August 15, 2008

Thompson stands in as Cards beat Reds

Brad Thompson of the St. Louis Cardinals added significant innings in the stead of injured starter Chris Carpenter in a 5-3 win in the opening game of a three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds, 5-3.

Thompson threw 5.0 innings, not as deep as manager Tony La Russa would've like for a starter, but certainly a good contribution considering Thompson has been working middle relief for some time now. The Reds scored three runs on Thompson, who struck out four in his service tonight at the Great American Ballpark.

Jaime Garcia come on to work a couple innings before La Russa went to the shorter bullpen hurlers. Abscent in that group once more was Jason Isringhausen, but Kyle McClellan worked, then Ron Villone, who performed his specialty of facing one left-handed batter. Chris Perez closed once more.

While the Cardinals' pitching staff has been of major concern, the offense produced well again, scoring five on the night.

Rick Ankiel put the Cards out in front in the first inning with a two-run shot into the right field seats.

The Reds' Chris Dickerson answered one of those runs in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff solo blast of his own, cutting the Cards' lead to 2-1.

Back came the Cardinals in the second, Skip Schumaker singling home Felipe Lopez to inch ahead 3-1.

Another answer by the Reds, Corey Patterson sending home Javier Valentin with a sacrifice fly.

Now up 3-2, the Cards would take their turn at scoring, Pujols scampering home from third base with the bases loaded and Jason LaRue grounding into a fielder's choice. These runs were all against Red's starter Bronson Arroyo, who threw a hefty 106 pitches in his 6.1 innings of work.

Patterson scored on a fielder's choice in the fifth, cutting the Cards lead to one at 4-3.

LaRue would contribute with the bat again, hitting a sacrifice fly that brought home Lopez to put the Cards up 5-3, the final score in the game.

Thompson improves to 5-2 while Garcia, McClellan, and Villone all earn holds. Perez notched his fourth save.

Hot hitters of the Cards tonight:
  • Lopez went 2-for-3, scoring two runs with a triple
  • Albert Pujols went 3-for-5 with two doubles
  • Ankiel was 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Ludwick went 1-for-5 with a double

The Cardinals play the Reds tomorrow night at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinatti, Ohio, game time 6:10 p.m. CT.

Joel Pineiro is slated to pitch for the Cardinals, pitching against the Reds' Aaron Harang.

photo by Barbara Moore