ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Scott Rolen's bat woke up Friday night.
Rolen hit two home runs and drove home a career-high seven runs
to lead the St. Louis Cardinals over San Francisco 14-4 Friday
night and dent the Giants' NL wild-card chances.
"I had a good September tonight," said Rolen, who entered in a
2-for-21 slide. "That's about all I've done."
Chris Duncan also homered twice for the Cardinals, who
maintained a 5½-game division lead over second-place Cincinnati and
they close in on their third straight NL Central title, . It was
the most runs for the Cardinals since they beat San Diego 15-5 on
May 8, 2005.
Rolen hit a three-run homer in the first off Brad Hennessey
(5-5), an emergency starter after Jason Schmidt had a tight back.
Rolen added a solo shot against in the sixth, giving him 21 homers
and putting the Cardinals ahead 7-2. He added a bases-loaded double
off Billy Sadler in a seven-run sixth that boosted the lead to
Rolen had his 19th multihomer game, his first since Aug. 15,
2004, at Atlanta. His previous career high for RBI was six against
Pittsburgh in on Aug. 19, 2003.
"I don't know what happened," he said. "I haven't done much
the last two weeks. But all of a sudden, you get a day off, and
today I came back, started seeing the ball a little better, had
some opportunities and got some results."
After playing in only 56 games last year due to a left shoulder
injury, Rolen still is adjusting to playing a full schedule.
"Every month that I've played this year is new ground from the
shoulder surgery I had last year," he said. "This one didn't
start off too well. Hopefully, it picks up."
San Francisco remained 2½ games behind San Diego, the wild-card
"In this game, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose," San
Francisco's Randy Winn said.
Duncan hit a solo homer in the first, a two-run homer in the
second and walked with the bases loaded in the sixth, giving him
four RBI. It was the second multihomer game for Duncan, who also
went deep twice Aug. 10 at Cincinnati.
"I felt good, and it was just one of those things that he fell
behind in the count and I ended up getting some good pitches to hit
and put a good swing on it."
Albert Pujols had a two-run single, giving him 122 RBI.
Jeff Suppan (12-7) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven
innings, striking out six. He is 6-2 with a 2.30 ERA since the
All-Star break and is 3-0 in six starts since losing to Pittsburgh
7-1 on Aug. 11.
"Our offense really took over tonight," Suppan said. "For me,
it was just trying to go up there and throw up zeros, as many as I
Hennessey allowed six runs and five hits in two innings,
dropping to 0-3 with a 10.70 ERA in his last five starts.
"For whatever reason, the past month and a half, I haven't been
the same person I was the first three months," Hennessey said.
"I've got to find my way back there."
Pedro Feliz homered in the seventh for San Francisco. He has 22
this season, tying his career best, set in 2004.
Rolen's home run was his first since Aug. 23 at New York.
... Hennessey lasted just one inning against the Dodgers on Aug.
19, allowing seven runs and seven hits. ... The Cardinals are 21-9
vs. the NL West.