ATLANTA (AP) -- After an up-and-down year, Danny Haren savored
his latest victory.
"When they come as far between as these last two have, you
understand how hard it is to win a big league game," he said.
Scott Rolen homered twice to become the first NL player to reach
100 RBI this season and Haren won for the first time in more than
a year, leading the St. Louis Cardinals past the Atlanta Braves
10-4 Sunday night.
Albert Pujols added another home run as the Cardinals won two of
three in the battle of division leaders, handing Atlanta its first
series loss since the end of June. St. Louis has the best road
record in the major leagues at 40-19
"Their record is definitely deserved," Cardinals manager Tony
LaRussa said. "But we're good, too."
Rolen hit a pair of two-run drives off John Thomson (9-8) and
reached 100 RBI for the third straight season.
"I'm not trying to rack up personal accolades," Rolen said.
"I'm not going to have a lot of success if I go out and try for
Chipper Jones hit a solo homer for the Braves, giving him 1,000
career RBI. He joined Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Dale Murphy as
the only players in franchise history to amass that total with the
Haren (1-2) limited the Braves to three runs and seven hits in
five innings to win for the first time since he beat Pittsburgh on
Aug. 11 last year. He started in place of Chris Carpenter, who was
skipped because of stiffness in his lower back.
"He did an outstanding job," LaRussa said. "It's huge for
him, and huge for us."
In his previous start, the 23-year-old Haren lasted only 3 2-3
innings against the Chicago Cubs, giving up 10 runs and 10 hits.
"That last game, it was just a fluke," Haren said. "By no
means did I dwell on that. I just came out and tried to do my
Thomson, who lost for the first time in seven starts since July
3, gave up eight runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in four
innings. Atlanta made three errors, including two in a six-run
second inning, to increase its total to 97, the third-most in the
Atlanta was without right fielder J.D. Drew, who sat out with a
strained right quadriceps.
"It's another series, honestly," Braves manager Bobby Cox
said. "They were saying back in the first month of the season it
was a make or break series with Florida. Then we went into
Philadelphia, another make or break. You hear it all year long.
"They are a series. That's the only way you can look at it."
Thomson bobbled a sacrifice bunt by Haren that loaded the bases
with no outs in the second. Tony Womack hit into a forceout at
home, but Estrada threw wildly to first, allowing a run to score.
Larry Walker singled home two runs with a grounder that got past
Furcal at shortstop, and Rolen made it 6-1 with his first home run.
"That's just one of those innings you forget about," Giles
said. "It doesn't happen all the time. It was just pretty much a
bad game all around. It's been a while since we've had one of
It was Rolen's fifth multihomer game this year, the 18th of
his career. ... Atlanta LF Mark DeRosa hit into two double plays.
... St. Louis LF Reggie Sanders was credited with a stolen base in
the third when he went to second after a popout by Mike Matheny.
The Braves infielders turned their backs to him, so Sanders
scampered into second without a throw.