for this game

Cardinals complete sweep of Reds

Sep 2, 2007 - 11:24 PM By Jim Walsh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- For Braden Looper, day time is the right time.

Looper continued his day-time dominance, tossing seven scoreless innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon.

Rick Ankiel homered for the second time in the series for the Cardinals, who completed a three-game sweep. It was the 15th win in the last 19 home games for St. Louis (67-66), which moved one game over .500 for the first time since April 15.

The Cardinals stayed two games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.

"To say we're a winning club, (I'll) just enjoy the moment," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "I don't know what will happen tomorrow but we're a winning club today and it's September."

Looper (12-10), who came into the contest leading the NL with a 1.98 ERA in day games, won for the fourth time in his last five decisions. The converted reliever allowed only four hits, striking out three with no walks.

"I don't know what it is (about day games)," said Looper, who extended his scoreless streak to 14 innings. "The only thing I can think of is I'm normally up anyway. I'm not a late sleeper like a lot of guys. I have two small children so I'm used to getting up early."

Looper was able to shut down the Reds even though he did not think he had his best stuff.

"I was able to mix it up enough to keep them off balance - especially a team like (the Reds), they're so dangerous," Looper said.

Ryan Franklin allowed a run in the eighth before Jason Isringhausen made it interesting in the ninth.

Isringhausen gave up singles to Adam Dunn and Scott Hatteberg to start the inning. Norris Hooper followed with a sacrifice fly, but Isringhausen retired Javier Valentin and Alex Gonzalez for his 28th save.

Ankiel snapped a scoreless tie in the sixth when he sent Reds starter Bronson Arroyo's first pitch into the right field seats for his sixth home run since joining the team August 9. The pitcher-turned-outfielder added a sacrifice fly in the seventh, giving him nine RBI for the series.

"I knew (Ankiel) was being really, really aggressive all series," Arroyo said. "I figured I could start him off on the inner-half with something a little soft. I just threw a little cutter in there, thinking he would be a little patient, and he wasn't, and he got me."

"The first game (Ankiel) played it looked like he had some good swings in him," La Russa added. "He looks the same every game he plays. He goes up there and takes his swings."

Ryan Ludwick followed with a double to left-center field and scored on a two-out double by Aaron Miles to ruin what had been a terrific start for Arroyo (7-14).

The Cardinals tried to break through on Arroyo in the first as David Eckstein singled to lead off the inning.

With one out, Ludwick hit a line drive to the wall in left-center which center fielder Josh Hamilton handled and threw to shortstop Jeff Keppinger, who threw home to nail a sliding Eckstein.

Ludwick made it to third on the throw but was stranded there, as Arroyo struck out Jim Edmonds to end the threat.

"I felt good in the first inning," said Arroyo, who suffered just his second loss in his last six starts. "I just got myself into a situation where I thought I could get in on Ludwick and he hit the ball in the gap. Luckily, we threw Eckstein out at the plate."

Arroyo kept the St. Louis bats quiet after that, retiring 11 of the next 12 batters and allowing only a fourth-inning walk to Ludwick. The 30-year old righthander shut down a Cardinals team that had scored 19 runs in the first two games of the series until Ankiel's blast in the sixth.

"I got into a groove," Arroyo said. "I felt like I had good stuff. I felt strong, but (St. Louis is) the type of team that they peck at you and peck at you and eventually they get one or two."

Arroyo was lifted after 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

"For five innings it was like a staring contest, waiting for somebody to blink," Reds manger Pete Mackanin said. "We blinked first and they took advantage of it."

Cincinnati broke the shutout in the eighth with three straight one-out hits off Franklin. But Franklin recovered after an RBI single by Keppinger, striking out Ken Griffey Jr. and Brandon Phillips with runners on second and third.








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

    BATTERIES: CIN - BRONSON ARROYO, BILL BRAY (7TH) AND DAVID ROSS, JAVIER
    VALENTIN (8TH)
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RYAN FRANKLIN (8TH), JASON
    ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND GARY BENNETT, YA

    Sep 2 4:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY NORRIS HOPPER SCORED ADAM DUNN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S HATTEBERG ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 2
    ST LOUIS 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J VALENTIN (.286, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 4:46 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 4:46 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF KEPPINGER SCORED ALEX GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KEPPINGER ON FIRST, J HAMILTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ST LOUIS 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: K GRIFFEY JR (.286, 0-FOR-3)

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 4:22 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RICK ANKIEL SCORED BRENDAN RYAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    ST LOUIS 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.251, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 4:09 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY AARON MILES SCORED RYAN LUDWICK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A MILES ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: G BENNETT (.232, 1-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 3:51 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RICK ANKIEL (6) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF BRONSON ARROYO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0, ST LOUIS 1
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.248, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 3:45 PM
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    rabidrabid Added 5 roots

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 2 1:06 PM
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    blueeyes Added 5 roots

    Reds vs. CardinalsSep 1 1:15 AM