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Pittsburgh at St. Louis

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St. Louis «00240131x11140

Cards' Mulder rolls to seventh consecutive victory, improving to 7-1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The best way to describe Mark Mulder's impact on the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation is their record when he's on the mound.

Mulder won his seventh consecutive decision and the Cardinals won for the ninth time in his 10 starts overall in an 11-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday that completed a three-game sweep.

The lone loss came in Mulder's second start of the year when he was struggling with his mechanics.

"I want to keep the team in position to win the game, that's first and foremost my goal every time I pitch," Mulder said. "If they score one, you've got to throw a shutout. That's just the way it is."

No shutout was necessary on Wednesday. Yadier Molina had career bests by going 4-for-4 with four RBI and David Eckstein had a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly for the Cardinals, who have beaten the Pirates 12 times in a row dating to last August. It's their longest winning streak against Pittsburgh since they also won 12 consecutive from June 13, 1985 to June 17, 1986.

The final game of the three-game series was the Cardinals' easiest by far after a 2-1, 12-inning victory on Tuesday and a 4-2 win in Monday's opener.

"This was a very, very bad series," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We've got to put it behind us. We've got to get ready for Cincinnati now."

Mulder (7-1) gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings with three strikeouts and one walk. He is 7-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his last eight starts after two shaky outings to begin the season. He's also 4-0 against the Pirates for his career, plus he singled in the sixth for his second hit in 21 at-bats with St. Louis.

"I've been putting up some zeros early in the game and guys have been scoring runs for me, so I've had leads," Mulder said. "It obviously makes it a lot easier to pitch."

Molina, who had the winning hit on Tuesday, doubled and scored in the third and had a two-run single in a four-run fourth that put the Cardinals ahead 6-0. He doubled and scored in the sixth and hit a two-run single in the seventh. After a 1-for-31 start to the season, the Cardinals' new starting catcher has hit .320 to raise his overall average to .252.

"He had a clutch day," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's hit every place he's gone, he takes his at-bats seriously and he has a nice stroke."

Freddy Sanchez had a pinch-hit two-run double and Ty Wigginton hit two homers for the Pirates, who have lost four in a row and six of eight. This was the first time in the eight-game span they did not score first.

Wigginton's second homer was a two-run shot off Gabe White in the ninth.

Pirates starter Mark Redman (3-4) endured his worst outing of the season, failing to work at least six innings for the first time. After a promising start with six groundball outs in a perfect first and second, Eckstein hit a two-run homer in the third and Redman faced 10 batters in the fourth.

"When (Albert) Pujols came up to bat for the second time, I knew then it had snowballed on me," Redman said. "I know there would be a day like this (to) come eventually, but I sure didn't want it to come today."

In his previous two starts, Redman had been 2-0 with two runs allowed in 15 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals had 14 hits, and three players ended droughts. Jim Edmonds had been 0-for-11 before an RBI double in the fourth, Mark Grudzielanek was 2-for-22 before a bases-loaded infield hit in the fourth and John Mabry was 0-for-14 before a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth.

Notes

  • Mulder is 71-5 in 86 career starts when his team scores at least four runs.
  • The Cardinals have won five of six overall, and have a five-game winning streak at home.
  • Eckstein's homer ended a stretch of 41 innings without one for the Cardinals.
  • Molina is batting .500 (11-for-22) against the Pirates.
  • For the first time in 16 games, the Pirates never held a lead.
  • David Ross of the Pirates singled in the third to end an 0-for-15 slump.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mark Mulder, 7-0 with a 2.84 ERA over his last eight starts,  leads the Cards to another home win.  (AP)
Mark Mulder, 7-0 with a 2.84 ERA over his last eight starts, leads the Cards to another home win. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Mulder
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 1
K 4
Pittsburgh

T. Wigginton
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Lawton, RF5000013 .251
Jack Wilson, SS4000000 .191
Jason Bay, CF4000030 .280
Daryle Ward, 1B3000110 .263
Jose Castillo, 2B4120001 .321
Ty Wigginton, 3B4333001 .200
Michael Restovich, LF4000012 .256
David Ross, C3120000 .217
Mark Redman, P1000001 .143
   a- Freddy Sanchez, PH1012000 .262
    Brian Meadows, P0000000 .000
   b- Bobby Hill, PH1010000 .273
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Vogelsong, P0000000 .000
   c- Humberto Cota, PH1000000 .242
Totals35595168 
a-doubled for Redman in the 5th
b-singled for Meadows in the 7th
c-grounded out for Vogelsong in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (5, Mulder)
HR - Ty Wigginton 2 (4, Mulder, G. White)
RBI - Ty Wigginton 3 (9), Freddy Sanchez 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Freddy Sanchez 2 (6)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Ty Wigginton (4, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Mark Redman (L,3-4) 4766211 3.15
Brian Meadows 2211000 6.75
Salomon Torres 1331000 3.79
Ryan Vogelsong 1211120 5.89
IBB - Taguchi by Mark Redman
WP - Salomon Torres (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Redman 82-50, Brian Meadows 32-24, Salomon Torres 19-15, Ryan Vogelsong 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Redman 10-1, Brian Meadows 3-3, Salomon Torres 3-1, Ryan Vogelsong 1-0
Batters Faced - Mark Redman 21, Brian Meadows 8, Salomon Torres 7, Ryan Vogelsong 6
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4113013 .299
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5121001 .321
Albert Pujols, 1B4220003 .332
   a- John Mabry, PH-LF1011000 .292
Reggie Sanders, LF4220000 .264
    Al Reyes, P0000100 .000
    Gabe White, P0000000 .000
Jim Edmonds, CF4111002 .271
   b- Einar Diaz, PH-1B1000012 .235
Scott Seabol, 3B3000002 .133
   c- Abraham Nunez, PH-3B2100012 .259
So Taguchi, RF-LF^CF3100102 .227
Yadier Molina, C4244000 .252
Mark Mulder, P2010101 .095
   d- Roger Cedeno, PH-RF1000001 .130
Totals381114103319 
a-doubled for Pujols in the 8th
b-struck out for Edmonds in the 8th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Seabol in the 7th
d-hit into fielder's choice for Mulder in the 7th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (15, Torres), John Mabry (5, Vogelsong), Jim Edmonds (11, Redman), Yadier Molina 2 (5, Redman, Meadows)
HR - David Eckstein (2, Redman)
SF - David Eckstein (3)
RBI - David Eckstein 3 (15), Mark Grudzielanek (18), John Mabry (14), Jim Edmonds (26), Yadier Molina 4 (15)
2-OUT RBI - David Eckstein 2 (9), Mark Grudzielanek (5), Yadier Molina 2 (7)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Seabol-Eckstein-Grudzielanek
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder (W,7-1) 7633141 3.72
Al Reyes 1000020 2.60
Gabe White 1322001 2.70
HBP - Ross (by Mark Mulder)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 107-68, Al Reyes 17-11, Gabe White 29-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 11-5, Gabe White 2-1
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 28, Al Reyes 3, Gabe White 6
Game Information
Attendance - 34895
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor