St. Louis at Colorado

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St. Louis (21-12) «0012100116112
Colorado (12-20)1102000105131

Pujols scores winning run in ninth to lift Cards past Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Albert Pujols usually wins games with his power, not his wheels.

A hustling Pujols scored from second base on a groundout in the ninth inning, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

"I didn't know he was that fast," St. Louis starting pitcher Joel Pineiro said. "He looked fast there."

That's what working with Lou Brock will do for a player. Pujols may never steal 30 bases in a season, but he's learned how to run the bases intelligently from the Hall of Fame outfielder.

Pujols, who was standing on second after a one-out double, was off on contact as Rick Ankiel grounded out to second baseman Jonathan Herrera.

When Herrera lofted a throw to Todd Helton, Pujols kicked it into fifth gear heading around third, and slid just out of the reach of catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who lunged forward in an effort to tag him.

"It's something you don't practice; it just happens," said Pujols, who went 1-for-4 and has reached base safely in all 33 games this season. "Hopefully, you get lucky and don't get thrown out. If you get (unlucky) and get thrown out, you're in trouble with the manager."

In this case, the manager didn't have a problem with his star's aggressive baserunning. Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa applauded his slugger taking a chance - even more so since he was safe.

"Albert's very savvy," La Russa said. "It's him being a very, very smart player."

Herrera was simply concentrating on getting the out at first, never even thinking that Pujols would try to score.

"They yelled to throw home and I wasn't ready," Herrera said. "I didn't see him go home right away. I had already turned."

Part of the reason Pujols took the chance was because crafty left-hander Brian Fuentes was on the mound. Runs come at a premium against Fuentes (0-2).

"He's pretty much one of the best in the game right now," Pujols said. "To see the ball off his hand, it's pretty tough. You need to take the chance."

Randy Flores (1-0) earned the win after working out of a jam in the eighth, and Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 14 chances. He enticed Garrett Atkins into a 5-4-3 double play after Helton drew a one-out walk.

Ryan Ludwick's pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth gave St. Louis a 5-4 lead. The Cardinals thought they had another run when Yadier Molina raced home on a chopper to second, but he was called out by plate umpire Bob Davidson. Molina and La Russa briefly argued the call to no avail.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle conceded after the game that his team caught a break.

"I thought Pujols was safe and I thought Molina was safe," Hurdle said.

The Rockies tied the game in the bottom of the eighth when pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs' check-swing single in front of Flores scored pinch-runner Willy Taveras. Flores then struck out Torrealba and Omar Quintanilla to end the rally.

The Rockies learned a lesson - respect Pujols' legs. Not that they hadn't already.

"He gets a lot of recognition for swinging the bat, but he plays a good defensive side of the diamond also and he's an aggressive baserunner," Hurdle said. "In a perfect world, maybe you grab the ball and pick up the runner. But it was such a slow roller that he's thinking a guy might stay. It's the way things are going for us right now."

Pineiro, batting eighth in the Cardinals' lineup, laced a two-run double to left with two outs in the fourth for his first hit of the season. It also doubled Pineiro's lifetime RBI total.

On the mound, Pineiro didn't fare as well, lasting just three innings, his shortest stint of the season. He allowed three earned runs and eight hits.

"It was one of those days I didn't have my good stuff," he said. "I couldn't get the curveball and changeup down, so I got hit around a little bit."

But Pujols came through at the end.

"I'm not a fast runner, but I take advantage of the situation when I'm on base," he said. "I know how to run the bases. I'm not going to steal 30 bases, but I want to be able to score on a double."

Or, in this case, a grounder that never left the infield.

Notes

  • Rockies RHP Kip Wells will have surgery Tuesday in St. Louis for a blood clot in his right hand. The 31-year-old had a blocked artery in his right arm in 2006, which had to be replaced by a vein taken from his leg.
  • Cardinals RHP Mike Parisi made his major league debut, pitching two scoreless innings.
  • Rockies OF Brad Hawpe hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot in the second.
  • Cardinals OF Chris Duncan committed two errors on his 27th birthday.
 
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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Albert Pujols isn't known for his speed but he gets the job done, scoring the winning run.  (AP)
Albert Pujols isn't known for his speed but he gets the job done, scoring the winning run. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

B. Hawpe
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

Y. Molina
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, RF-LF4110103 .297
Adam Kennedy, 2B5021001 .333
Albert Pujols, 1B4111111 .355
Rick Ankiel, CF4111123 .272
Troy Glaus, 3B2000202 .228
    Brendan Ryan, PR-3B1100010 .321
Chris Duncan, LF4000023 .257
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Yadier Molina, C4130000 .296
Joel Pineiro, P2012011 .091
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
   a- Adam Wainwright, PH1000010 .300
    Mike Parisi, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Ludwick, PH-RF1011000 .316
Aaron Miles, SS4110001 .308
    Cesar Izturis, SS0000000 .231
Totals36611658  
a-struck out for Villone in the 6th
b-doubled for Parisi in the 8th
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (8, Herges), Albert Pujols (9, Fuentes), Joel Pineiro (1, Jimenez), Ryan Ludwick (9, Buchholz)
3B - Adam Kennedy (1, Jimenez)
RBI - Adam Kennedy (12), Albert Pujols (24), Rick Ankiel (17), Joel Pineiro 2 (2), Ryan Ludwick (16)
2-OUT RBI - Joel Pineiro 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Chris Duncan 1
DP - Ryan-Kennedy-Pujols
E - Chris Duncan 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro 3843011 4.33
Ron Villone 2100120 0.63
Mike Parisi 2100110 0.00
Randy Flores (BS,2; W,1-0) 1311020 1.08
Jason Isringhausen (S,11) 1000100 6.14
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 53-37, Ron Villone 37-20, Mike Parisi 30-15, Randy Flores 31-17, Jason Isringhausen 11-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 2-5, Ron Villone 1-3, Mike Parisi 4-1, Randy Flores 1-0, Jason Isringhausen 2-0
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 16, Ron Villone 8, Mike Parisi 8, Randy Flores 6, Jason Isringhausen 3
Colorado Rockies
Scott Podsednik, CF4000001 .308
   a- Yorvit Torrealba, PH-C1000012 .235
Omar Quintanilla, SS5010012 .250
Matt Holliday, LF3110201 .306
Todd Helton, 1B4021102 .279
    Clint Barmes, PR0000000 .280
Garrett Atkins, 3B5120003 .319
Brad Hawpe, RF4222012 .269
Chris Iannetta, C4030000 .349
    Willy Taveras, PR-CF0100000 .253
Jon Herrera, 2B4010012 .300
Ubaldo Jimenez, P2000012 .000
    Matt Herges, P1000010 .000
    Taylor Buchholz, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1011000 .306
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Totals38513436  
a-struck out for Podsednik in the 8th
b-singled for Buchholz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (10, Pineiro), Garrett Atkins (9, Pineiro), Chris Iannetta (5, Pineiro)
HR - Brad Hawpe (3, Pineiro)
RBI - Todd Helton (11), Brad Hawpe 2 (14), Ryan Spilborghs (11)
2-OUT RBI - Todd Helton (7)
SB - Willy Taveras (14, 3rd base off Flores/Molina), Jon Herrera (1, 2nd base off Flores/Molina), Ryan Spilborghs (2, 2nd base off Flores/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brad Hawpe 1
DP - Herrera-Quintanilla-Helton
E - Brad Hawpe (1, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Ubaldo Jimenez 5743340 5.82
Matt Herges 2100130 1.77
Taylor Buchholz 1211100 1.93
Brian Fuentes (L,0-2) 1111010 2.40
IBB - Pujols by Matt Herges
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 81-51, Matt Herges 32-20, Taylor Buchholz 17-8, Brian Fuentes 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 7-2, Taylor Buchholz 2-1, Brian Fuentes 2-0
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 23, Matt Herges 8, Taylor Buchholz 6, Brian Fuentes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 28183
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Mike Reilly