The St. Louis Cardinals pounded out fourteen hits en route to an 8-4 win in the opener of a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
The hitting barrage came from everywhere, including two hits from recent callup Nick Stavinoha. The Cardinals had a lot of timely hitting, which produced two RBIs for three members of the lineup; Brendan Ryan, Brian Barton, and Skip Schumaker.
With the Redbird win and a Cubs loss tonight, the Cardinals move to 3.5 games out in the NL Central, with their hottest pitcher, Kyle Lohse, taking the hill tomorrow night.
Although the Cardinals have now gone over a week with their top player, Albert Pujols, they have yet to lose ground on the division-leading Cubs.
Today’s player of the game had to be the outfielder Barton. He hit the second home run of his young career, while plating two.
Starting pitcher Braden Looper worked into the seventh inning before giving up a two-run blast to Tigers slugger Gary Sheffield. Before that home run, Looper had given up just two runs on six hits, but Sheffield made his statline look a little rough. The most important stat however was Looper moving his record to 9-5.
The biggest issue I can take away from this otherwise quality game was the struggles of Rick Ankiel. Although Ankiel salvaged a hit, he looked incredibly off balance in all of his at-bats, especially when he struck out with the bases loaded with the score tied at two.
Yadier Molina clearly showed that his injury is healed, going 3-5 at the dish , scoring two runs in the process.
Another star player tonight was Brendan Ryan. We all know how good he is in the field, but he is finally displaying some prowess at the plate. Ryan went 3-4 and hit a timely double scoring two insurance runs in the sixth inning.
Perhaps the most surprising moments of the day came from Adam Kennedy, the first baseman. Huh, the first baseman? Yes. Traditionally a second baseman, Kennedy made his first start at the single bag and turned in some wonderful defensive plays. Not to mention, he stopped a hotshot down the first base line to end the game.
Hopefully the Cardinals can keep on track and get to .500 against the AL during this stretch with a win tomorrow from Lohse.