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Upton, Clark help Diamondbacks edge Cardinals

Sep 10, 2007 - 2:08 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks are starting to pull away in the National League West.

Justin Upton hit a two-run homer and Tony Clark delivered a crucial two-out, two-run double as the Diamondbacks rallied for four runs in the seventh inning en route to their fifth straight win, a 6-5 triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series.

Arizona (81-63) opened up a three-game advantage in the NL West over the San Diego Padres (77-65), who suffered a 4-2 setback to the Colorado Rockies.

After Chris Snyder led off the seventh inning with a double, Upton blasted a 2-0 offering from Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin (4-3) over the left-center field wall to tie the game at 4-4.

"It feels good and it is definitely a confidence boost being able to swing the bat in a clutch situation," Upton said. "Home runs don't come easy and being able to get one always feels good and to help the club is even better."

Jeff Salazar followed with a double before Franklin was able to strike out Stephen Drew and Alberto Callaspo. Franklin was one strike away from getting out of the inning, but Eric Byrnes drew a walk to set the stage for Clark to smack a double to right field, giving the Diamondbacks a 6-4 lead.

"A two-out hit like that can make a difference especially late," Clark said. "The biggest hit of the inning obviously was Justin's homer. We were stuck at two for a long time but patting ourselves on the back will defeat the purpose. We have a lot of work to do."

It was the first time in the history of the Diamondbacks franchise that they were able to sweep the Cardinals.

"The last two games with the Padres and against (Chris) Young and (Jake) Peavy were big momentum builders," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "The Cardinals (are) a team that we have always had trouble in my years here. Whether it is youth against veteran-type guys we have always had trouble and to come back and not only beat them but to sweep them is another confidence builder."

Yusmeiro Petit (3-4) picked up the win after pitching two scoreless innings before Tony Pena hurled a perfect eighth and Jose Valverde entered in the ninth to log his major league-leading 45th save.

Valverde retired the first two batters but then surrendered a double to pinch hitter Jim Edmonds. He then issued a four-pitch walk to Albert Pujols and hit Ryan Ludwick with a pitch to load the bases.

Valverde walked David Eckstein to bring in a run but managed to get Yadier Molina to pop out to right field to end the game.

Chris Young gave the Diamondbacks an early 2-0 advantage by blasting a two-run shot in the second inning. The 24-year-old rookie has 29 home runs this season.

"I had no idea coming into the season what I would finish up as," Young said. "The past few years in the minors I had 25, 26 home runs but it is different in the majors. So far I am satisfied with what I have accomplished and the team is winning, which makes it better."

St. Louis rallied for four runs in the third. Miguel Cairo sparked the outburst by belting a two-run triple to deep center to tie the score at 2-2.

Brendan Ryan plated Cairo with a base hit and Pujols capped the rally with an RBI double down the left field line to give the Cardinals a 4-2 advantage.

Nine different players had a hit for St. Louis (69-71), which trails the Milwaukee Brewers (73-69) by three games in the NL Central, but nobody managed two hits. The Chicago Cubs sit in second place, just one game back.

"I have absolutely no complaints the way we went after it these last three days," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "They were winnable games for both sides but they won all, three of them. Like yesterday, today we had a chance to add in the third and fourth but it came back and burned us. There were bad results but if we continue to go about that way we will be fine."

Cardinals starter John Thompson lasted just two innings, giving up two runs and four hits with one strikeout before being relieved by Kip Wells.

Wells, who was coming out of the bullpen for the first time since July 7, held the Diamondbacks scoreless for four frames. However, Wells gave up a leadoff double to Snyder in the seventh and was relieved by Franklin, who immediately surrendered the game-tying homer to Upton.

"I was being aggressive with predominantly four-seam fastballs as opposed to sinkers," Wells said. "I got ahead of them although I didn't locate it down to a science. We were ahead and in that situation I wanted to be aggressive."

Arizona starter Doug Davis yielded four runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts over just four innings. Davis was replaced by the newly-acquired Bob Wickman, who pitched a scoreless frame.








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

    BATTERIES: STL - BRAD THOMPSON, KIP WELLS (3RD), RYAN FRANKLIN (7TH), KELVIN
    JIMENEZ (8TH) AND KELLY STINNETT, GARY BENNETT (8TH)
    ARI - DOUG DAVIS, BOB WICKMAN (5TH), YUSMEIRO

    Sep 9 8:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO DAVID ECKSTEIN SCORED JIM EDMONDS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ECKSTEIN ON FIRST, R LUDWICK ON SECOND, A
    PUJOLS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5
    ARIZONA 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: G BENNETT (.229, 1 HR, 14 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 8:02 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 8:02 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TONY CLARK SCORED JEFF SALAZAR AND ERIC BYRNES.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, T CLARK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    ARIZONA 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.271, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 7:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN UPTON (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF RYAN FRANKLIN SCORED CHRIS SNYDER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4, ARIZONA 4
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: Y PETIT (.071, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 7:18 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED BRENDAN RYAN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, A PUJOLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    ARIZONA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.251, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 5:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRENDAN RYAN SCORED MIGUEL CAIRO.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B RYAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    ARIZONA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.321, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 5:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MIGUEL CAIRO SCORED KELLY STINNETT AND BRIAN
    BARDEN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CAIRO ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    ARIZONA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.313, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 5:25 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHRIS YOUNG (29) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF BRAD THOMPSON SCORED MARK REYNOLDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, ARIZONA 2
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C SNYDER (.245, 11 HR, 36 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 5:08 PM
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    CubsnCards Added 5 roots

    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 9 2:17 AM
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    Cardinals vs. DiamondbacksSep 1 1:16 AM