Redbirds fly past Arizona, win 7-1

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Pujols extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

PHOENIX -- Albert Pujols drove in two runs with three hits -- including a double and his 22nd homer -- to extend his hitting streak to 17 games and lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Pujols, who had a 30-game hitting streak in 2003, also hit in 17 in a row as a rookie in 2001.

So Taguchi had a solo homer and drove in two runs for the second straight game, and Reggie Sanders, back in the lineup after missing two games because of a strained right foot, drove in two runs for the Cardinals.

Jeff Suppan (8-7) went 5 1-3 innings, allowing one run and five hits to help the defending NL champions to their third straight win and fourth in five games.

Suppan left with a 5-1 lead, but with Troy Glaus and Shawn Green on first and third after a walk and single. Al Reyes got out of the jam when he got Royce Clayton, his only batter, to ground into a double play. Reyes and four more relievers combined for 3 2-3 scoreless innings.

Shawn Estes (6-7) worked 6 1-3 innings, dropping to 2-4 in nine starts since his only consecutive wins this season. Estes allowed six runs and six hits, including Taguchi's leadoff homer in the seventh.

Pujols, who went 3-for-4, made it 7-1 with his leadoff homer off Greg Aquino in the eighth.

Pujols made Estes pay for hitting Jim Edmonds with a pitch in the first inning, doubling into the right-field corner and taking third on the throw home. He scored on Sanders' grounder for a 2-0 lead.

Estes gave himself some support when he broke an 0-for-23 stretch at the plate by tripling in the third. He scored on Craig Counsell's sacrifice fly.

Pujols led off the fourth with a single and scored on Sanders' double that hit the center field wall on the fly.

Scott Rolen hit an RBI double into the gap, making it 4-1 before Estes got anyone out, and Taguchi made it a three-run inning with a bloop single.

Notes: Estes' triple -- the second of his career -- was the first by an Arizona pitcher since Elmer Dessens had one on July 26, 2003, against the Dodgers. Estes tripled for Colorado at San Diego last Sept. 4. ... Suppan improved to 3-4 in eight road starts. ... Before the game, the Diamondbacks reacquired one of their first players by signing RHP Vladimir Nunez to a minor league contract. Nunez, a defector from Cuba, first signed with Arizona in 1996, two years before the Diamondbacks played their first game. He had been in the St. Louis organization, and the Cardinals released him Saturday.

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