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St. Louis at Cincinnati

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St. Louis (70-56) «0513000009131
Cincinnati (54-70)1000110003100

Cardinals 9, Reds 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- An out-of-character win had the St. Louis Cardinals feeling good about where they're headed.

Albert Pujols hit a pair of solo home runs Saturday night, and the Cardinals matched their season high with four homers in all during a 9-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that extended their winning streak to four games.

The streak is one shy of the Cardinals' season high. St. Louis has won six of its last eight overall, staying right behind Milwaukee in the NL wild-card race by winning a lot of close games.

For once, the Cardinals didn't have to sweat one out.

"We haven't had a lot of games where we score 9-10-11 runs," said Ryan Ludwick, who had a two-run homer. "It's a good feeling tonight the way it worked out. The offense looks good right now."

Skip Schumaker started the surge with a three-run shot off struggling Aaron Harang (3-13), hit hard in both of his starts since he came off the disabled list. Pujols hit the first of his two homers off Harang, and Ludwick finished off the right-hander with his two-run shot.

Joel Pineiro (6-5) improved to 3-0 in August and remained unbeaten in his career against the Reds. Pinch-hitter Andy Phillips and Brandon Phillips hit solo homers off Pineiro, who went six innings and came away impressed by the way the Cardinals played overall.

"It's a good team chemistry we've got here," Pineiro said. "Nobody backs down even if we're down early."

The Cardinals have stayed in playoff contention by getting consistently good starts from an injury-depleted rotation and just enough from an offense that's been at its best on the road, batting .283.

"You've got to be relentless," manager Tony La Russa said. "For 4½ months we've been a tough club to play against. We've got to do it for six more weeks."

Cincinnati has come unhinged in the season's second half, losing 17 of its last 21 games. The Reds have dropped their last eight at Great American Ball Park, their worst such slump since it opened in 2003. They haven't been this bad at home since 2001, when they dropped nine in a row at Cinergy Field.

For the second start in a row, Harang didn't give them much of a chance.

The right-hander was sidelined from July 13 to Aug. 9 with a sore right forearm. He returned last Sunday and gave up three homers and a career-high eight earned runs in only four innings of a 13-4 loss in Houston.

His next attempt had a nearly identical outcome.

"I'm concerned about his psyche," manager Dusty Baker said. "I've never seen him get hit like this."

Schumaker's three-run homer helped the Cardinals pull ahead 5-1 in the second inning. Pujols homered in the third, and Ludwick ended Harang's outing with his two-run homer in the fourth - his 31st of the season - for an 8-1 lead. Pujols followed with his 26th homer off Gary Majewski, his third multihomer game of the season.

The 13 losses match Harang's career high from 2005, when he went 11-13 in his first season with Cincinnati. He's two behind Barry Zito for most losses in the NL.

"I don't know what's going on," Harang said. "I have to sit down and figure it out. It's one thing after another. The fastball is not moving like I want.

"It's stressing me. It's no fun right now. I feel like I'm letting my team down."

Pineiro improved to 3-0 in four career starts against the Reds. He has given up only six earned runs in those four starts, covering 24 1/3 innings.

Notes

The Cardinals are 6-2 against the Reds this season. ... It was the 23rd multihomer game of Pujols' career. ... The Reds activated 1B Joey Votto off the bereavement list and optioned INF Adam Rosales to Triple-A Louisville. ... Pujols also singled and was hit on the right foot by a pitch, but stayed in the game. ... Phillips' pinch-hit homer was the second of his career.

 
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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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

B. Phillips
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, CF5123000 .304
Ryan Ludwick, RF5122012 .304
Albert Pujols, 1B4232000 .349
Rick Ankiel, LF3100111 .280
   a- Joe Mather, PH-LF1010000 .252
Troy Glaus, 3B4110102 .275
Felipe Lopez, SS-2B3100221 .242
Yadier Molina, C5021000 .302
Joel Pineiro, P3000035 .093
   b- Adam Kennedy, PH0000100 .278
    Cesar Izturis, SS1000010 .255
Aaron Miles, 2B4221001 .313
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
Totals38913958  
a-singled for Ankiel in the 8th
b-walked for Pineiro in the 7th
Batting
2B - Yadier Molina (16, Harang)
HR - Skip Schumaker (8, Harang), Ryan Ludwick (31, Harang), Albert Pujols 2 (26, Harang, Majewski)
RBI - Skip Schumaker 3 (40), Ryan Ludwick 2 (92), Albert Pujols 2 (77), Yadier Molina (47), Aaron Miles (26)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker 3 (16)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - F. Lopez-Miles-Pujols
E - Yadier Molina (9, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (W,6-5) 6733062 4.80
Jason Isringhausen 1100110 5.70
Russ Springer 1100010 2.06
Ron Villone 1100000 5.05
WP - Jason Isringhausen (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 81-57, Jason Isringhausen 22-15, Russ Springer 16-12, Ron Villone 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 8-4, Russ Springer 1-1, Ron Villone 1-2
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 25, Jason Isringhausen 5, Russ Springer 4, Ron Villone 4
Cincinnati Reds
Chris Dickerson, LF4000134 .353
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS5110016 .337
Jay Bruce, RF4010002 .260
Brandon Phillips, 2B3112020 .269
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Javier Valentin, 1B4020011 .266
Jeff Keppinger, 3B4010002 .262
Corey Patterson, CF4010011 .197
Ryan Hanigan, C4010001 .214
Aaron Harang, P1000000 .158
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
   a- Andy Phillips, PH1111000 .200
    Josh Fogg, P0000000 .111
   b- Joey Votto, PH1000001 .279
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
    Jolbert Cabrera, 2B1010000 .364
Totals36310318  
a-homered for Majewski in the 5th
b-flied out for Fogg in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jolbert Cabrera (4, Villone)
HR - Brandon Phillips (19, Pineiro), Andy Phillips (1, Pineiro)
SF - Brandon Phillips (6)
RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (70), Andy Phillips (6)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Hairston-B. Phillips-Valentin, Keppinger-B. Phillips-Valentin
PB - Ryan Hanigan (1)
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (L,3-13) 3.1788343 5.59
Gary Majewski 1.2311111 4.55
Josh Fogg 2100110 7.71
Jeremy Affeldt 1200000 3.44
Francisco Cordero 1000020 3.64
HBP - Pujols (by Jeremy Affeldt)
WP - Jeremy Affeldt (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 78-50, Gary Majewski 34-23, Josh Fogg 27-13, Jeremy Affeldt 14-8, Francisco Cordero 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 3-3, Gary Majewski 4-0, Josh Fogg 2-2, Jeremy Affeldt 2-0, Francisco Cordero 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 20, Gary Majewski 9, Josh Fogg 7, Jeremy Affeldt 5, Francisco Cordero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30713
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Brian Runge