|Cardinals creep back into NL Central race with 12-4 rout of Brewers|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 14 August 2007 22:36|
Or, for that matter, the champions from last year.
The Cardinals pounded out a season-high 19 hits in a 12-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night, drawing the Cardinals closer to contention in the NL Central and spoiling the host Brewers' 1982 World Series team reunion.
Both teams wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the 1982 series, in which the Cardinals defeated the Brewers in seven games - making Tuesday's result look vaguely familiar.
Now the reigning World Series champions have clawed their way back into the division race. With Tuesday night's victory, St. Louis trails Milwaukee by 4 1/2 games, and second-place Chicago by three.
La Russa said he is proud of the way his players have handled adversity, but isn't going to get too excited about their recent progress until they having a winning record. With the victory, St. Louis is 56-60.
``When that happens, then you look around and say, 'Hey, where are we?,''' manager Tony La Russa said.
In other NL games, it was Florida 14, Arizona 5; New York 5, Pittsburgh 4; Philadelphia 3, Washington 2; Atlanta 5, San Francisco 4; Cincinnati 6, Chicago 5; San Diego 8, Colorado 0; and Houston 7, Los Angeles 4.
Brewers starter Chris Capuano (5-10) hasn't won since May 7, a streak of 15 starts without a victory that includes 10 losses and five no-decisions. Brewers manager Ned Yost said he and general manager Doug Melvin might consider taking Capuano out of the starting rotation.
``The streak is up to 15 now,'' Yost said. ``He's laboring through it right now. I'll talk to Doug. We've got to see what our options are. He might be our best option. It's hard to make a rash decision after that.''
Kip Wells (6-13) allowed a solo home run to Prince Fielder, his 37th, and a two-run shot to Geoff Jenkins in the first inning. But Wells didn't give up a hit after that until Braun's triple in the sixth. Wells said the Cardinals' road trip is another opportunity to jump back in the division race.
``We've had certain times where it's like, 'This is a big week for us. This is a big month for us,''' Wells said. ``We just haven't necessarily put it together from top to bottom.''
Chicago lost 6-5 to Cincinnati, allowing Milwaukee to maintain a 1 1/2 game division lead over the Cubs. But the Cardinals suddenly are lurking.
``I don't think we ever counted them out,'' Braun said. ``But at same time I feel like we're still in first place. We're still in a position we want to be in and we still control our own destiny.''
Braves 5, Giants 4
At Atlanta, Bobby Cox set a dubious record and the Braves pulled out win after Bob Wickman (3-2) blew a save.
Chipper Jones doubled home the winning run in the ninth inning, though Cox wasn't around to see the thrilling finish. Atlanta's cantankerous manager was tossed after the fifth for arguing a called third strike on Jones - the 132nd ejection of his career to break the mark originally set by Hall of Famer John McGraw.
Marlins 14, Diamondbacks 5
At Miami, Dontrelle Willis (8-12) earned his first win since May 29, striking out 11 in seven innings and Florida's bats did the rest in a victory over Arizona.
Willis had gone 0-7 over his past 13 starts. His teammates came to the rescue, building a 14-1 lead by the time he took the mound in the fifth inning.
Byung-Hyun Kim (6-6) lasted only 17 pitches in his second start for the Diamondbacks since they claimed him off waivers from Florida. He retired one batter and gave up four runs.
Mets 5, Pirates 4
Moises Alou's two-run single in the eighth inning put New York ahead, and the Mets finally figured out how to win in Pittsburgh.
With the scored at 3, Salomon Torres (1-4) gave up a single to David Wright and a double to Carlos Beltran. Both scored when Alou singled off Shawn Chacon.
Jorge Sosa (9-6) got the win and Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 29 opportunities.
Phillies 3, Nationals 2
At Washington, Russell Branyan's pinch-hit, two-run homer keyed an eighth-inning rally to keep Philadelphia three games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.
Branyan hit it off John Rauch (8-3). He was batting for Antonio Alfonseca (4-1), who got the win after he retired the only batter he faced in the seventh.
Reds 6, Cubs 5
At Chicago, Aaron Harang (12-3) allowed four hits, including three homers, but still outpitched Carlos Zambrano (14-9) as Cincinnati sent suddenly reeling Chicago to its seventh loss in nine games.
Harang gave up three solo shots in seven-plus innings - back-to-back homers to Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez in the fourth and one to Jacque Jones in the sixth. David Weathers earned his 23rd save.
Padres 8, Rockies 0
At San Diego, rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff homered and hit a two-run single during the six-run second inning, helping Greg Maddux (8-9) beat Colorado.
Jeff Francis (13-6) walked five in the second and gave up eight runs in 3 1-3 innings, ending his string of eight straight winning decisions.
Astros 7, Dodgers 4
At Los Angeles, Matt Albers (3-5) won for the first time in three starts since returning to the Astros' rotation.
Brett Tomko (2-10) allowed five runs, six hits and four walks over five-plus innings and struck out five. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.06 ERA in seven starts at home this season.