for this game

Cards back strong performance by Wells with three homers

May 24, 2007 - 5:20 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Ian Snell entered having allowed two home runs in his first nine starts. The St. Louis Cardinals topped that number by the fifth inning to help former Pittsburgh Pirate Kip Wells snap a long skid.

Wells snapped a career-high seven-game losing streak and David Eckstein and Jim Edmonds homered in the opening two frames as the Cardinals posted a 5-3 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday.

Chris Duncan homered for the third straight game for St. Louis, which has hit four home runs in the last two home contests after going homerless at Busch Stadium since April 28 - a stretch of seven games.

"They got their groove back," said Snell, who had allowed only two earned runs in two previous starts against the Cardinals this year. "I made mistake pitches and they hit them out of the park."

Wells (2-8) leads the league with eight losses and 43 runs allowed, but pitched more like the pitcher who yielded just five earned runs over 20 innings in his first three starts. The righthander allowed just five hits and a walk and was charged with two runs - one earned.

"He threw a lot of strikes," Pirate shortstop Jack Wilson said. "He had a difference in his motion from what I've seen in the past. He kept it down, threw some good two-seamers inside, and let the ball do the work for him."

"(Wells) did everything you're supposed to do," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "When they had opportunities he made nasty pitches, the key at-bats he made pitches and got key outs."

Pittsburgh reached him for two runs in the sixth, which was made possible by a misplay by Duncan in left field and an error by second baseman Adam Kennedy.

Duncan played a long fly ball by Jose Bautista into a leadoff double. A one-out single by Freddy Sanchez put runners on the corner before Kennedy misplayed a grounder by Adam LaRoche for an error, allowing Bautista to score and Sanchez to race around to third base. Jason Bay followed with a sacrifice fly.

Pittsburgh center fielder Chris Duffy led off the eighth with a triple off Randy Flores and scored on a one-out double down the left field line by LaRoche.

But Jason Isringhausen struck out Ryan Doumit and Xavier Nady with runners on first and second to escape before Scott Spiezio delivered an insurance run-scoring single in the bottom half.

Isringhausen logged a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

Although Wells has not pitched well, he has received little support. The Cardinals had been outscored, 42-8, in his last five starts but that all changed Wednesday.

"It's not that you pitch any different once you get a lead," Wells said. "But, you can get some momentum and have them on their heels a little bit, thinking they have to overcome something now that they have a deficit."

Eckstein led off the bottom of the first by drilling a fastball from Snell over the left field fence for his first homer of the season and fifth career leadoff blast. Duffy prevented a two-run homer later in the frame when he brought back a blast over the left-center wall from Juan Encarnacion.

But Edmonds led off the second with his second blast of the campaign, a prodigious 425-foot blast well over the right field wall.

"That was vintage there," La Russa said. "When you start seeing (Edmonds) getting aggressive, that's when he's seeing the ball well."

In the fifth, Duncan belted a two-run blast - his third homer in three games - two batters after Wells singled.

"I think you can say the club is in a better place offensively," Eckstein said. "We've done a better job of getting a pitch and hitting it a lot harder."

Snell (4-3) left after six innings, yielding four runs and seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

"They hit three balls out of the ballpark," Pirate manager Jim Tracy said. "(Snell) hung in there, like he always does, and got through six innings, because of that he gave us an opportunity."

Duffy had two hits for the Pirates, who have lost four straight.








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

    BATTERIES: PIT - IAN SNELL, DAMASO MARTE (7TH), JONAH BAYLISS (7TH), MATT CAPPS
    (8TH) AND RYAN DOUMIT
    STL - KIP WELLS, RANDY FLORES (8TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN
    (8TH) AND GARY B

    May 23 10:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SCOTT SPIEZIO SCORED JUAN ENCARNACION.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SPIEZIO ON FIRST, J EDMONDS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.233, 0-FOR-3)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 10:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED CHRIS DUFFY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LAROCHE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.283, 1-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 10:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JASON BAY SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A LAROCHE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    ST LOUIS 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R DOUMIT (.349, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 9:51 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED JOSE BAUTISTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LAROCHE ON FIRST, F SANCHEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    ST LOUIS 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.283, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHRIS DUNCAN (9) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF IAN SNELL SCORED KIP WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, ST LOUIS 4
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 9:29 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIM EDMONDS (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF IAN SNELL.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, ST LOUIS 2
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: G BENNETT (.250, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 8:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAVID ECKSTEIN (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF IAN SNELL.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, ST LOUIS 1
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C DUNCAN (.296, 8 HR, 18 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsMay 23 8:19 PM