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Grudz match: Cards infielder feasts on favorite pitcher

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Victor Santos can't figure out how to get Mark Grudzielanek out.

Grudzielanek homered and drove in a career-high five runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 on Monday night.

He accounted for all four runs that Santos surrendered in four shaky innings by hitting a solo homer and a two-run double, then scoring on So Taguchi's single.

With those two big hits, Grudzielanek improved his career batting average against Santos to .565.

"I don't know what it is," said Grudzielanek, who is 13-for-23 against his favorite pitcher. "I'm sure he's trying to figure it out."

Santos hasn't been able to put his finger on it.

"That's the guy I hate to face when the game is on the line," Santos said. "I don't pitch him the same way every time, but he always seems to get hits off me."

Grudzielanek said there's just something about Santos' delivery that he likes.

"I just see the ball out of his hand and I can tell what it is right away, and obviously, you can see that," Grudzielanek said.

Grudzielanek added a two-run single off Jorge De La Rosa in the ninth after scoring the go-ahead run on Abraham Nunez's RBI single off Matt Wise in the eighth inning that snapped a 4-all tie.

Nunez's bloop single off Wise (4-4) landed in front of center fielder Brady Clark, who was playing deep, pulled up, grabbed the ball on the bounce and fired late to home plate, where Grudzielanek scored from second.

Brewers manager Ned Yost insisted his center fielder wasn't playing too deep.

"You can't have your defensive guys everywhere. It wasn't like Brady was playing with his back against the wall. Brady came in a few steps," Yost said. "He just hit it under the coverage. It would be nice if you could have 15 guys out there, but you can't."

Grudzielanek had just stolen second after reaching on a fielder's choice. Nunez took second on the throw and scored on Taguchi's ground-rule double to make it 6-4.

"It couldn't come at a better time, he just had a huge night," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Grudzielanek, a Milwaukee native who had 10 family members in attendance.

Grudzielanek, Nunez and Taguchi -- the Nos. 5-7 hitters -- combined to go 8-for-13 with all eight RBI.

"That's huge because opposing pitchers are always worried about Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds. These guys give you great at-bats," said St. Louis starter Matt Morris, who failed to get his 100th career victory because of an error by Pujols that led to two unearned runs in the fifth.

Randy Flores (2-1) pitched a perfect seventh for the win, Julian Tavarez pitched the eighth and Al Reyes the ninth.

After Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run bloop single in the first, Grudzielanek cut the Cardinals' deficit in half with his seventh homer off Santos in the second inning. He added a two-run double in the fourth and scored on Taguchi's single, giving Morris a 4-2 cushion.

Santos allowed four earned runs and five hits in four innings. He was lifted for pinch-hitter Chris Magruder when the Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the fourth.

Magruder dribbled a ball to first baseman Pujols, who got the forceout at home plate despite an off-target throw that forced catcher Mike Mahoney to sprawl out with his toe touching the plate. Clark ended the threat by lining out to Nunez at third.

An error by Pujols an inning later led to two unearned runs that tied the game at 4. Carlos Lee and Wes Helms each had RBI singles in the inning that prevented Morris from improving to 13-4 on the season and 12-4 lifetime against the Brewers.

Morris allowed four runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks in six innings.

The Brewers (56-57), who haven't had a winning season since 1992, failed to move above .500 for the first time since May 27, when they were 24-23.

Notes

  • RHP Anthony Reyes, the top pitching prospect in the Cardinals' farm system, will make his major-league debut Tuesday night against the Brewers. With one scheduled day off this month, the Cardinals are giving him the spot start so the rotation gets some rest. The 23-year-old is 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Memphis.
  • Morris would have become the 39th active pitcher in the 100-win club.
 
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 Grudzielanek brings Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds home with this fourth-inning double.  (AP)
Mark Grudzielanek brings Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds home with this fourth-inning double. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

G. Jenkins
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
St. Louis

M. Grudzielanek
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 5
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5100011 .269
John Rodriguez, LF5000020 .310
Albert Pujols, 1B2200300 .341
Jim Edmonds, CF2110300 .272
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5335002 .300
Abraham Nunez, 3B5131003 .312
So Taguchi, RF3022101 .285
Mike Mahoney, C4000002 .167
Matt Morris, P2000011 .100
   a- Hector Luna, PH1000010 .256
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   b- John Gall, PH1010000 .222
    Al Reyes, P0000000 .000
Totals3581087510 
a-struck out for Morris in the 7th
b-singled for Tavarez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mark Grudzielanek (24, Santos), So Taguchi (13, Wise)
HR - Mark Grudzielanek (7, Santos)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek 5 (45), Abraham Nunez (32), So Taguchi 2 (34)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Grudzielanek 2 (13), Abraham Nunez (10), So Taguchi (7)
SB - Mark Grudzielanek (8, 2nd base off Wise/D. Miller)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Albert Pujols (10, misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Morris 6642340 3.65
Randy Flores (W,2-1) 1000020 3.73
Julian Tavarez (H,25) 1100000 2.66
Al Reyes 1000010 2.58
HBP - Weeks (by Matt Morris)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 97-62, Randy Flores 16-12, Julian Tavarez 18-11, Al Reyes 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 7-8, Julian Tavarez 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 29, Randy Flores 3, Julian Tavarez 4, Al Reyes 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF5000003 .314
Rickie Weeks, 2B3210120 .260
Lyle Overbay, 1B4200121 .279
Carlos Lee, LF4011001 .270
Geoff Jenkins, RF4012022 .295
Damian Miller, C4010003 .268
Wes Helms, 3B4021010 .297
J.J. Hardy, SS3010102 .212
Victor Santos, P1000000 .056
   a- Chris Magruder, PH1000003 .229
    Dana Eveland, P0000000 .000
   b- Trent Durrington, PH1000000 .333
    Julio Santana, P0000000 .000
    Matt Wise, P00000001.000
   c- Russell Branyan, PH1000001 .266
    Jorge De La Rosa, P0000000 .000
Totals354743716 
a-hit into fielder's choice for Santos in the 4th
b-grounded out for Eveland in the 6th
c-flied out for Wise in the 8th
Batting
2B - J.J. Hardy (17, Tavarez)
RBI - Carlos Lee (91), Geoff Jenkins 2 (56), Wes Helms (18)
2-OUT RBI - Geoff Jenkins 2 (13), Wes Helms (10)
SB - Rickie Weeks (10, 2nd base off Morris/Mahoney)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Weeks-Overbay, Hardy-Weeks-Overbay
E - Rickie Weeks (11, wild throw)
Milwaukee Brewers
Victor Santos 4544221 4.18
Dana Eveland 2100210 2.03
Julio Santana 1000020 4.38
Matt Wise (L,4-4) 1222100 3.47
Jorge De La Rosa 1222200 4.81
IBB - Pujols by Jorge De La Rosa
WP - Victor Santos (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Victor Santos 69-40, Dana Eveland 37-23, Julio Santana 16-10, Matt Wise 23-12, Jorge De La Rosa 26-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Victor Santos 3-6, Dana Eveland 3-1, Matt Wise 1-2, Jorge De La Rosa 3-0
Batters Faced - Victor Santos 18, Dana Eveland 8, Julio Santana 3, Matt Wise 6, Jorge De La Rosa 7
Game Information
Attendance - 30260
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Angel A. Hernandez, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Tom Hallion