Cardinals win rematch of '06 World Series

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

DETROIT -- The St. Louis Cardinals got hits from eight players and RBIs from five.

Not bad for a lineup missing Albert Pujols.

Brian Barton, Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan each drove in two runs Tuesday night, leading St. Louis to an 8-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.

"We're stronger with Albert, no doubt, but we're showing we're pretty good without him," Barton said. "It's really exciting to think about what our team is going to be like with him back, along with some of our pitchers that are out right now."

Pujols, who is on the disabled list with a strained left calf, said he didn't know if he would be activated from the disabled list when he's eligible Thursday.

Then the superstar walked onto the field and hit ropes in batting practice.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said the decision will be made after Pujols goes through more workouts in Detroit, adding there's a chance he will play in the series finale against the Tigers.

Braden Looper (9-5) gave up four runs on three homers in six-plus innings and was disappointed his outing ended abruptly after a strong start.

"I felt like I was pitching as well as I have this year, especially against that lineup," Looper said.

Kenny Rogers (5-5) was roughed up for five runs in 5 1/3 innings, giving up one more earned run than he had in his previous five starts.

"I wasn't unhappy until the sixth," he said.

St. Louis, which had lost four of six, broke the game open with three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to go ahead 8-2 after Barton tied the game with a solo homer in the fifth.

Schumaker, pinch-hitting for Barton in the sixth, hit a two-run single and Ryan padded the lead with a two-run double in the seventh.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland wasn't surprised the Cardinals played well without Pujols.

"This team's played well all year long," Leyland said.

In his first game off the disabled list, Gary Sheffield hit a two-run shot to left field in the seventh inning to pull the Tigers within four runs and end Looper's night.

"Hopefully, we can get him on a roll," Leyland said.

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera hit a solo homer in the fourth inning that appeared to hit the yellow strip along the right-field wall, bringing La Russa out of the dugout to argue. La Russa said the umpiring crew told him the ball hit the railing after caroming off the yellow line.

Regardless of the ruling, Looper was impressed that Cabrera drove his down-and-away pitch.

"It was incredible that he hit the ball the way he did," Looper said.

Ivan Rodriguez also hit a home run for the Tigers, who had won 12 of the previous 15 games to be the hottest team in the majors since June 7.

"The game flow was terrible for us," Leyland said. "We just didn't seem to be comfortable."

St. Louis won in Detroit during the regular season for the first time since July 14, 2001. The Cardinals were swept by the Tigers in the previous two interleague matchups.

"It's great to get a win anywhere," La Russa said. "But this has been a tough place for us to play."


* Cardinals LHP Mark Mulder (left shoulder surgery) is scheduled to be evaluated today in Detroit after being scratched from an injury rehabilitation start Monday night with Class AAA Memphis.

* Leyland chatted up one of his best friends, La Russa, and two of La Russa's guests, Packers coach Mike McCarthy and Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, during batting practice.

* The Cardinals sent RHP Chris Perez back to the team hotel because of flu-like symptoms.

* St. Louis infielder Adam Kennedy played 1B for the first time in his career, which started in 1999, and he had to borrow a glove for the night.

* Mickey Lolich threw a ceremonial first pitch to Bill Freehan, capping festivities that honored the Tigers' 1968 championship team that beat St. Louis.

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