The Cardinals had some great performances Tuesday night as they topped the Padres 4-2 in San Diego. Starting pitcher Jeff Suppan lasted five innings to earn his 15th win of the year and Jason Isringhausen was able to close out the game to earn his 40th save. Albert Pujols hit a run-scoring double to earn his 107th RBI and Roger Cedeno’s two-run double in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Birds the eventual win. But perhaps the most impressive performance came from a guy who pitched a non-distinct inning of middle relief. Rick Ankiel allowed a hit, no walks and no runs, to relieve Suppan in the sixth inning. It wasn’t memorable, but the fact that he was pitching at all is testament to his will. Ankiel was written off after being sent down to the minors in 2001. His succession unexplainable wild pitches and an elbow injury might have kept him out, but he pitched well in Class-AA Tennessee and earned his way back on to the roster last week. Ankiel’s control was almost perfect on Tuesday—12-of-his 15 pitches were strikes. The win, combined with the Cubs 7-6 loss to the Expos, cut their magic number to nine games.
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