The Cardinals gave their fans the first real sweat of the new season with a 4-3 win over the Phillies on Wednesday night. Tied 3-3 in the ninth inning, Albert Pujols stood on third with one out and Scott Rolen at the plate. Rolen grounded to shortstop Jimmy Rollins and gunned down Pujols, who was charging home on contact. Up next was Skip Schumaker, who hit the first home run of his career in the fourth inning. Tom Gordon walked him on five pitches to put runners at first and second. Yadier Molina stepped in the box, swung at the first pitch he saw and singled in Rolen from second base to break the tie.
But the drama didn’t end there.
In the bottom of the ninth, Cardinals reliever Jason Isringhausen allowed a one-out single to Pat Burrell, but got Shane Utley to ground out. Isringhausen proceeded to walk Ryan Howard and David Bell to load the bases. Luckily for Isringhausen and the Cardinals, he induced a grounder from Mike Lieberthal to end the threat and the game.
Isringhausen got the save and Brad Thompson, who worked a perfect eighth inning, got the win. Starter Mark Mulder allowed three runs off three hits in a seven inning performance.
Rollins led off the top of the first with a double to extend his two-season hitting streak to 38 games.
Albert Pujols hit a solo home run in the fifth inning—it was his fifth of the season.