Cards record second straight 6-5 victory over Colorado

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DENVER -- Braden Looper pitched into the ninth inning in the longest outing of his career and went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and the St. Louis Cardinals hung on for a 6-5 win over the slumping Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Rick Ankiel hit his sixth homer of the season and Ryan Ludwick finished 4-for-4 with two doubles as the Cardinals won for the eighth time in 10 games.

Looper (5-1) was two outs away from his first career complete game, but was pulled after back-to-back singles by Todd Helton and pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs.

Ryan Franklin picked up his first save of the season, but it didn't come easy. After striking out Brad Hawpe, Franklin gave up a two-run double to Chris Iannetta and a run-scoring double to Clint Barmes before getting Jeff Baker to fly out to center.

Looper allowed four runs and 10 hits in 8 1/3 innings. Before Tuesday, his longest outing was seven innings on nine different occasions, most recently in a no-decision against Houston on April 25.

Looper also had a double, an RBI single and a walk to bump his average up to .385.

The Rockies lost for the 13th time in their last 16 contests.

Ankiel showed off his powerful left arm by throwing out two runners at third base from deep center.

He cut down Omar Quintanilla trying to stretch a double into a triple in the eighth, and got Willy Taveras as he attempted to tag up from second in the opening inning. Taveras is one of the fastest runners in the NL.

Albert Pujols extended his streak of reaching base with either a hit, walk or hit by pitch to 34 straight games after going 1-for-5 with a double.

The Elias Sports Bureau said Pujols' string is the longest in the majors to start a season since 1999 when Derek Jeter reached in 53 consecutive contests. Luis Gonzalez (35) and Jim Thome (37) also had long streaks to begin that season.

Troy Glaus broke out of an 0-for-21 slump with a single in the third. He had another hit taken away after his liner up the middle glanced off Mark Redman and right to third baseman Garrett Atkins, who threw him out at first.

Redman (2-3) had another shaky outing, getting yanked early after surrendering five runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Redman allowed 10 runs in the first inning during his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 26, before settling down and finishing with five scoreless frames.

All five of the Cardinals' runs off Redman came with two outs.

Iannetta also had a solo homer, his third of the season, and Clint Barmes finished 3-for-4 with two doubles.

Notewarothy

* Rockies right-hander Kip Wells underwent a four-hour surgery Tuesday to remove blood clots in his right hand. The operation was performed by Dr. Robert Thompson at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Wells' condition will be re-evaluated Wednesday. No date has been set for his return.

The 31-year-old Wells had a blocked artery in his right arm in 2006, which had to be replaced by a vein taken from Wells' leg.

Wells was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 29.

* Redman and Looper were teammates on the Florida Marlins' world championship team in 2003.

* Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder gave up seven runs in six innings during a rehab start with Class AAA Memphis on Monday night. Mulder, who's recovering from shoulder surgery, experienced fatigue in his shoulder, and his next rehab start is in question.

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