The Cardinals are now the best team in baseball, at least according to the win-loss column. Sparked by Mark Mulder’s five-hit shutout, the Redbirds topped the Diamondbacks 5-0 at Busch Stadium Wednesday. They upped their mark to 76-44, while the White Sox are 74-44.
Mulder (14-6) struck out four and walked two in the win, but pitching wasn’t the only thing he did well. He was 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in a run with a single in the seventh to give the Cardinals a 4-0 lead. Abraham Nunez sacrificed to first, scoring Mulder for a 5-0 lead.
Mark Grudzielanek’s bunt single gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the second inning. John Mabry launched a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Cardinals a 3-0 advantage. It was his seventh homer of the season. Mabry also scored twice on Wednesday.
Outfielder So Taguchi went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to ten games.
The Cardinals’ win, combined with the Astros’ 4-2 loss to the Cubs pushed St. Louis’ lead in the National League Central to 12 games over Houston. Chicago and Milwaukee are tied for third, 17 ½ games out of the hunt.