The Cardinals returned to the diamond after a day off and didn’t miss a step. Well rested and trying to extend their two game winning streak the Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 5-3 Friday.
The Cardinals grabbed the lead early on a RBI single by Albert Pujols in the first inning. Pujols continues to lead the Majors in RBIs with 44. Jim Edmonds helped add to the lead with a sacrifice fly to score John Rodriguez. After an inning, the Cardinals were already up 2-0.
Edmonds has struggled at the plate this year. Earlier this season, Manager Tony LaRussa decided to sit Edmonds for a game. He was hitting .243 going into Friday’s game. In the last six games he is 6-for-15 with five RBIs. Against the Diamondbacks Friday, he was 1-for-3 and drove in three runs. His two run homer in the fifth gave the Cards a 4-2 lead.
Mark Mulder won his fourth game this season. He gave up two runs on six hits in six innings. The runs coming on an Eric Byrnes two-run homer that tied the game in the fifth. Mulder and Byrnes were teammates in Oakland. It was the only damage Mulder allowed all night.
Mulder has dominated the D-Backs over the years. While with the A’s in 2001, he pitched a one-hitter. Last year, he pitched a shutout. Friday, Mulder gave up the first runs in his career against the D-Backs.
Jason Isringhausen entered the game in the ninth and Colorado threatened to come back. Pinch hitter Johnny Estrada singled to right field driving in Conor Jackson who walked earlier in the inning. That was as close as the D-Backs could get as Izzy regained his composure to nail home his 11th save of the year.
The Cardinals have fought their way back into a first place tie with the Reds in the National League Central at 23-13.