Albert Pujols scored from second base on a ground out in the 9 th inning, just one odd play in a wild back and forth 6-5 win over the Rockies. The Cardinals have won 7 of their last 9 games and now lead the Cubs by 2 ½ games in the NL Central.
I say it’s an odd play, but it really is a head’s up play by Albert Pujols. With one out, he doubled off Rockies closer Brian Fuentes. Pujols took off with a pitch to Rick Ankiel who grounded to the second baseman and Pujols who’s not particularly fast, but has great baserunning smarts kept motoring around third and beat Todd Helton’s throw home. Then, Jason Insringhausen came on for his 2 nd consecutive save.
Joel Pineiro who was penciled in as a question mark for the game with back spasms between starts came up to bat in the 4 th inning off Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Pineiro swung at a pitch and missed, but got hit on the right forearm. He composed himself after the embarrassing swing and miss, then battled Jimenez and on the 10 th pitch doubled down the left field line driving in two runs. That gave the Cards a 3-2 lead, but Pineiro would have to leave the mound in the 4 th as his right forearm was bothered by the hit pitch and left with Rockies back on top 4-3.
Relievers Ron Villone and Mike Parisi, just called up from AAA Memphis kept the Rockies limited to two hits in four innings as the Cardinals went up 5-4. The Rockies tied the game in the 8 th off of Randy Flores setting up Pujols’ heads up play in the 9 th .
With the win, the Cardinals move 2 ½ games ahead of Chicago in the NL Central.