Albert Pujols is slowly evolving from a baseball player to someone you would find in a fictional baseball novel. Seemingly, every time the Cardinals need a lift late in the game, he provides it. With Roberto Hernandez on the mound for Pittsburgh, the Cardinals’ first baseman ripped a one-out double down the left field line and David Eckstein raced in from second base to give the Cardinals a 4-3 win. The hit came with two strikes. Eckstein and Hector Luna hit back-to-back singles to set up Pujols game-winner.
Just moments earlier, the Cardinals had their hearts ripped out when Jason Isringhausen surrendered a two-out home run to Jose Hernandez in the top of the ninth to tie it 3-3. Isringhausen went from potential save, to potential loss, to getting the win. It was his second blown save of the season.
Starting pitcher Mark Mulder lasted 7 2/3 innings and gave up two runs off five hits and five walks.
Also getting RBI’s for the Cardinals were Scott Spiezio, Aaron Miles and Juan Encarnacion. Spiezio’s RBI single in the bottom of the first gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Miles drove in a run with a single, as well, and that put St. Louis on top 2-0.
After Craig Wilson’s two-run homer off Mulder in the fourth inning, Encarnacion broke the 2-2 tie with a sacrifice fly to score Eckstein.
With the win, the Cardinals have now won nine of their last eleven games. In seven series this season, they’ve won six.