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St. Louis at Arizona

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St. Louis «3000200106101
Arizona002000000270

Spiezio goes yard twice to help Cards bury D-Backs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PHOENIX -- Scott Spiezio has made the most of his limited opportunities.

Spiezio, given a spot start in place of Scott Rolen at third base, homered twice to back Jeff Weaver and give the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-2 victory over Arizona on Thursday night, the Diamondbacks' eighth loss in nine games.

"I've done it in the past here and there," Spiezio said of his backup role. "I've had some time where I learned how to do it. As you get older, you learn more and know what you need to do to get it done."

Spiezio is hitting .270 in 99 games, only 43 of which have been starts.

"He's been a successful pinch-hitter but he's really been good when he starts," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.

Juan Encarnacion added an RBI single and Chris Duncan also drove in a run for the Cardinals, who opened a 6½-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central.

Luis Gonzalez homered for the Diamondbacks, who have lost 16 of 20 and fell a season-worst 10 games under .500 at 65-75.

Weaver (3-4) gave up two runs and five hits in five innings.

"I've finally found that arm slot I've been searching for for a while," Weaver said. "I couldn't locate my curveball where I wanted, and they were able to hit it. Luckily, I had some right-handed hitters come up in crucial situations."

Arizona had runners on second and third with no outs in the fourth but Weaver struck out Tony Clark and, after an intentional walk to Stephen Drew, retired Miguel Batista on a 3-2 forceout and got Chris Young on a groundout.

"The biggest key of the game is how he avoided the big crooked number," La Russa said.

Batista (10-6) allowed five runs and six hits in six innings. He had been 4-0 in 13 starts since losing to Tampa Bay on June 20, getting four straight no-decisions.

"I haven't been fortunate enough to win a game in the last two months almost," Batista said. "I can't afford to give up that many runs. I missed my location quite a few times today."

Duncan's RBI single and Spiezio's two-run homer put St. Louis ahead in the first, but Gonzalez's 15th homer cut the gap to 3-2 in the third. Yadier Molina scored on rookie Miguel Montero's passed ball in the fifth, and Encarnacion followed with a single that made it 5-2.

"We had a couple of chances, but we couldn't get the hit early in the game, especially when the game was close," Gonzalez said. "We couldn't find a way to get that big hit to put us that much closer and get us over the top."

Spiezio hit his 11th homer of the season in the eighth, a drive off Jorge Julio that went over the St. Louis bullpen in right. It was the seventh two-homer game for Spiezio, the first since May 13, 2003, against the New York Yankees.

Notes

  • Johnny Estrada was hit by a pitch in the fourth, then left with a bruised right forearm and was replaced by Montero. Estrada is day to day.
  • St. Louis has won 19 of 30 at Arizona.
  • Gonzalez hit his 47th double of the season in the first, matching the club record he established in 2000. Gonzalez also pulled even with Harry Heinemann for 21st place on baseball's career list with his 542nd double.
  • Cardinals INF John Nelson struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth in his major league debut.
  • Arizona has been outscored 132-65 in the first inning.
 
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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With two homers, St. Louis' Scott Spiezio takes advantage of his opportunity to start.  (AP)
With two homers, St. Louis' Scott Spiezio takes advantage of his opportunity to start. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

L. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

S. Spiezio
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Aaron Miles, SS5220001 .272
Chris Duncan, LF4001012 .305
    Braden Looper, P0000000 .500
   a- John Nelson, PH1000010 .000
    Adam Wainwright, P0000000 .500
Albert Pujols, 1B4020100 .324
Juan Encarnacion, RF5121022 .287
Scott Spiezio, 3B4223002 .270
Preston Wilson, CF-LF4000010 .263
    Skip Schumaker, LF0000000 .179
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3000100 .277
Yadier Molina, C3120100 .223
Jeff Weaver, P1000001 .143
   b- Mike Rose, PH1000011 .333
    Tyler Johnson, P0000000 .000
    Josh Kinney, P0000000 .000
    So Taguchi, CF1000011 .269
Totals3661053710 
a-struck out for Looper in the 9th
b-struck out for Weaver in the 6th
Batting
3B - Aaron Miles (3, Batista)
HR - Scott Spiezio 2 (11, Batista, Julio)
SH - Jeff Weaver (6)
RBI - Chris Duncan (32), Juan Encarnacion (71), Scott Spiezio 3 (43)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Encarnacion (30), Scott Spiezio 2 (29)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Preston Wilson (2, )
St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Weaver (W,6-14) 5522231 5.85
Tyler Johnson (H,9) 0.2100010 4.65
Josh Kinney (H,1) 0.1000000 4.50
Braden Looper (H,15) 2100010 3.58
Adam Wainwright 1000010 3.03
IBB - Drew by Jeff Weaver
HBP - Estrada (by Jeff Weaver)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Weaver 93-54, Tyler Johnson 8-7, Josh Kinney 5-3, Braden Looper 27-17, Adam Wainwright 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Weaver 4-8, Tyler Johnson 1-0, Josh Kinney 1-0, Braden Looper 3-2, Adam Wainwright 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Weaver 23, Tyler Johnson 3, Josh Kinney 1, Braden Looper 7, Adam Wainwright 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF5010013 .263
Orlando Hudson, 2B3110111 .290
Luis Gonzalez, LF4122001 .275
Eric Byrnes, RF4000013 .272
Johnny Estrada, C1000000 .301
    Miguel Montero, C2000001 .000
Chad Tracy, 3B4010000 .277
Tony Clark, 1B4010022 .195
Stephen Drew, SS3010111 .309
Miguel Batista, P2000003 .113
   a- Damion Easley, PH1000001 .222
    Douglas Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Jorge Julio, P0000000 .000
    Greg Aquino, P0000000 .000
   b- Craig Counsell, PH1000000 .261
Totals342722616 
a-grounded out for Batista in the 6th
b-popped out for Aquino in the 9th
Batting
2B - Orlando Hudson (30, Weaver), Luis Gonzalez (47, Weaver)
3B - Stephen Drew (5, Johnson)
HR - Luis Gonzalez (15, Weaver)
RBI - Luis Gonzalez 2 (68)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Gonzalez 2 (26)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - Miguel Montero (1)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Miguel Batista (L,10-6) 6655321 4.44
Douglas Slaten 0.2000000 0.00
Jorge Julio 1.1311031 4.62
Greg Aquino 1100020 4.36
WP - Miguel Batista (14), Jorge Julio (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 98-63, Douglas Slaten 4-2, Jorge Julio 26-17, Greg Aquino 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 11-5, Douglas Slaten 1-1, Jorge Julio 1-0, Greg Aquino 1-0
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 27, Douglas Slaten 2, Jorge Julio 7, Greg Aquino 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29998
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Field Culbreth