Seattle at St. Louis

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Seattle (24-40)200000010362
St. Louis (35-29) «30104001x9121

Cardinals' bats come to life, back Wainwright in rout of M's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols has a souvenir from the St. Louis Cardinals' latest victory: a good-sized welt on the left side of his neck.

The three-time NL MVP took one off the noggin on a perfect day at the plate, stand-in cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick homered and the Cardinals beat the Seattle Mariners 9-3 on Monday night behind a reworked batting order.

"You could have written that group any way you wanted to and we would have had some runs," manager Tony La Russa said.

Pujols singled three times and walked twice as the Cardinals bounced back after totaling 19 runs during a 1-5 West Coast swing that dropped them out of the NL Central lead. Plus, he stayed in the game after a throw to the plate struck him near the left ear flap in the fifth.

"Took it like a champ," Ludwick said in admiration.

Although Pujols' ear flap absorbed some of the impact, La Russa said the team was been worried initially.

"We kept asking, 'Are you dizzy, do you have a headache or anything? And he said 'No, no, no,"' La Russa said. "He's a tough guy, he's proven that over and over again."

Pujols said simply: "I'm all right."

Ludwick finished with four RBI and Adam Wainwright (9-4) pitched into the eighth after a shaky start. Matt Holliday also was a success batting second for the first time in his career, getting two hits and scoring twice.

"Listen, bro, he's the head of this organization and he's the one that drives the ship," Pujols said of La Russa's batting order. "As a player, I'm happy just to be in the lineup. It doesn't matter where he puts us, you've got to perform.

"We know that we have to get it going."

The Mariners have lost six of seven, fizzling after Ichiro Suzuki hit the second pitch of the game for his 31st career leadoff homer -- tying Chuck Knoblauch for 10th place. Suzuki also doubled in the eighth for his major league-leading 31st multihit game.

Suzuki was the first left-handed hitter to homer off Wainwright this season.

"I've heard he could win the home run derby if he wanted to," Wainwright said. "Everybody knows he has power, especially on the pitch I threw him."

Luke French (0-1) replaced struggling Ian Snell in Seattle's rotation and allowed four runs in four innings.

"I wanted to go deeper and the first couple of innings were pretty rough," French said. "The last two innings, I felt like I made the adjustment, made better pitches, got more ground balls, but I was definitely frustrated with the number of quality strikes."

Colby Rasmus homered in a four-run fifth off Snell, one of the runs scoring when Pujols broke for the plate on David Freese's chopper to third and was struck by Jose Lopez's errant throw.

Pujols was helped off the field by teammate Yadier Molina after receiving treatment from a trainer, but just moments later was chatting with teammates in the dugout.

The Mariners had two runs on three hits in the first against Wainwright, and no runs and one hit over the next six innings. It was Wainwright's 21st consecutive home start with three or fewer runs on his line, the longest streak in major league history, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

"You like the way the game started," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "To give a guy like Wainwright a lead right back, it took a lot of momentum away."

Ludwick batted fourth in place of Holliday, coming off a 3-for-22 trip. Ludwick hit a three-run homer in the first, a sacrifice fly in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth.

"I think the main thing is wherever you're at, just getting a good pitch to hit," Ludwick said. "I'm not reading too much into it, obviously. Matt's a great hitter."

Notes

  • The Mariners are 15-17 at home and 9-23 on the road.
  • Entering the game, Ludwick had a single and no RBI in 13 career at-bats against Seattle.
  • Wainwright is 55-28 in 100 career starts with St. Louis.
  • Suzuki has 245 interleague hits for fifth on the career list, one more than Ivan Rodriguez.
 
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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COMMENTS
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Albert Pujols, who gets his bell rung from a ball to the head, is perfect at the plate (three hits, two walks). (AP)
Albert Pujols, who gets his bell rung from a ball to the head, is perfect at the plate (three hits, two walks). (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Seattle

I. Suzuki
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4121010 .344
Chone Figgins, 2B3121100 .233
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4000002 .275
    Sean White, P0000000 .000
Jose Lopez, 3B4001003 .227
Milton Bradley, LF4010011 .224
Josh Wilson, SS4000001 .291
Mike Carp, 1B3000100 .182
Rob Johnson, C4000031 .208
Luke French, P1000010 .000
   a- Ryan Langerhans, PH1000010 .172
    Ian Snell, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
   b- Michael Saunders, PH-CF1110000 .229
Totals3336327  
a-struck out for French in the 5th
b-singled for C. Cordero in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (15, Wainwright), Milton Bradley (7, Wainwright)
HR - Ichiro Suzuki (2, Wainwright)
RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (19), Chone Figgins (17), Jose Lopez (27)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Franklin Gutierrez 1
DP - Figgins-Carp
E - Jose Lopez (7, Throwing), Josh Wilson (7, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
Luke French (L,0-1) 4644201 7.45
Ian Snell 2344231 6.41
Chad Cordero 1000100 2.25
Sean White 1311000 7.56
Pitches-Strikes - Luke French 60-35, Ian Snell 46-26, Chad Cordero 14-7, Sean White 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke French 3-9, Ian Snell 3-1, Chad Cordero 1-1, Sean White 1-2
Batters Faced - Luke French 20, Ian Snell 12, Chad Cordero 3, Sean White 6
St. Louis Cardinals
Felipe Lopez, 2B5000003 .250
    Aaron Miles, 2B0000000 .231
Matt Holliday, LF4220112 .292
Albert Pujols, 1B3231200 .309
Ryan Ludwick, RF4224013 .289
David Freese, 3B5111013 .305
Colby Rasmus, CF3112101 .293
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .263
Adam Wainwright, P3010101 .132
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
Brendan Ryan, SS4120002 .211
Totals35912853  
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (17, Snell), Adam Wainwright (3, French)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (11, French), Colby Rasmus (12, Snell)
SF - Ryan Ludwick (2)
RBI - Albert Pujols (48), Ryan Ludwick 4 (39), David Freese (33), Colby Rasmus 2 (32)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Freese-Pujols
E - David Freese (8, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,9-4) 7633161 2.41
Jason Motte 1000000 2.33
Mitchell Boggs 1000110 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 108-69, Jason Motte 12-8, Mitchell Boggs 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 9-6, Jason Motte 1-2, Mitchell Boggs 1-1
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 28, Jason Motte 3, Mitchell Boggs 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36113
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Ed Hickox