ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Aaron Harang was close to perfect on the mound,
and just good enough at the plate.
Harang stymied the St. Louis Cardinals for seven innings and was
an unlikely source for the game's lone RBI in the Cincinnati Reds'
1-0 victory on Friday night. His bloop single in the fifth that
fell just in front of Jim Edmonds, only the fourth RBI of his
career, was the difference.
Last year, Harang was 2-for-74 (.027) with three RBI. This
season he's 1-for-7.
"I said on the bench, 'If you're going to get your one hit, get
it right now,' and he did," manager Jerry Narron said. "He just
flipped it out there."
Harang (2-1) allowed four hits with four strikeouts and one walk
to the only batter he faced in the eighth to outduel Chris
Carpenter. Harang was also on the mound for the Reds' last 1-0
victory, a three-hit shutout over the Cardinals and Carpenter on
Aug. 26, 2004, in Cincinnati.
"Both offenses got shut down," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
said. "The winning hit's a blooper. I would have taken a blooper
Harang was batting .044 for his career with three RBI in 157
at-bats before his two-out blooper off Carpenter and .050
"I hit it off the end of the bat," Harang said. "I hurt my
"You can never tell if you're going to have a good game like
this," Harang said. "I felt like I was able to execute my
Edmonds committed his third error in two games earlier in the
fifth when he had trouble with Austin Kearns' single, allowing him
to take the extra base. He also struck out against Todd Coffey with
the bases loaded for the last out in the eighth, dropping his
average to .158.
Carpenter (1-1) was almost as stingy, allowing one run on four
hits in eight innings. He struck out six, getting Adam Dunn three
times, and walked three, while holding the Reds to one hit in 12
at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Carpenter is 0-1 in his last two starts despite allowing one run
in 14 innings.
"That's how it works sometimes," Carpenter said. "You just
try to go out and do the best you can and hope it's enough to win.
"Hopefully, we'll win tomorrow."
The Reds, who won the first of 15 meetings between the teams
this year, were 10-25 against the Cardinals the previous two
seasons. They had dropped 13 of the last 16 in St. Louis but this
time quieted a sellout crowd of 40,901, the Cardinals' fourth
straight full house in four games at new Busch Stadium.
Harang issued his only walk to Aaron Miles leading off the
eighth, then exited after 112 pitches. The Cardinals loaded the
bases on David Eckstein's walk off Kent Mercker and Albert Pujols'
infield hit off Coffey before Edmonds struck out on a full count.
David Weathers pitched the ninth for his third save in three
Edmonds, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, had only two errors
all last season. He came up short on Kearns' one-out single in the
fifth and the ball deflected several feet off his glove. Kearns
went to third on Javier Valentin's tapper in front of the plate and
scored on Harang's soft fly to center that Edmonds fielded on a
Harang induced 13 groundouts and limited the Cardinals to three
hits. It was a major improvement over his last start, when he
allowed five runs in 6 2-3 innings and got the decision in an 11-9
victory over the Pirates.
Last year, he was 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in three starts against
St. Louis and he's 2-5 for his career.
Pujols made a nice stop at 1B on Scott Hatteberg's smash in
the sixth, lunging to his left and then throwing to second from his
knees for a forceout. ... Aaron Miles snapped an 0-for-13 slump
with a single in the second. ... Rolen is 1-for-18 against Harang.
... Ken Griffey Jr. missed his second straight start with stiffness
in his right knee. ... RF Juan Encarnacion robbed pinch hitter Rich
Aurilia with a diving catch for the last out of the ninth.