The type of performance that Braden gave the Cardinals last night is another example of the things the Cardinals are doing right to lead the NL Central by 2 ½ game. With a tired bullpen, Looper gave the Cardinals 8 1/3 innings worth of work to pick up his fifth win, and he also helped with his bat as the Cardinals won 6-5 for the second night in a row.
Looper pitched into the 9 th inning for the first time since being converted to a starter last year leaving the game to Ryan Franklin with one out and runners on first and second. After Franklin struck out Brad Hawpe, he gave up back to back doubles to Chris Ianetta and Clint Barnes pulling the Rockies to within 6-5 with Franklin finally getting Jeff Baker to fly out to Rick Ankiel with the tying run second
St. Louis built an early lead on Albert Pujols’ two-out double to center in the first and Ryan Ludwick’s RBI single to left. Looper himself added to the offense in the second, sparking a rally with a two-out double, followed by three more run-scoring hits from Cesar Izturis, Brian Barton and Adam Kennedy. Looper knocked home another two-out run in the third, the fifth two-out RBI of the game, and Rick Ankiel offered insurance with an eighth-inning solo shot over the right-field scoreboard.