The Cardinals should be feeling lucky they’re in the National League Central and not the American League Central. In the last four games against the top two AL Central teams, White Sox and Tigers, the Redbirds are 0-4 – including being swept by the Sox – and have been outscored 44-17. The latest setback was a 10-6 loss to the Tigers Friday.
St. Louis can enjoy the fact that Albert Pujols is back in the lineup after a stint on the disabled list. He struggled to find his timing in the last game of the Sox series going 0-for-4, but he quickly found his stroke Friday pounding Tiger’s pitching with a 4-for-4 day including a solo homer in the ninth.
Scott Rolen has been right behind, literally and figuratively, the whole way. The all star third baseman is hitting .341 this year, which ranks him fourth in the NL. He continued his hot hitting against Detroit going 3-for-5 and scoring a run.
The offense has somewhat been there for the Cardinals during this stretch. It’s the pitching that has failed them. Barring Anthony Reyes’ one hitter against Chicago, the Cardinals pitching staff has left much to be desired. Chris Carpenter was the latest victim giving up seven runs on nine hits in seven innings. Three relievers combined to give up three runs in one inning. Randy Flores, who replaced Carpenter on the mound, exited the game having allowed two runs and recording no outs.
St. Louis was in the game early, but Detroit struck for four runs in the fifth to break a 3-3 tie.
Juan Encarnacion’s single in the eighth extended his hitting streak to 14 games.