August 16, 2008

Pineiro wins again as Cards touch-4 four times

Plenty of round-trippers in the Great American Ballpark helped Joel Pineiro pitch through another great outing as the St. Louis Cardinals ensure a series win against the Cincinatti Reds tonight, winning 9-3.

Pineiro gave up seven hits, but some of them were ground ball hits, which as much as summed up his seven complete innings of effectiveness with his sinker. He did give up two solo dingers and one other earned run, but walked no one and struck out six Reds. The right-hander threw 81 pitches, 57 for strikes.

The Cards pounded out 13 hits on the night, four of them round-trippers. Skip Schumaker hit a three-run shot in the second inning after the Cards had already scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Schumaker's blast capped off a five-run second inning, leaving Pineiro a commanding 5-1 lead with which to work the hill.

Albert Pujols hit a solo homer in the third to add on, something the Cards are not always capable of doing.

In the fourth inning, Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run shot to left, making it 8-1. Pujols made it a back to back affair, hammering a 400+ foot drive over the center field wall, giving the Cards a 9-1 lead.

The Reds had their turn at long ball, Andy Phillips with a solo shot in the fifth and Brandon Phillips copying the at bat in the sixth.

With a 9-3 lead, manager Tony La Russa brought in Jason Isringhausen for the seventh inning, Russ Springer for the eighth, and Ron Villone for the ninth, each of them giving up one hit, but no runs.

Pineiro improves his record to 6-5, and with Chris Perez putting in two good closing performances, the chances of Adam Wainwright returning to the starting rotation instead of the bullpen is probably getting more consideration.

The Cardinals have a chance to sweep the Reds tomorrow afternoon at 12:15 p.m. Kyle Lohse (13-5) is slated to throw against the Reds' Edinson Volquez (14-5).
photo by Iscan