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St. Louis at Tampa Bay

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St. Louis «1001120016120
Tampa Bay002001001482

Devil Rays provide antidote for Mulder's pitching woes

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Despite two costly mistakes, Mark Mulder remained perfect at Tropicana Field.

The St. Louis left-hander allowed three runs over seven innings Friday night, helping the Cardinals beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-4 for Mulder's first win in more than three weeks.

Mulder (8-4) gave up four hits, two of them home runs to Jorge Cantu, and got 17 groundball outs to stop a personal three-game losing streak and improve to 7-0 in eight career starts against the Devil Rays.

He's 4-0 at Tropicana Field, with the other victories coming while he was with the Oakland Athletics.

"I like pitching in domes. I don't know why. ... I feel comfortable in them," Mulder said. "With the turf, you get the true hops. And since I'm a groundball pitcher, I think it's helped me."

Mark Grudzielanek, Abraham Nunez, David Eckstein, So Taguchi and Reggie Sanders drove in runs for the Cardinals in their first visit to Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay was the only team in the majors St. Louis had never faced before this series.

Cantu hit a two-run homer in the third, giving the Devil Rays a 2-1 lead. He added a solo shot in the sixth to trim a three-run deficit to 5-3.

"Each of the mistakes I made they hit hard," said Mulder, who also gave up a double to Jonny Gomes and a single to Damon Hollins. "Both of the pitches to Cantu were right down the middle."

Julian Tavarez, Ray King and Brad Thompson pitched the eighth for St. Louis. Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth, allowing one run and earning his 19th save in 20 opportunities.

Mulder struck out one and walked two, winning for the first time since beating Pittsburgh on May 25.

Travis Harper (1-5) replaced Devil Rays starter Scott Kazmir in the fifth and allowed three runs and five hits in four innings.

The game was a homecoming of sorts for the Cardinals, who held spring training in St. Petersburg for 57 years from 1938-42 and 1946-97. The team's popularity here was reflected in the announced crowd of 19,099 -- more than 6,000 above the Devil Rays' season average.

"It would be interesting see how many of them watched us train here for 50 years. It had to be quite a few of them," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.

The night also marked the first time La Russa managed a regular-season game in the area where he grew up.

La Russa's counterpart with the Devil Rays, Lou Piniella, is also a native of Tampa. They played against each other in high school and were teammates in American Legion and Pony League ball.

Kazmir allowed two runs and six hits in four innings before leaving with a mild right ankle sprain that is not expected to keep him from making next start. The left-hander was injured when he fielded Sanders' infield hit and threw to first base with two outs in the third.

Kazmir left the field briefly to have his ankle taped before finishing the inning by striking out Grudzielanek. The 21-year-old gave up a RBI single to Nunez in the fourth, departing with the score tied 2-2.

"I stopped real quick and just rolled my ankle. After I taped it up, I was feeling a lot better," Kazmir said. "I guess they didn't want to take any chances."

The Cardinals went ahead for good in the fifth when Sanders singled for his third hit, then scored from first on Larry Walker's single and two errors the Devil Rays committed fielding the hit and relaying the ball.

St. Louis added two runs in the sixth on Eckstein's RBI grounder and Taguchi's run-scoring single that made it 5-2. Sanders had a sacrifice fly off Lance Carter in the ninth.

The Devil Rays wasted numerous opportunities, going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, when Isringhausen got Julio Lugo to pop out to end the game.

"We just couldn't come through. That's the most important thing," Cantu said, downplaying his three RBI. "I'm a team player, and what I do doesn't mean anything."

Notes

  • La Russa leads the matchup with Piniella 42-35, including postseason and All-Star meetings. Piniella's Cincinnati Reds swept La Russa's Oakland Athletics in the 1990 World Series and the La Russa-managed AL beat Piniella and the NL in the 1991 All-Star Game.
  • Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen could be activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday after missing 33 games with a left shoulder strain.
 
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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Managers Lou Piniella and Tony La Russa, both natives of the Tampa area, catch up before the game.  (AP)
Managers Lou Piniella and Tony La Russa, both natives of the Tampa area, catch up before the game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Cantu
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
St. Louis

M. Mulder
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 2
K 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS3101201 .297
So Taguchi, CF5031012 .257
Albert Pujols, 1B4100124 .327
Reggie Sanders, LF4131000 .283
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5011023 .315
Larry Walker, RF4010002 .250
Scott Seabol, DH3220100 .255
Abraham Nunez, 3B4121011 .276
Yadier Molina, C3000012 .247
Totals3561254715 
Batting
2B - Scott Seabol (2, Kazmir)
SF - Reggie Sanders (1)
SH - Yadier Molina (5)
RBI - David Eckstein (21), So Taguchi (12), Reggie Sanders (33), Mark Grudzielanek (27), Abraham Nunez (17)
2-OUT RBI - So Taguchi (6), Mark Grudzielanek (8)
CS - So Taguchi (1, 2nd base by Kazmir/Hall)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Grudzielanek-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder (W,8-4) 7433212 4.27
Julian Tavarez (H,16) 0.1200010 2.81
Ray King (H,7) 0.1000010 3.06
Brad Thompson (H,3) 0.1000010 2.50
Jason Isringhausen (S,19) 1211010 2.11
HBP - Gomes (by Mark Mulder), Gomes (by Mark Mulder)
WP - Mark Mulder (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 88-58, Julian Tavarez 13-7, Ray King 4-3, Brad Thompson 10-8, Jason Isringhausen 16-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 17-2, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 28, Julian Tavarez 3, Ray King 1, Brad Thompson 1, Jason Isringhausen 5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF5011002 .274
Julio Lugo, SS5110002 .288
Jorge Cantu, 2B-3B4223011 .309
Aubrey Huff, RF-1B4010000 .257
Eduardo Perez, 1B3000010 .260
   a- Travis Lee, PH0000000 .254
   b- Nick Green, PH-2B1000012 .276
Alex Gonzalez, 3B1000200 .248
   c- Reggie Taylor, PH-CF1000012 .267
Jonny Gomes, DH2010010 .303
Toby Hall, C4000004 .284
Damon Hollins, CF-RF4120001 .310
Totals344842514 
a-announced for Perez in the 8th
b-struck out for Lee in the 8th
c-struck out for Gonzalez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jonny Gomes (2, Mulder)
HR - Jorge Cantu 2 (9, Mulder, Mulder)
RBI - Carl Crawford (40), Jorge Cantu 3 (34)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (13), Jorge Cantu 2 (11)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Jorge Cantu (10, ), Aubrey Huff (2, )
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir 4622350 4.69
Travis Harper (L,1-5) 4532000 7.32
Lance Carter 1111120 3.90
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 87-56, Travis Harper 53-41, Lance Carter 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 3-3, Travis Harper 6-5
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 20, Travis Harper 16, Lance Carter 5
Game Information
Attendance - 19099
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Sam Holbrook