for this game

Looper, Barton help Cardinals top Braves

Aug 24, 2008 - 10:19 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan has maintained a reputation for resurrecting the careers of eroding hurlers. Braden Looper sure is showing off the benefits of working under the pitching guru.

Looper threw seven solid innings and Brian Barton collected a career-high three hits and drove in two runs as the Cardinals recorded a 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday in the rubber game of a three-game set.

Looper (12-10) surrendered three runs and five hits, striking out five and walking two before two relievers bridged the gap to rookie Chris Perez , who notched his fifth save.

"I was able to make a lot of good pitches and keep them off-balance because they have a tough lineup," Looper said. "I know that they're not playing as well as they're probably wanting to, but they have a real tough lineup that you have to be careful with.

"And our guys had a good day at the plate. And I feel like that's one of the things that I've done real well this year, is when I've gotten the lead, keeping it or at least keeping us in the game. And for the most part, almost all my starts, I've done that."

The 33-year-old righthander tied his career high for wins in a season and lowered his ERA to 3.94 - one run less than last season's mark during his first stint as a starter.

Looper wore out his welcome in New York, as he was an ineffective closer for the Mets, and the Cardinals scooped him up three years ago. After a season in the bullpen as a part-time ninth-inning stopper, Duncan and manager Tony La Russa decided to move him into the rotation.

Since then, he has won 24 games while recording a 4.38 ERA.

Duncan, considered one of the game's best pitching coaches, also has helped Cardinals righthander Kyle Lohse, who has 13 wins this season. Among others to flourish under him in the past were Jeff Weaver and Adam Wainwright, who made a successful transition from the bullpen to rotation.

Looper surrendered three runs in the second inning but was supported as Barton laced a go-ahead, two-run double in the bottom of the frame off Jo-Jo Reyes (3-10), giving St. Louis a 4-3 advantage.

Reyes tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs, nine hits and four walks with two strikeouts.

"I felt good, and it's a good start to build on," Reyes said. "It's a good lineup. The whole lineup is hot and the team is hot. Right now in my career, I'm young, and as long as I can keep the team in the game and not get it out of hand, that's a goal for me."

Barton, who also scored on Joe Mather's sacrifice fly in the fourth, bunted for a single with one out in the sixth before leaving for a pinch runner due to a strained right oblique. Two batters later, Mather delivered an RBI double for a 6-3 lead.

"They said it was pretty mild," Barton said of his injury. "It feels a little uncomfortable right now, but hopefully in the next 24 to 48 hours, I'll get a better feel for it. I actually hurt it or tweaked it a few days ago. But I reaggravated it going halfway down the line. We'll see what happens."

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols belted a two-run homer in the first, his 28th of the season.

"It's getting down to the end of the season, and every series is important," Pujols said. "It doesn't matter who we play. That's our main goal, is to try to win series as much as we can. After the tough loss yesterday, we bounced back and won the series today. That will show you what kind of ballclub we have."








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

    BATTERIES: ATL - JO-JO REYES, BLAINE BOYER (6TH), MANNY ACOSTA (7TH) AND BRIAN
    MCCANN
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RUSS SPRINGER (8TH), RON VILLONE
    (8TH), CHRIS PEREZ (8TH) AND YADIE

    Aug 24 4:53 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOE MATHER SCORED SKIP SCHUMAKER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MATHER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.359, 2-FOR-2, BB, HR, 2 RBI)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 6  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 24 3:59 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOE MATHER SCORED BRIAN BARTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C IZTURIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.359, 2-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 24 3:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN BARTON SCORED YADIER MOLINA AND AARON
    MILES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B BARTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C IZTURIS (.254, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 4  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 24 2:50 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREGOR BLANCO SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, G BLANCO ON FIRST, J REYES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 2  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 24 2:42 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JO-JO REYES SCORED OMAR INFANTE AND MARTIN PRADO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J REYES ON FIRST, J FRANCOEUR ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.256, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 2, Cardinals 2  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 24 2:42 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Braves 0, Cardinals 2  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 24 2:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (28) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF JO-JO REYES SCORED JOE MATHER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, ST LOUIS 2
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.308, 31 HR, 95 RBI)

    Braves 0, Cardinals 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 24 2:26 PM