A wild pitch on Sunday cost the Cardinals a chance to gain a game on the Brewers. But at least they kept the pace with a national television win over the Rockies.
Down by a run in the eighth to the Pirates with a man on second and one out the Milwaukee batter at the plate struck out. But the ball eluded the Bucs catcher and allowed the hitter to reach and the man on second to move to third. Ryan Braun singled and tied the game which Milwaukee eventually won in extra innings. If only the Pirates catcher could have wrangled that ball...
With that sad cloud hanging over St. Louis the Cardinals looked like they were determined to lose ground with a top of the first that saw the Rockies score a couple of runs and threaten for more as starter Edwin Jackson took 31 pitches just to make it to the second inning.
But Albert Pujols homered to tie the game in the bottom of the first to tie the game and the Redbirds tacked on two more tallies before the dust cleared to give St. Louis a 4-2 lead that held until Jackson departed with an apparent hamstring injury in the sixth.
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Milwaukee threatened with two runners on base when Jackson Departed. But Jason Motte got the Birds out of the jam without any damage. In the seventh Colorado got two men on base with one out before Arthur Rhodes made his Cardinals debut... With a walk. Enter Octavio Dotel who has struggled terribly lately. But the veteran righty impressively whiffed Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton to send the Cardinals to the bottom of the seventh.
In their half of that frame, the Cardinals seemed to start off promisingly when Albert Pujols lead off with a single. But then Matt Holliday hit into a double play. Lance Berkman started things off with a single and David Freese walked. Molina singled home one run and Skip Schumaker the other to give the Birds their final four-run lead and to keep the NL Central Division deficit.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Albert Pujols collected three hits to improve his batting average to a season high .288.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Pujols' first inning homer.
Lowlight: Jackson's injury.