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Wainwright, balanced offensive key Cardinals' fourth straight win

Aug 1, 2007 - 3:30 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- After a deep first-half slumber, the St. Louis Cardinals appear to be waking up.

Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals' offense were each just good enough as St. Louis matched a season high by winning its fourth game in a row with a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

The Cardinals have won four straight contests for just the second time this season and moved within three games of .500 (50-53) for the first time since April 28.

"We've talked about going to minus-four (four games under .500) and now we're minus-three," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "There have been several times that zero (the .500 mark) was so far away that we had to really force being optimistic. But now there's a light at the end of the tunnel if we keep winning games. It's exciting to see the zero out there and not be so far away."

St. Louis has been under .500 since April 17 and fell as many as nine games under on May 29 (20-29).

Wainwright (10-8), who won for the fourth time in his past five decisions, allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings, striking out three. After a rough first two months as a starter - 4-4 with a 5.59 ERA - the righthander has settled down over the next two months, going 6-4 with a 3.43 ERA.

"The important thing is that we won," Wainwright said. "I'm not really excited about the stuff I had today but it could have come out worse. I made pitches when I had to."

Scott Rolen spearheaded St. Louis' offensive effort, collecting two hits and scoring twice. The third baseman singled and scored in the sixth to put the Cardinals up, 3-2, and doubled and scored in the eighth to advance the lead to 6-4.

Every Cardinals starter except for David Eckstein had a hit - and Eckstein scored a run and had an RBI.

"It's been a lot of fun these past few days," said Ryan Ludwick, whose RBI double scored Rolen in the sixth. "It's just one of those things where it worked out for us tonight because we are plying good ball as a team right now. We're just playing hard baseball right now."

St. Louis' offense was just good enough to solve Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm (7-13), who permitted three runs - two earned - over six frames, striking out three and walking two.

The lefthander had won his previous two starts - Pittsburgh's only two victories since the All-Star break during a stretch that has seen them drop 14 of their last 16.

"(Maholm) did not have his good command, but he certainly battled to get through the six innings he got through," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "He certainly didn't deserve to be involved in a decision where he took a loss. That's very unfortunate."

Three Cardinals relievers combined to surrender two runs over the next two innings to make things interesting before turning it over to closer Jason Isringhausen, who worked around a walk in the ninth to post his 21st save in 23 chances.

Jason Bay had three hits and Ryan Doumit homered for the Pirates, who fell to 5-52 in contests in which they trail after six innings.

"We had a dozen hits - so we had guys on base - but we only scored four runs," Bay said. "We need to do better than that. That's the way the game is."








  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NL
    ST LOUIS 6
    PITTSBURGH 4 FINAL

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 10:31 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 5 9 1
    PITTSBURGH 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 4 12 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT, RUSS SPRINGER (7TH), RANDY FLORES (7TH), RYAN
    FRANKLIN (8TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    PIT - PAUL MAHOLM, SALOMON TORRES (7

    Jul 31 10:05 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 9:49 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN DOUMIT (8) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF RYAN FRANKLIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5, PITTSBURGH 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R PAULINO (.237, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 9:43 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED SCOTT ROLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5
    PITTSBURGH 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A MILES (.282, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 9:38 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BAY SCORED CESAR IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAY ON FIRST, A LAROCHE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    PITTSBURGH 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.234, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 9:23 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID ECKSTEIN SCORED AARON MILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C DUNCAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S TAGUCHI (.297, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 9:12 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN LUDWICK SCORED SCOTT ROLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R LUDWICK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.254, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 8:55 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACK WILSON SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: P MAHOLM (.171, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 8:24 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, R LUDWICK ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A MILES (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 8:08 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACK WILSON SCORED JASON BAY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILSON ON FIRST, X NADY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: P MAHOLM (.175, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 7:37 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT
    PIT - PAUL MAHOLM

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.292, 6 HR, 38 RBI)
    C IZTURIS (.246, 0 HR, 8 RBI)
    A LAROCHE (.244, 14 HR, 57 RB

    Cardinals vs. PiratesJul 31 7:15 PM