Cardinals 11, Diamondbacks 3


ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the seventh inning and Scott Rolen had four RBIs to lead the St. Louis Cardinals over the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3.

Braden Looper, in his first outing following a stint on the disabled list caused by a shoulder strain, allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. Russ Springer (4-1) pitched a perfect seventh to get the win in relief.

Looper allowed one hit in his first five innings and led 2-0 before Arizona scored three runs in the sixth. St. Louis tied it in the bottom half, took a 6-3 lead in the seventh and broke open the game with five runs in the eighth.

Brandon Webb (8-6) gave up five runs and seven hits in six-plus innings for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three straight and five of seven. The defending NL Cy Young Award winner is 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in six starts against the Cardinals.

St. Louis built a 2-0 lead on Yadier Molina’s broken-bat RBI single in the second and Rolen’s run-scoring groundout in the third.

Chris Snyder’s leadoff homer and Chad Tracy’s two-run single following a balk by Looper put Arizona ahead in the sixth, but St. Louis came right back to tie in the bottom half when Adam Kennedy bounced an RBI single off the glove of a diving Orlando Hudson at second and into right field.

Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker beat out an infield hit leading off the seventh, and Webb hit So Taguchi with a pitch. Tony Pena relieved and Aaron Miles reached on another infield hit, loading the bases.

Pujols, the World Series champions’ lone All-Star, followed with an opposite-field single to right for a 5-3 lead. He is 7-for-13 in his last four games.

Chris Duncan, who has 19 RBIs in his last 15 games, added a run-scoring single on a sinking liner that right fielder Eric Byrnes trapped. Byrnes had been in left before Pena entered in a double switch.

Pena had allowed just two of 16 inherited runners to score coming in.

Rolen’s bases-loaded triple capped a five-run eighth off Juan Cruz and Brandon Lyon.

Notes: Looper stretched his scoreless streak to 19 innings before the sixth. … Springer has struck out at least one batter in 17 of his last 18 appearances, totaling 22 strikeouts in 15 1-3 innings. … The Cardinals optioned Anthony Reyes, 0-10 with a 6.40 ERA, to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Looper.

AP-ES-07-02-07 2309EDT