The Cardinals have managed a way back into first place with a four game winning streak with the help of Colby Rasmus in a crazy 8th inning, the Redbirds are back on top after a 5-3 win Friday night at Tampa Bay.
Rasmus hit a three-run homer in the inning that featured four ejections. Rasmus also had a run scoring groundout during the second inning, connected against J.P. Howell for his fourth homer in the last seven games and ninth on the season. The homer led to three ejections.
Howell was thrown out by plate umpire Vic Carapazza after the he threw his glove to the ground after the homer and also spiked the new ball tossed to him by the umpire. Howell walked toward the plate area and had to be restrained. Rasmus crossed the plate while the arguing continued. First base umpire Doug Eddings ejected Rays pitcher David Price and reserve infielder Elliot Johnson for comments made from the dugout. Earlier in the inning, Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected by Carapazza for arguing from the dugout after Lance Berkman drew a two-out walk on 3-2 pitch.
Jake Westbrook (7-4) allowed just two hits and struck out seven and walked three in his first victory since June 7 at Houston. He was 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA in his previous three starts.
As always, the Cardinals bullpen made it interesting, Tampa Bay scored three times in the eighth. Evan Longoria had a run-scoring double and Matt Joyce added a two-run homer against Lance Lynn, but Fernando Salas pitched the ninth for his 14th save.