Cardinals
Astros
8 - 6 Final/11
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Taguchi, Pujols blast Cardinals past Astros

Jun 3, 2007 - 11:27 PM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- So Taguchi has never been renowned as a power hitter. The same cannot be said for Albert Pujols.

Taguchi ripped a go-ahead solo home run in the 10th inning and Pujols crushed two homers - including a mammoth two-run blast in the 10th - to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-6 triumph over the Houston Astros.

It was the fourth victory in the last five games for the Cardinals, who concluded a seven-game road trip.

Pujols crushed his first homer of the contest in the eighth inning Sunday to give St. Louis a 5-4 lead. But Houston forged a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the frame when rookie Hunter Pence led off with a solo homer against righthander Ryan Franklin.

Inserted into the contest as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, Taguchi made some noise with his bat in the 10th, hooking Dan Wheeler's first pitch off the foul pole in left field to give the Cardinals a 6-5 advantage.

"The thing about So, he's proven that ever since he came into the big leagues that he's not intimidated by late-game situations," Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said. "He'll give you a great at-bat, make a great play, run the bases. He is very cool under pressure."

It was just the second homer of the season for Taguchi, who belted his first blast of the campaign Monday. But prior to that contest, Taguchi had not homered in a regular-season game since June 21, 2006.

Pujols, on the other hand, has made a career of going deep, surpassing the 40-homer mark each of the last four seasons and crushing at least 34 homers in his first six campaigns. He nearly hit four homers in this game alone, twice belting shots 425 feet to "Tal's Hill" in center field, where Pence caught them.

A former MVP and five-time All-Star, Pujols provided valuable insurance against Wheeler (0-2) later in the 10th inning. After David Eckstein singled and Scott Spiezio struck out, Pujols hammers Wheeler's 3-2 offering off the facade in left-center field to give St. Louis an 8-5 edge.

"I've just tried to take what they give me and not be too greedy," Pujols said. "I chased a lot of bad pitches earlier in the season. If I have to walk, I take my walk."

"You mean the four home runs he hit, and the two that counted?" LaRussa joked. "What a day. If you've been wondering about his power, watch that game today."

Wheeler gave credit to Pujols but admitted he missed his spot.

"We were already down a run, and he's the one guy in the lineup you don't want to beat you," Wheeler said. "You're trying to focus on keeping the ball down and maybe he'll swing at a pitcher's pitch. I had the right mindset, I just didn't execute to where I needed to be."

Astros manager Phil Garner gave no serious consideration to walking Pujols, who now has 19 home runs in 59 career regular-season games at Minute Maid Park.

"If we make the pitch we've been making, we get (Pujols) out," Garner said. "That's what we've been doing the whole series. ... We've seen a (lot) of those in the last couple of weeks. Broken-bat bloopers go anywhere."

It was the second multi-homer game this season and 18th career for Pujols, who leads the Cardinals with 11 blasts this season.

"Once a year, I do that here," Pujols said. "I hit the balls a long ways. I had pretty good swings."

"We try to get them to hit at the pitches they normally don't want to swing at," Wheeler said. "Sometimes they're too aggressive and get themselves out. Obviously (Pujols) is in a different class. He waits for his pitches, fights off good pitches, and when the pitcher makes a mistake, he hits it."

Eckstein and Juan Encarnacion also homered for St. Louis, which improved to 6-3 this season against Houston.

Jason Isringhausen (2-0) worked the last two innings to record the win, yielding a leadoff homer to Mark Loretta in the 10th and stranding the tying run on first base.

Cardinals starter Braden Looper worked six innings, allowing three runs and seven hits with no walks and one strikeout.

Pence had four hits and Morgan Ensberg added a pair for the Astros, who have lost 14 of their last 17 contests.

"This is a tough loss," Garner said. "We fought hard but we'll bounce back from it."

Pence's home run was a 440-foot blast that was tied for the fifth-longest home run in the history of Minute Maid Park. Pence has multi-hit games in nine of his last 11 starts, hitting .465 (20-for-43) in that span.

"It's fun to watch (Pence) play," Pujols said. "He's smiling and playing hard all the time. He plays really great defense, too."








  • NL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 1 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    ST LOUIS 3 8 11 0
    HOUSTON 1 6 11 0 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: STL

    Jun 3 5:05 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK LORETTA (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    10TH OFF JASON ISRINGHAUSEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, HOUSTON 6
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.235, 3 HR, 17 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:56 PM
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    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:53 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: T Miller relieved D Wheeler.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8
    HOUSTON 5 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J Edmonds (.241, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Jun 3 4:50 PM


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    AT HOUSTON - PITCHING CHANGE
    HOU: TREVER MILLER (0-0, 6.91) IN THE 10TH
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR STLOUIS: J EDMONDS (.241, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Jun 3 4:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (11) TO LEFT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 10TH OFF DAN WHEELER SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J EDMONDS (.241, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Jun 3 4:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (11) TO LEFT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 10TH OFF DAN WHEELER SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J EDMONDS (.241, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:50 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SO TAGUCHI (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    10TH OFF DAN WHEELER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.280, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Jun 3 4:38 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SO TAGUCHI (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    10TH OFF DAN WHEELER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.280, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:38 PM
  • 35
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    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:38 PM


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    AT HOUSTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: A Miles hit for B Ryan.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5
    HOUSTON 5 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A Miles (.264, 0 HR, 8 RBI)

    Jun 3 4:35 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: B Ausmus catching.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5
    HOUSTON 5 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: B Ryan (.000, 0-FOR-3)

    Jun 3 4:35 PM


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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 5 8 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 5 9 0 (TOP 10)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - JASON ISRINGHAUSEN
    HOU - DAN WHEELER

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: B RYAN (.000, 0-FOR-3)
    S TAGUCHI (.250, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
    D ECKSTEIN (.280, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Jun 3 4:34 PM
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    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:21 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HUNTER PENCE (5) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF RYAN FRANKLIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.316, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:16 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (10) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF CHAD QUALLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J EDMONDS (.242, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:11 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED ERIC MUNSON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LAMB (.267, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 4:03 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED MORGAN ENSBERG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, E MUNSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.325, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 3:57 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MORGAN ENSBERG SCORED LUKE SCOTT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ENSBERG ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: E MUNSON (.200, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 3:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED ORLANDO PALMEIRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.318, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 3:33 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JIM EDMONDS SCORED SCOTT SPIEZIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J EDMONDS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J ENCARNACION (.238, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 3:19 PM


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    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GARY BENNETT SCORED RYAN LUDWICK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G BENNETT ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: B RYAN (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 3:00 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JUAN ENCARNACION (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JASON JENNINGS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.241, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 2:58 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - BRADEN LOOPER
    HOU - JASON JENNINGS

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.333, 0 HR, 11 RBI)
    M LAMB (.264, 2 HR, 5 RBI)
    H PENCE (.358, 4 HR, 21 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosJun 3 2:09 PM