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St. Louis at Arizona

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St. Louis «2003001107100
Arizona001000000180

Cardinals 7, Diamondbacks 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Albert Pujols doesn't talk about consistency. He exemplifies it.

The St. Louis first baseman drove in two runs with three hits -- including a double and his 22nd homer -- to extend his hitting streak to 17 games and lead the Cardinals to a 7-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Pujols, who had a 30-game hitting streak in 2003, also hit in 17 in a row as a rookie in 2001.

"I just try to do it on the road, I try to do it at home, but the idea is not taking things for granted," he said. "Just battle day in, day out, and give your best every at-bat."

So Taguchi had a solo homer and drove in two runs for the second straight game, and Reggie Sanders, back in the lineup after missing two games because of a strained right foot, drove in two runs for the Cardinals.

Jeff Suppan (8-7) went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits to help the defending NL champions to their third straight win and fourth in five games.

Suppan left with a 5-1 lead, but with Troy Glaus and Shawn Green on first and third after a walk and single. Al Reyes got out of the jam when he got Royce Clayton, his only batter, to ground into a double play. Reyes and four more relievers combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

"With a lead like that, I was really just trying to stay focused," Suppan said. "Basically, tonight it was our offense and our bullpen."

Shawn Estes (6-7) worked 6 1/3 innings, dropping to 2-4 in nine starts since his only consecutive wins this season. Estes allowed six runs and six hits, including Taguchi's leadoff homer in the seventh.

Pujols made it 7-1 with his leadoff homer off Greg Aquino in the eighth. His 3-for-4 night raised his batting average five points to .346.

"He's a classic, high-average hitter," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Every day, every at-bat. Relentless, talented."

Pujols made Estes pay for hitting Jim Edmonds with a pitch in the first inning, doubling into the right-field corner and taking third on the throw home. He scored on Sanders' grounder for a 2-0 lead.

"The two runs in the first, we got off to a little bit of a bad theme there, and (Estes) struggled a little bit," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He probably thought he had a few strikes (miscalled). He was just a little frustrated out there, and we've got to get him through that, because he's big for us."

Estes gave himself some support when he broke an 0-for-23 stretch at the plate by tripling in the third. He scored on Craig Counsell's sacrifice fly.

Pujols led off the fourth with a single and scored on Sanders' double that hit the center field wall on the fly.

"The good news is that we definitely don't rely on one person every night," Sanders said. "Al is going to do his thing, and the one night he doesn't do his thing, we have guys that can step up and help out."

Scott Rolen hit an RBI double into the gap, making it 4-1 before Estes got anyone out, and Taguchi made it a three-run inning with a bloop single.

"They're a good team, and they don't miss many pitches," Estes said.

Notes

  • Estes' triple -- the second of his career -- was the first by an Arizona pitcher since Elmer Dessens had one on July 26, 2003, against the Dodgers. Estes tripled for Colorado at San Diego last Sept. 4.
  • Suppan improved to 3-4 in eight road starts.
  • Before the game, the Diamondbacks reacquired one of their first players by signing RHP Vladimir Nunez to a minor-league contract. Nunez, a defector from Cuba, first signed with Arizona in 1996, two years before the Diamondbacks played their first game. He had been in the St. Louis organization, and the Cardinals released him Saturday.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

J. Suppan
IP 5.1
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4010101 .289
Jim Edmonds, CF3100022 .270
   a- Einar Diaz, PH1000001 .222
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B4332001 .346
Reggie Sanders, LF4112010 .283
Scott Rolen, 3B4121000 .272
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4000002 .281
So Taguchi, RF-CF4122011 .287
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .256
Jeff Suppan, P2000001 .185
    Al Reyes, P0000000 .000
   b- Hector Luna, PH1010000 .211
    Cal Eldred, P0000000 .000
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   c- Abraham Nunez, PH1000010 .304
    John Mabry, RF0000000 .268
Totals3671071510 
a-flied out for Edmonds in the 9th
b-tripled for Reyes in the 7th
c-struck out for Tavarez in the 9th
Batting
2B - David Eckstein (10, Gosling), Albert Pujols (20, Estes), Reggie Sanders (11, Estes), Scott Rolen (11, Estes)
3B - Hector Luna (1, Cormier)
HR - Albert Pujols (22, Aquino), So Taguchi (5, Estes)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (69), Reggie Sanders 2 (42), Scott Rolen (25), So Taguchi 2 (24)
SB - So Taguchi (5, 2nd base off Estes/Snyder)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Grudzielanek-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Suppan (W,8-7) 5.1511340 4.20
Al Reyes (H,9) 0.2000000 1.85
Cal Eldred 0.2100000 0.84
Ray King 0.1100000 2.19
Julian Tavarez 1100000 2.37
Jason Isringhausen 1000000 1.98
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 93-54, Al Reyes 5-3, Cal Eldred 13-7, Ray King 9-6, Julian Tavarez 8-6, Jason Isringhausen 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 4-8, Al Reyes 1-0, Cal Eldred 1-1, Julian Tavarez 1-2, Jason Isringhausen 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 24, Al Reyes 1, Cal Eldred 3, Ray King 2, Julian Tavarez 4, Jason Isringhausen 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, 2B3011100 .281
Chad Tracy, 1B4010011 .310
Luis Gonzalez, LF4000003 .290
Troy Glaus, 3B3020100 .260
Shawn Green, RF4010002 .286
Jose Cruz Jr., CF3010112 .225
Royce Clayton, SS3010003 .245
    Lance Cormier, P0000000 .250
    Greg Aquino, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Clark, PH1000001 .323
    Mike Gosling, P0000000 .000
Chris Snyder, C3000014 .223
   b- Quinton McCracken, PH1000000 .215
Shawn Estes, P2110010 .043
    Alex Cintron, SS2000000 .297
Totals331813416 
a-flied out for Aquino in the 8th
b-grounded out for Snyder in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Cruz Jr. (7, Tavarez)
3B - Shawn Estes (1, Suppan)
SF - Craig Counsell (4)
RBI - Craig Counsell (29)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Clayton-Counsell-Tracy
Arizona Diamondbacks
Shawn Estes (L,6-7) 6.1666111 4.56
Lance Cormier 0.2100010 2.70
Greg Aquino 1211021 12.54
Mike Gosling 1100010 7.88
HBP - Edmonds (by Shawn Estes)
Pitches-Strikes - Shawn Estes 81-49, Lance Cormier 14-8, Greg Aquino 20-15, Mike Gosling 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shawn Estes 9-8, Lance Cormier 1-0, Mike Gosling 1-1
Batters Faced - Shawn Estes 26, Lance Cormier 3, Greg Aquino 5, Mike Gosling 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23590
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Joe Brinkman, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jeff Nelson