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St. Louis at Colorado

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St. Louis (22-12) «1310000106150
Colorado (12-21)0010100035120

Cardinals 6, Rockies 5

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Rick Ankiel was throwing strikes again.

Only this time it wasn't from the mound, but from deep center.

Ankiel threw out two runners at third and Braden Looper pitched into the ninth inning in the longest outing of his career, helping the St. Louis Cardinals hold on for a 6-5 win over the slumping Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Ankiel, once a promising pitching prospect for the Cardinals, was showing off his laser of a left arm all evening.

He nailed Willy Taveras in the first inning as Taveras tried to tag up from second.

But that was merely a warm-up act. In the eighth, Ankiel picked up the ball off the warning track and cut down Omar Quintanilla at third as he tried to stretch a double into a triple.

The Cardinals clubhouse went bonkers, jumping out of the dugout to congratulate him as he made his way in.

Even after the game, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was still in awe over Ankiel's throws.

"I don't believe he did it," La Russa said. "I want to see the replays. I can't remember a dugout getting a bigger kick out of something. Who could believe it?"

Ankiel was more pleased with his throws than his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot in the eighth.

"I was pumped," Ankiel said of his first two outfield assists of the season.

Not nearly as pumped as Looper, though.

"That was outstanding," Looper said. "The second throw was the best one I've seen. It was pretty amazing he could throw it from there, for sure."

Looper (5-1) was two outs away from his first career complete game, and then was pulled after back-to-back singles by Todd Helton and pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs.

Ryan Franklin picked up his first save of the season, but it didn't come easy. After striking out Brad Hawpe, Franklin gave up a two-run double to Chris Iannetta and a run-scoring double to Clint Barmes before getting Jeff Baker to fly out to Ankiel.

"It was pretty nerve-racking," said Looper, who allowed four runs and 10 hits in 8 1/3 innings. "I had the game in hand and gave up a couple of base hits there in the ninth and almost end up losing it."

Looper also was pretty handy with the bat, going 2-for-3 to raise his average to a team-leading .385.

"He still looks bad up there, but he gets it done," Franklin said. "Impressive."

That could describe Albert Pujols' streak as well, as he's reached base with either a hit, walk or hit by pitch in 34 consecutive games after going 1-for-5 with a double.

The Elias Sports Bureau said Pujols' string is the longest in the majors to start a season since 1999 when Derek Jeter reached in 53 consecutive contests. Luis Gonzalez (35) and Jim Thome (37) also had long streaks to begin that season.

Mark Redman (2-3) had another shaky outing, getting yanked early after surrendering five runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Redman allowed 10 runs in the first inning during his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 26, before settling down and finishing with five scoreless frames.

All five of the Cardinals' runs off Redman came with two outs.

"It's not what we need," said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, whose team has now dropped 13 of the last 16. "You like to see a guy like Mark get it done. The game is hard for us right now. There's no lack of effort. We're just coming up short."

Ankiel flamed out as a pitcher after he struggled with control problems, officially retiring from the mound in March 2005 to concentrate on becoming an outfielder.

He still gets to throw strikes -- just from farther away.

"You have to tip your hat and say, 'Wow. Wow,'" Hurdle said.

Notes

Cardinals OF Ryan Ludwick was 4-for-4 with two doubles. ... Iannetta finished with two hits, including his third homer of the season. ... Rockies right-hander Kip Wells underwent a four-hour surgery Tuesday to remove blood clots in his right hand. Wells' condition will be re-evaluated Wednesday. No date has been set for his return. ... Cardinals 3B Troy Glaus broke out of an 0-for-21 slump with a single in the third.

 
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

R. Ludwick
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Colorado

C. Iannetta
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Brian Barton, RF5111032 .304
    Skip Schumaker, RF0000000 .297
Adam Kennedy, 2B5011011 .325
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B5110022 .348
Ryan Ludwick, LF4141100 .349
Troy Glaus, 3B4010113 .229
Rick Ankiel, CF5121015 .277
Yadier Molina, C4010013 .294
Braden Looper, P3121101 .385
    Aaron Miles, 2B0000000 .308
Cesar Izturis, SS4121003 .244
Totals39615639  
Batting
2B - Brian Barton (4, Redman), Albert Pujols (10, Redman), Ryan Ludwick 2 (11, Grilli, Speier), Braden Looper (2, Redman)
HR - Rick Ankiel (6, Corpas)
RBI - Brian Barton (5), Adam Kennedy (13), Ryan Ludwick (17), Rick Ankiel (18), Braden Looper (2), Cesar Izturis (5)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Barton (3), Adam Kennedy (5), Ryan Ludwick (4), Braden Looper (1), Cesar Izturis (3)
CS - Cesar Izturis (3, 2nd base by Grilli/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Rick Ankiel 2
DP - Ankiel-Glaus, Molina-Izturis-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Braden Looper (W,5-1) 8.11044011 3.95
Ryan Franklin (S,1) 0.2211010 2.12
Pitches-Strikes - Braden Looper 114-76, Ryan Franklin 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Braden Looper 10-11
Batters Faced - Braden Looper 32, Ryan Franklin 4
Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF4011000 .252
Omar Quintanilla, 2B4020000 .313
Matt Holliday, LF4010002 .305
Todd Helton, 1B4110003 .278
Garrett Atkins, 3B3010001 .319
    Manny Corpas, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Speier, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1110000 .320
Brad Hawpe, RF4000013 .259
Chris Iannetta, C4223010 .362
Clint Barmes, SS4131000 .304
Mark Redman, P0000000 .000
    Jason Grilli, P1000001 .000
    Jeff Baker, 3B2000001 .184
Totals35512502  
a-singled for Speier in the 9th
Batting
2B - Omar Quintanilla (3, Looper), Chris Iannetta (6, Franklin), Clint Barmes 2 (9, Looper, Franklin)
HR - Chris Iannetta (3, Looper)
SH - Jason Grilli (1)
RBI - Willy Taveras (4), Chris Iannetta 3 (10), Clint Barmes (11)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Iannetta 2 (3), Clint Barmes (5)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Atkins-Quintanilla-Helton, Quintanilla-Barmes-Helton, Iannetta-Barmes, Corpas-Quintanilla-Barmes-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Mark Redman (L,2-3) 2.2955120 7.84
Jason Grilli 3.1100150 3.32
Manny Corpas 2411021 8.15
Ryan Speier 1100100 3.29
WP - Jason Grilli (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Redman 69-42, Jason Grilli 49-34, Manny Corpas 27-19, Ryan Speier 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Redman 3-2, Jason Grilli 3-1, Manny Corpas 3-0, Ryan Speier 2-1
Batters Faced - Mark Redman 17, Jason Grilli 11, Manny Corpas 9, Ryan Speier 5
Game Information
Attendance - 25460
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Bob Davidson