Abreu hits ninth homer in 10 games, but Cards still win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals retired Bobby Abreu
when it mattered most.

Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer and Albert Pujols added a
two-run shot, helping the Cardinals overcome another homer by Abreu
in an 8-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday

Abreu hit a three-run drive in the sixth inning, giving him
homers in nine of the last 10 games. By that time, the Phillies
already trailed 8-0.

Abreu had a chance to tie the game in the ninth after the
Phillies loaded the bases against Jason Isringhausen, but he struck
out to end it.

"It wasn't the matchup I wanted," Isringhausen said. "The
first pitch was a fastball right down the middle. When I threw it,
I said, 'Please don't swing.' Then I threw three curves. I didn't
want to walk him. If he hits a homer, it's a tie game. I wanted to
throw strikes and keep him in the park."

After Abreu took Isringhausen's fastball for a strike, he didn't
get another good pitch to hit.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Abreu said,
adding that he froze on the fastball.

Chris Carpenter (6-2) allowed three runs and five hits, striking
out seven in six innings for his second straight win.

"I felt like I battled out there, but I made good pitches when
I had to make them," Carpenter said.

Pujols gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the third when he sent a
2-2 pitch from Jon Lieber deep into the left-center field seats for
his 10th homer.

Molina made it 5-0 with a three-run shot later in the inning.
Lieber struck out Jim Edmonds and John Mabry after Pujols' homer,
but Mark Grudzielanek singled and Abraham Nunez walked. Molina then
hit a liner into the left-field stands for his first homer.

"I feel more comfortable," said Molina, who struggled early in
the season. "They're giving me more at-bats and I feel much better
right now."

Grudzielanek had an RBI single in the fifth to chase Lieber and
Nunez added a run-scoring groundout.

Lieber (5-3) gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and seven hits in
four-plus innings, his shortest outing of the season. He's 1-3
since winning his first four starts, and has allowed 12 earned runs
in his last two outings.

"The last two starts he hasn't been the same guy we saw in
spring training and early this season," Phillies manager Charlie
Manuel said. "He's having trouble with command and location."

The last-place Phillies were seeking just their third three-game
winning streak of the season. The NL Central-leading Cardinals have
won five of seven.

Game notes
Abreu extended his hitting streak to 11 games and tied a
team record by driving in a run in 10 straight games. Pinky Whitney
also did it in 1931. Abreu has 11 of his 12 homers in May. Mike
Schmidt holds the club record with 12 homers in May of 1980. ...
Phillies 1B Ryan Howard was a late scratch from the lineup because
of a sore left hamstring. ... Molina has three career homers. ...
Lieber has allowed 12 homers this season, most on the Phillies. ...
Grudzielanek was 3-for-4 with two RBI.