Schumaker, Cardinals stop Reds

Published 11:15 pm Saturday, May 1, 2010

ST. LOUIS — Skip Schumaker gave the St. Louis Cardinals the clutch hit they lacked the previous game.

Schumaker singled to snap an eighth-inning tie after the Cincinnati Reds twice rallied to even the score in a 6-3 victory Saturday. The Cardinals bounced back after stranding five runners the final three innings of a one-run loss Friday night, which was elongated by a rain delay of 2 hours, 32 minutes.

“It’s the same for both teams, but it was easier for them because they won,” manager Tony La Russa said. “You get loose and play. I don’t care what happened yesterday.”

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David Freese, who homered for St. Louis, said he got only five hours’ sleep.

“Knowing we’ve got to come around and play another one real early, it was tough, especially after losing,” Freese said. “That shows the kind of team we have.”

Reds relievers looked fatigued during St. Louis’ three-run eighth, issuing four walks, including Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday with the bases loaded.

“The guys were a little spent,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You could tell when we started walking people. The gates opened up.”

Schumaker batted .303 last year, but only .220 with two RBIs in 100 at-bats against left-handers. He’s 6 for 12 with one RBI against lefties this year after singling to the opposite field off Daniel Ray Herrera.

“It’s a tough lefty and I’ve had a pretty frustrating start to the year,” said Schumaker, batting .216 with four RBIs overall. “To be able to capitalize was really nice.”

Pujols’ RBI double with two outs in the seventh gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead and chased Homer Bailey. He’s 9 of 17 with three doubles and four RBIs the first six games of a seven-game homestand, including his first day off of the season Thursday.

“He’s the best hitter in the game,” said Bailey, who threw a career-high 121 pitches in 6 2-3 innings. “I’ve won a few, and that time he won.”

Freese added his second homer of the season and second in three days for the Cardinals, who have won six of seven and ended the Reds’ five-game winning streak.

Kyle Lohse allowed a run and struck out eight in seven innings and also singled twice, but remained the lone member of the St. Louis rotation without a win. He matched his best strikeout total since June 30, 2007, when he was the Reds and faced the Cardinals in Cincinnati.

Lohse totaled seven strikeouts his first four starts of the year. Half of his strikeouts against the Reds were called.

“Just setting the guys up,” Lohse said. “They were obviously looking for something else and couldn’t pull the trigger.”

Ryan Franklin (1-0) got the last four outs after the Reds scored twice off the St. Louis bullpen. Cincinnati benefited from a poor throw by Colby Rasmus on Scott Rolen’s tying sacrifice fly to shallow center. Rasmus, who was removed in a double switch, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

The only run the first six innings came on Freese’s drive that barely cleared the right field wall in the fourth. Jay Bruce tripled to start the seventh and Orlando Cabrera followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Pujols’ RBI double put the Cardinals ahead 2-1 in the seventh and he scored on Rolen’s throwing error as the Cardinals took a 3-1 lead. Rolen’s wild throw to first on Holliday’s infield hit got away from Votto and allowed Pujols to score.

Jason LaRue doubled off Carlos Fisher (0-1) with one out in the eighth, pinch runner Jaime Garcia advanced on a groundout and Brendan Ryan walked on a full count before Schumaker lined a single to left off Herrera.

NOTES: C Yadier Molina and 3B Freese got tangled up a bit chasing Bruce’s foul pop in the fourth and Freese’s glove went flying as Molina made the catch near the Reds dugout. … Of the Cardinals’ 111 runs, 53 have come on homers. … Rolen, a seven-time Gold Glove winner at 3B, has four errors after totaling five last year with Toronto and Cincinnati. … Pujols drew his major league-leading eighth intentional walk with one out and a man on second in the first. He’s 12 for 21 (.571) during a six-game hitting streak.