for this game

Ankiel homers twice as Cardinals drub Pirates

Sep 7, 2007 - 1:34 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- The St. Louis Cardinals playoff hopes are alive and well, as is the playing career of Rick Ankiel.

The former pitcher-turned-outfielder hit a pair of home runs and had seven RBI as the Cardinals rolled past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 16-4, on Thursday in a game called in the ninth inning due to rain.

David Eckstein and Aaron Miles each added three hits and an RBI as St. Louis (69-68) closed to within one game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers (71-68) and Chicago Cubs (71-68).

The Cubs lost to the Los Angles Dodgers earlier in the day and the Brewers were idle Thursday.

Ankiel sparked the St. Louis offense with a three-run homer in the second to break a 2-2 tie and blasted a two-run shot to highlight a five-run fifth inning.

"It feels as good as it can feel," Ankiel said. "The thing to remember when you get up there with runners on base is that the pitcher is the one that's in trouble."

He continued the hit parade with a two-run double in the sixth and finished the game with four runs scored.

His seven RBI is the best single-game total by a Cardinal since Scott Rolen did likewise last September 15 against San Francisco.

"It was a good day, that's for sure," Ankiel added. "It's been unbelievable."

Though best known for throwing nine wild pitches in four innings during the 2000 playoffs - an outing that essentially ended his pitching career - Ankiel has quickly made a name for himself at the plate.

The 28-year-old, who also hit a two-run homer Wednesday, is batting .358 (29-for-81) with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 23 games since returning to the majors on August 9.

"Marvel is a good word," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "It's kind of amazing, isn't it? Clutch, too. And look at the pitches he's hitting, all kinds of pitches. Rick's just seeing the ball well and having a terrific approach."

La Russa tried to soften the tone of his remarks a little, adding, "Rick has definitely had an impact, but it takes a lot more guys to win games."

But there is no doubt the Cardinals' resurrected 1997 second-round draft pick has been around the most exciting stretch of a strange season, as the team is now 17-9 since purchasing Ankiel's contract from AAA Memphis (PCL).

"It seems like we've been winning since I've been here," Ankiel said. "Hopefully we can continue."

Ankiel inspired his teammates to join in the fun, and eight different Cardinals each drove in a run, as St. Louis went 10-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

Kelvin Jimenez (2-0) benefited from the offensive onslaught, picking up the victory after facing just one batter in the second inning.

Cardinals starter Mike Maroth continued to struggle with his new club, allowing two runs, six hits and a walk while striking out one in 1 2/3 innings. The lefthander departed after walking Josh Phelps to load the bases in the second inning. Jimenez entered in relief and struck out Jason Bay to end the threat.

"It was a matter of just not being aggressive enough early in the count," Maroth said. "I made a lot of pitches that would have been good with two strikes, or when I was ahead in the count, but early in the count you've got to make them put it in play."

Acquired from Detroit in June, Maroth has yet to record a win in nine games - seven starts - with the Cardinals. Since joining the team, he's allowed 26 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings.

Maroth, who spent most of August on the 15-day disabled list with elbow tendinitis, wasn't helped by the fact that the start of the game was pushed back 86 minutes due to rain in the area. The showers returned in the ninth inning and the game was not resumed.

Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick had two hits apiece and drove in a run for St. Louis, which has won 17 of its last 23 games at home.

The 22-hit attack marked the team's largest hit total in a nine-inning game since September 20, 1992, against the Cubs.

In his first major league start, Pittsburgh's Bryan Bullington (0-1) was pinned with the loss after allowing five runs, seven hits and two walks while striking out one in three innings.

"My fastball was a little flat and my slider was a little loopy at times," Bullington said. "They took advantage of it, that's for sure."

"The Cardinals took some of our young kids and hit them hard - period," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "Flat pitches in the middle of the plate get hit often, and hard."

The top overall pick in the 2002 draft had just one previous stint in the majors, pitching in relief against the Cincinnati Reds on September 18, 2005.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 11 1
    ST LOUIS 2 3 0 2 5 4 0 0 x 16 22 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - BRYAN BULLINGTON, JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN (4TH), DAVE DAVIDSON
    (6TH), JUAN PEREZ (7TH), SHANE YOUMAN (8TH) AND CARLOS
    MALDONADO
    STL - MIKE MAROTH, KELVIN JIMENEZ

    Sep 6 7:22 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 11 1
    ST LOUIS 2 3 0 2 5 4 0 0 x 16 22 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - BRYAN BULLINGTON, JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN (4TH), JOHN GRABOW
    (5TH), DAVE DAVIDSON (6TH), JUAN PEREZ (7TH), SHANE YOUMAN
    (8TH) AND CARLOS MALDONADO
    STL - MIKE MAR

    Sep 6 7:15 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS MALDONADO SCORED JACK WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C MALDONADO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4
    ST LOUIS 16 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J CASTILLO (.240, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 6:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY AARON MILES SCORED RYAN LUDWICK.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, A MILES ON FIRST, S TAGUCHI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 16 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.318, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 6:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SO TAGUCHI SCORED RICK ANKIEL.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S TAGUCHI ON FIRST, R LUDWICK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 15 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: K STINNETT (.178, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 6:04 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RICK ANKIEL SCORED BRENDAN RYAN AND DAVID
    ECKSTEIN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R ANKIEL ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 14 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.318, 2-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 6:01 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIGUEL CAIRO SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, M CAIRO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 12 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.278, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 5:44 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RICK ANKIEL (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JOHN GRABOW SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3, ST LOUIS 11
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.316, 1-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 5:43 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ECKSTEIN SCORED SKIP SCHUMAKER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D ECKSTEIN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 9 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R ANKIEL (.342, 1-FOR-2, BB, HR, 3 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 5:43 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN ALLOWED AARON MILES TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SCHUMAKER ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 8 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.297, 1-FOR-2, SAC)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 5:43 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN LUDWICK SCORED RICK ANKIEL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A PUJOLS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C DUNCAN (.262, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 5:06 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED BRENDAN RYAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A PUJOLS ON FIRST, R ANKIEL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.249, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 5:04 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JOSE BAUTISTA SCORED MATT KATA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    ST LOUIS 5 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.315, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 4:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RICK ANKIEL (8) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF BRYAN BULLINGTON SCORED BRIAN BARDEN AND BRENDAN
    RYAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2, ST LOUIS 5
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.316, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 4:29 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F SANCHEZ ON SECOND, J BAUTISTA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J PHELPS (.400, 1-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 4:14 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE BAUTISTA SCORED BRYAN BULLINGTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAUTISTA ON FIRST, N MCLOUTH ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.313, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 4:12 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED RYAN LUDWICK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, C DUNCAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A MILES (.299, 1 HR, 25 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 4:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS DUNCAN SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C DUNCAN ON FIRST, R LUDWICK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.277, 6 HR, 35 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 6 3:57 PM
  • 5
    roots
    blueeyes Added 5 roots

    Pirates vs. CardinalsSep 1 1:16 AM