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Pujols comes through huge for struggling Cardinals in win

May 5, 2007 - 5:15 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- The St. Louis Cardinals relied on their biggest bat to help them avoid their worst start in 34 years.

Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fifth inning and Adam Wainwright notched his first win in over a month as the Cardinals snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

St.Louis looked to be headed for its sixth straight loss after managing just two hits through four innings. But Pujols helped the Cardinals avert their worst start since 1973, when they started 6-21.

"You can take a deep breath," Pujols said. "That losing streak is over."

The Cardinals were outscored, 37-6, during their five-game skid and were embarrassed by the Milwaukee Brewers, being outscored, 23-3, in a three-game sweep earlier this week.

"It has to start some where," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. Trailing, 2-0, Yadier Molina led off the fifth with a single and David Eckstein reached on a fielder's choice. Wainwright sacrificed Eckstein to second and Preston Wilson followed with a walk.

Chris Duncan then came through with a two-out RBI single to get St. Louis on the board.

"I just wanted to look for something up," Duncan said. "I was just trying to put a nice swing on it and extend the inning and hopefully get Albert up there with some guys on."

Pujols, who has been on a tear hitting .428 (9-for-21) in his last six games, then smacked a hanging breaking ball from Houston starter Woody Williams down the left field line for a two-out two-run double, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.

"(Williams) hung that breaking ball," Pujols said. "It was a mistake and I was looking for it."

Houston manager Phil Garner was disappointed the Astros allowed Pujols to be the one that did them in.

"That's what (Pujols) gets paid to do," Garner said. "We unfortunately put him in a position where he could do something. We put him in a position where he could hurt us." Wainwright (2-2) picked up his first win since April 6, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings and threw 53 of 88 pitches for strikes.

St. Louis got three scoreless innings from its bullpen, including 1 2/3 from closer Jason Isringhausen, who relieved Randy Flores in the eighth with St. Louis clinging to a 3-2 lead.

Isringhausen got out of a first and second, one-out jam by getting rookie Hunter Pence to ground out and Mark Loretta to pop out to left field. The righthander then pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save of the season.

Williams (0-5) started in place of Chris Sampson, who was scratched due to sinus problems. Williams was a tough-luck loser and is winless in his first seven starts for the first time since 2004. The righthander allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.

"It's just one of those things," Williams said. "It's not going my way right now."

Carlos Lee and Humberto Quintero had RBI singles for the Astros, who have scored less than four runs in 11 of their last 13 games, going 3-10 in that stretch.

"I don't know what else to say about it," said Garner, about the lack of offense. "It has been a month now and we've just not put any offense together."








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

    BATTERIES: HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS, BRAD LIDGE (7TH) AND HUMBERTO QUINTERO
    STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT, RYAN FRANKLIN (7TH), RANDY
    FLORES (8TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (8TH) AND YADIER MOL

    May 4 10:42 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 4 10:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED PRESTON WILSON AND CHRIS
    DUNCAN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A PUJOLS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    ST LOUIS 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.226, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 4 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS DUNCAN SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C DUNCAN ON FIRST, P WILSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.277, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 4 9:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUMBERTO QUINTERO SCORED LUKE SCOTT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H QUINTERO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: W WILLIAMS (.071, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 4 9:05 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS
    STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: P WILSON (.217, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
    C DUNCAN (.315, 5 HR, 10 RBI)
    A PUJOLS (.280, 6 HR, 15 RBI)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 4 8:21 PM
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    TexasT Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. CardinalsMar 20 8:03 PM