ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Facing his old team is no fun for Tony La
Russa. For a few days, he can't root for the Oakland Athletics.
In the opener of a three-game interleague series Tuesday night,
the St. Louis Cardinals manager came away with an 8-4 win against
the team he led to four division championships and a World Series
"I looked in that dugout and saw several guys I know," La
Russa said. "I'm glad it's only two more games, and then I can go
back to pulling for them."
Pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson sparked a five-run seventh inning
with a two-run, go-ahead single, helping the Cardinals end the A's
eight-game winning streak.
Albert Pujols was 1-for-4 with two RBI for the Cardinals in his
first appearance at first base in eight games. Pujols has been
hampered by a strained left hamstring, an injury that reduced him
to DH duties during a weekend series at Texas.
The Athletics entered 18-0 all-time against the NL Central, but
three pitchers faced 11 batters in the pivotal seventh. The
Cardinals are 14-5 since May 26, and moved to 10 games above .500
for the first time. They succeeded in their fifth try.
"Half the battle is getting there, and then you've got to stay
above it, right?" La Russa said. "That's a big number for us."
Matt Morris (7-5) worked around two-run homers to Damian Miller
and Mark Kotsay, allowing four runs on six hits in seven innings.
Morris has given up an NL-high 21 homers this season, one more than
he allowed last year.
"Both of those home runs should have been hit hard," Morris
said. "One of them is going to drop for a double, I know it -- one
of those days."
Jason Isringhausen got one out for his 14th save in 17
Anderson is 7-for-18 with four RBI as a pinch hitter, and his
bases-loaded single off Justin Duchscherer with one out in the
seventh put the Cardinals ahead 5-4.
"I stay active and Tony gives me at-bats, making sure I'm fresh
and ready for a big situation like that," Anderson said. "It's
paying off right now."
Chad Bradford (3-3) issued a one-out walk to Jim Edmonds, and
Reggie Sanders singled to put runners on first and third. Ricardo
Rincon came in and walked Hector Luna to load the bases.
Duchscherer then came in and gave up Anderson's two-run single.
Bradford allowed two runs on one hit and walked one in 1 1-3
A's starter Barry Zito battled wildness, throwing 115 pitches in
five innings. Heavily emphasizing his curve, Zito gave up two
earned runs on seven hits and struck out eight -- including Sanders
all three times.
"I had nothing tonight," Zito said. "The outs weren't coming
quick at all. Guys were working the counts and there were tons of
foul balls, and whenever you have that combination you're looking
for a high pitch count."
Zito has lasted only five innings in each of his last two
outings, also giving up five runs and getting the victory against
the Reds on June 8.
The Cardinals stranded nine runners the first four innings,
trailing 4-3 at that juncture. Pujols had a sacrifice fly and
Edmonds had a run-scoring single in the first and Pujols added an
RBI single in the second.
But Zito's pitch count forced the Athletics to go to the bullpen
"They've got a lot of veteran guys, good hitters, and they've
got them spaced out left-right, left-right," manager Ken Macha
said. "Once you paint yourself in that corner, you're looking down
The A's winning streak was their longest since they took 10
in a row from Aug. 23-Sept. 2, 2003. ... Tuesday was the 40th
anniversary of the Cardinals' trade for Lou Brock, the catalyst for
three World Series teams in the 1960s. Bing Devine, the general
manager who sent P Ernie Broglio to the Cubs, was in attendance.
... Rams QB Chris Chandler took swings in the batting cage about
three hours before the game. ... Despite the loss, the A's are a
major league-best 81-48 in interleague play. ... Renteria had three
hits for the Cardinals, and Bobby Crosby had his first four-hit
game for the A's.