for this game

Pujols sparks struggling Cardinals offense

May 31, 2007 - 5:37 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Things have not gone smoothly for the defending champs this season, but at least their All-Star slugger seems to be heating up.

Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen each had multi-hit games as the St. Louis Cardinals cruised to an 8-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

Todd Wellemeyer made his first start for his new club and held the previously-hot Rockies lineup to three runs and seven hits in five innings. The converted reliever struck out three and issued one walk to earn his first win of the season.

Pujols had two hits, scored two runs and drove in three, bringing his batting average to .296. Since dipping to .239 on May 14, Pujols is hitting a robust .436 (24-for-55).

Rolen and Edmonds are also in the midst of offensive resurgences, with Rolen hitting .461 (12-for-26) over his last eight games and Edmonds hitting .341 (15-for-44) after dropping to .202 on May 11.

"Everybody's starting to put it together a little bit," Edmonds said. "We know the 3-4-5 and probably 6 hitters have to produce in this lineup for us to win. That's what it's going to take."

Wellemeyer (1-1), who was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals on May 10, drew the difficult task of cooling a Rockies offense that had piled up 31 runs in their past five games and was riding a seven-game winning streak.

"I was impressed with as well as the Rockies have been playing," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "They have a lot of tough outs in that lineup to get into the sixth inning and to pitch with the lead was good. It was very impressive."

The 28-year-old righthander joins a staff that includes Braden Looper, Adam Wainwright and Brad Thompson, all of whom are making transitions from the bullpen to the rotation this season.

St. Louis jumped Colorado starter Jason Hirsh (2-5) in the opening frame. Hirsh hit So Taguchi with a pitch with one out before allowing Pujols to single to center. After Edmonds flew out to center, Rolen doubled home Taguchi and Pujols came in to score on a wild pitch.

"Scott got us going, that was a huge first inning hit for us," La Russa said.

"I haven't lived up to what I'm supposed to be doing and I take responsibility for that," Rolen said. "Right now I'm seeing the ball better, swinging it better and being more selective and hopefully that continues and everything turns the corner for the whole team."

The Rockies cut the deficit in half in bottom of the inning when Kaz Matsui came in to score on Matt Holliday's double-play grounder. Brad Hawpe evened the score at 2-2 in the second when he launched a solo blast over the wall in deep right field.

Hawpe, who managed just one homer in the season's first 37 games, now has seven blasts in the past 13 contests - including one in each of the last three games.

The Cardinals added a run in the fourth on Rolen's RBI double and chased Hirsh with a five-run fifth inning. Pujols and Rolen hit back-to-back homers in the frame and Wellemeyer helped his own cause with an RBI single.

"We went up 3-2 and I shut them down for three straight then we went up big. I thought that was huge," Wellemeyer said.

Hirsh, who has not earned a win in over a month, yielded eight runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.

"I just didnt' have my good stuff and I just couldn't find command for anything really," Hirsh said. "Leaving the fastball up I think was the big key. I couldn't get that thing down, and obviously it hurt me."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 2 0 0 1 5 0 0 0 0 8 11 1
    COLORADO 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - TODD WELLEMEYER, RANDY FLORES (6TH), RYAN FRANKLIN (7TH),
    TYLER JOHNSON (8TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND GARY BENNETT
    COL - JASON HIRSH, TOM MARTIN (5TH),

    May 30 11:58 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JEFF BAKER SCORED YORVIT TORREALBA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAKER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8
    COLORADO 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: K MATSUI (.317, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 11:24 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MATT HOLLIDAY (10) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF TODD WELLEMEYER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, COLORADO 3
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.347, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 10:59 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TODD WELLEMEYER SCORED JUAN ENCARNACION.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, T WELLEMEYER ON FIRST, A KENNEDY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A MILES (.293, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 10:36 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIM EDMONDS (5) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JASON HIRSH.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 7, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.257, 2-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 10:29 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (9) TO CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF JASON HIRSH SCORED AARON MILES AND SO TAGUCHI.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J EDMONDS (.236, 1-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 10:28 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SCOTT ROLEN SCORED JIM EDMONDS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S ROLEN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J ENCARNACION (.213, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 10:09 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (8) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF TODD WELLEMEYER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: Y TORREALBA (.229, 1 HR, 16 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 9:41 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    MATT HOLLIDAY HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.351, 5 HR, 27 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 9:28 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - TODD WELLEMEYER
    COL - JASON HIRSH

    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: K MATSUI (.328, 0 HR, 8 RBI)
    T TULOWITZKI (.273, 2 HR, 21 RBI)
    M HOLLIDAY (.340, 9 HR,

    Cardinals vs. RockiesMay 30 9:19 PM