to make good pitches when I needed to and really stayed away from that one huge mistake.

"It's a good feeling to be sitting on the bench after throwing seven innings."

Ryan Franklin worked around a one-out hit to log the eighth and fellow righthander Jason Isringhausen tossed a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season.

Albert Pujols had a double, single and scored twice while David Eckstein had two hits for the Cardinals, who improved to 22-10 vs. Pittsburgh since the beginning of the 2005 campaign.

Pujols entered the game batting .396 with 19 home runs and 51 RBI in 45 career games at PNC Park.

"It's funny," Pujols said. "I was coming over here and the taxi driver said, 'Hey, you enjoy hitting in this park, don't you?' Sometimes that's the way it goes. Sometimes you hit good some places; sometimes you don't hit that good in some places."

St. Louis took the lead in the fourth, when Scott Rolen ripped a single off Pirates starter Ian Snell (0-1) to plate Pujols.

"It's not frustrating; our team played good," Snell said. "There's no getting around that. We played hard, we made defensive plays. There were just a few plays that came back to bite us, and that cost us big-time."

The Cardinals added insurance in the eighth when pinch hitter Preston Wilson crushed a pinch-hit two-run double with two outs to make it 3-0.

"You preferably don't want to get jammed or hit one off the end of the bat on a day like today," Wilson said of the frigid conditions. "But they've got to play in the weather also, and sometimes when it's cold on a day like today, the ball is a little bit slick and they don't get as good a grip in it as they want to."

Despite receiving no run support, Snell pitched well over seven innings, yielding one run and six hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

"We played a good ballgame today," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "Obviously Braden Looper did a great job against our offense, but Ian Snell was terrific also.

"We just weren't able to mount anything offensively today, I think that's what it boils down to."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 8 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RYAN FRANKLIN (8TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH)
    AND YADIER MOLINA
    PIT - IAN SNELL, JOHN WASDIN (8TH), DAMASO MARTE (8TH),
    JONAH BAYLISS (9TH) AN

    Apr 9 4:12 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PRESTON WILSON SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN AND ALBERT
    PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P WILSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.150, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesApr 9 3:42 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - BRADEN LOOPER
    PIT - IAN SNELL

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.259, 1-FOR-2)
    X NADY (.280, 0-FOR-2)
    R PAULINO (.160, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 9 3:21 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - BRADEN LOOPER
    PIT - IAN SNELL

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.143, 0-FOR-1)
    B LOOPER (.000, 0-FOR-1)
    D ECKSTEIN (.208, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 9 2:43 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SCOTT ROLEN SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S ROLEN ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J EDMONDS (.200, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesApr 9 2:32 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 2 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - BRADEN LOOPER
    PIT - IAN SNELL

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.240, 2 HR, 3 RBI)
    X NADY (.304, 2 HR, 4 RBI)
    R PAULINO (.174, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Apr 9 2:05 PM