One of the few feel-good stories on an otherwise disappointing Cardinals team this year has been the transformation of pitcher Braden Looper from career reliever to sudden starter.  The right-hander worked seven stellar innings last night, keeping his team in the game until Albert Pujols could break an eighth inning tie with a two-run double and lead the Cards to a 5-2 win over Cincinnati.

With the start, Looper lowered his ERA to 1.91 this season.  He allowed just three hits and two walks, but did not factor in the decision.

After Looper’s exit and the game tied at one apiece, Pujols smashed Kirk Saarloos’ offering into the right-centerfield gap, scoring two and giving the Birds a slim two-run lead.

Randy Flores worked one and a third innings to pick-up the victory.  Jason Isringhausen earned his fifth save of the season by getting the game’s final out.

AUDIO: Tony La Russa — Braden Looper — Albert Pujols (1:41 MP3)