St. Louis at Arizona

St. Louis
W: Y. Petit (3-4) L: R. Franklin (4-3)
S: J. Valverde (45)
HR: STL - None   ARI - C. Young (29), J. Upton (2)

D-Backs hold off Cards, increase NL West lead to three games wire reports

PHOENIX -- Arizona manager Bob Melvin walked to the mound with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday and didn't say a word to his closer.

"I didn't tell him anything," Melvin said of right-hander Jose Valverde. "He didn't want to see me. He's a pretty superstitious guy."

Valverde retired pinch-hitter Yadier Molina with the bases loaded for the final out, and the Diamondbacks held off the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Tony Clark's two-run double capped a four-run rally in the seventh inning that put Arizona up 6-4. Justin Upton tied the score with his first homer since Aug. 7 and Chris Young also connected for the Diamondbacks, who moved three games ahead of San Diego in the NL West.

"We were fortunate enough to win but if we pat ourselves on the back it defeats the purpose," Clark said. "There's still a lot of baseball to be played."

The Cardinals fell three behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

"Bad results, but if we go about it that way we'll be fine," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, whose club has lost four of five. "I've got no complaints about the way we went at it all three days."

Yusmeiro Petit (3-4) pitched two innings of one-hit ball for the win. Valverde came on in the ninth for his major league-leading 45th save in 52 chances.

After retiring his first two batters, Valverde loaded the bases when pinch-hitter Jim Edmonds doubled, Albert Pujols walked and Ryan Ludwick was hit by a pitch.

Pinch-hitter David Eckstein drew a walk that made it 6-5, but Valverde quickly got ahead of Molina and retired him on an easy fly to right.

"If you can't handle pressure you're not going to be a closer," Melvin said.

Four Diamondbacks relievers combined for five innings of two-hit relief.

"They've got some great arms here," said right-hander Bob Wickman, who made his Arizona debut in the fifth inning. "It's unbelievable."

The Cardinals held a 4-2 lead and right-hander Kip Wells, making a rare relief appearance, had stymied Arizona on one hit over four innings before Chris Snyder opened the seventh with a double.

After Upton settled into the batters' box to face Wells, La Russa pulled the right-hander in favor of Ryan Franklin (4-3). But Upton hit Franklin's third pitch 411 feet into the left-field stands to tie the game at 4-all.

"It's been different people every time," Young said. "Today was Justin's time."

Pinch-hitter Jeff Salazar doubled and Eric Byrnes drew a two-out walk before Clark hit a line drive into the right-field corner for a 6-4 Diamondbacks lead.

The Cardinals did all their damage during a six-batter span in the third inning against Doug Davis, scoring four runs on five hits.

Kelly Stinnett walked and pinch-hitter Brian Barden doubled over the third-base bag. Miguel Cairo tripled off the right-field wall, scoring Stinnett and Barden to tie it at 2-2.

Upton was shaken up when he ran into the fence chasing Cairo's triple. He appeared to hurt his left knee when it slammed into one of the supports, tearing his uniform pants, but remained in the game.

"There was a guy on so I was going to do whatever I could do to get it," Upton said. "It stung a lot at first but I walked it off and the pain subsided."

Davis struck out Skip Schumaker, but Brendan Ryan reached on an RBI infield single and Pujols added a run-scoring double for a 4-2 lead.

St. Louis' Brad Thompson allowed two runs and four hits in two innings, his shortest start of the season.

Mark Reynolds hit a one-out single off Thompson in the second and Young followed with his 29th homer into Arizona's left-field bullpen.

"I knew obviously there was a decent chance," Wells said of his outing from the bullpen. "Somebody needs to pitch those innings. It's not like I had an overwhelming sense that I was going to throw but it's a situation where you know you need to be ready earlier rather than later."


  • Wickman walked one and striking out one in a scoreless inning in his first appearance since Aug. 23 with Atlanta.
  • Molina, who was scratched from the lineup Saturday with concussion-like symptoms, started Sunday on the bench as well.
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Though it doesn't come easy, closer Jose Valverde gets Chris Snyder's approval after the final out.  (AP)
Though it doesn't come easy, closer Jose Valverde gets Chris Snyder's approval after the final out. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Upton
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
St. Louis

M. Cairo
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, LF5010012 .310
Brendan Ryan, SS4111003 .336
   a- Jim Edmonds, PH1110000 .245
Albert Pujols, 1B4011100 .321
Ryan Ludwick, RF4010010 .252
So Taguchi, CF3000113 .293
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .500
    Kelvin Jimenez, P0000000 .000
   b- David Eckstein, PH0001100 .295
Russell Branyan, 3B3000123 .190
    Gary Bennett, C0000000 .229
   c- Yadier Molina, PH1000003 .276
Kelly Stinnett, C2110112 .192
   d- Aaron Miles, PH-2B1000000 .307
Brad Thompson, P0000000 .150
   e- Brian Barden, PH1110000 .143
    Kip Wells, P2010000 .340
    Rick Ankiel, CF1000000 .330
Miguel Cairo, 2B-3B3112012 .240
   f- Chris Duncan, PH1000010 .259
a-doubled for Ryan in the 9th
b-walked for Jimenez in the 9th
c-flied out for Bennett in the 9th
d-grounded out for Stinnett in the 8th
e-doubled for Thompson in the 3rd
f-struck out for Cairo in the 9th
2B - Jim Edmonds (14, Valverde), Albert Pujols (30, Davis), Brian Barden (1, Davis)
3B - Skip Schumaker (2, Petit), Miguel Cairo (1, Davis)
RBI - Brendan Ryan (11), Albert Pujols (89), David Eckstein (27), Miguel Cairo 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - David Eckstein (7)
Team LOB - 10
St. Louis Cardinals
Brad Thompson 2422011 5.14
Kip Wells 4211040 5.65
Ryan Franklin (BS,4; L,4-3) 1333111 2.38
Kelvin Jimenez 1000000 7.86
HBP - Byrnes (by Kip Wells)
WP - Brad Thompson (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Thompson 41-26, Kip Wells 49-33, Ryan Franklin 32-21, Kelvin Jimenez 13-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Thompson 1-4, Kip Wells 3-5, Ryan Franklin 1-1, Kelvin Jimenez 1-2
Batters Faced - Brad Thompson 10, Kip Wells 15, Ryan Franklin 7, Kelvin Jimenez 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Stephen Drew, SS4000013 .228
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4010001 .208
Eric Byrnes, LF2100111 .295
Tony Clark, 1B4012021 .243
Mark Reynolds, 3B4110012 .270
Chris Young, CF4112000 .238
Chris Snyder, C4110010 .245
Justin Upton, RF3122000 .235
    Tony Pena, P0000000 .250
   a- Conor Jackson, PH1000000 .278
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Doug Davis, P1010000 .075
    Bob Wickman, P0000000 .000
   b- Emilio Bonifacio, PH1000000 .000
    Yusmeiro Petit, P0000000 .071
   c- Jeff Salazar, PH-RF1110000 .286
a-flied out for Pena in the 8th
b-lined out for Wickman in the 5th
c-doubled for Petit in the 7th
2B - Tony Clark (5, Franklin), Chris Snyder (16, Wells), Jeff Salazar (6, Franklin)
HR - Chris Young (29, Thompson), Justin Upton (2, Franklin)
RBI - Tony Clark 2 (45), Chris Young 2 (60), Justin Upton 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Tony Clark 2 (22)
SB - Eric Byrnes (44, 2nd base off Wells/Stinnett)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Chris Young 1
DP - Young-Drew-Clark
E - Mark Reynolds (10, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Doug Davis 4744230 4.09
Bob Wickman 1000110 3.83
Yusmeiro Petit (W,3-4) 2100020 5.22
Tony Pena (H,27) 1000010 2.62
Jose Valverde (S,45) 1111210 2.83
HBP - Ludwick (by Jose Valverde)
WP - Doug Davis (10)
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 85-51, Bob Wickman 18-9, Yusmeiro Petit 31-23, Tony Pena 11-8, Jose Valverde 30-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 6-2, Bob Wickman 1-2, Tony Pena 2-0
Batters Faced - Doug Davis 20, Bob Wickman 5, Yusmeiro Petit 7, Tony Pena 3, Jose Valverde 7
Game Information
Attendance - 35136
Game Time - 3:25
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Jim Wolf