PHOENIX (AP) -
has picked up where he left off last year - on a tear.
After ending the 2008 season on an 11-game hitting streak, the Cardinals outfielder has opened 2009 by hitting in his first
seven games. Ludwick extended the streak with a two-run homer and an RBI single to help the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the
12-7 on Wednesday afternoon.
''It's two different years,'' Ludwick said. ''I'm just trying to go up there and get good pitches to hit and get a good part
of the bat on the ball.''
Ludwick, who is batting .407, made the Diamondbacks pay when they intentionally walked slugger
in the third. Ludwick followed with an RBI single to keep a five-run inning rolling.
''He's one of the best hitters in the game,'' Ludwick said. ''You've got to have some protection for him or they're just going
to walk him constantly.''
Ludwick later added a two-run homer off
as the Cardinals tacked on four runs in the sixth.
The Cardinals bounced back from a disheartening 7-6 loss in 10 innings Tuesday night - a game in which starting pitcher
strained his left ribcage while swinging the bat. The club put Carpenter on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and said
he could be out four to eight weeks.
''I've said from day one to all of our fans, you're never going to question whether this club is ready to play,'' manager
Tony LaRussa said.
added a single, double and triple and two RBIs for the Cardinals, who have won six of seven.
St. Louis benefited from eight walks and three Arizona errors. The Cardinals batted around twice, scoring five runs in the
third and four more in the sixth.
''It was really a difficult day for pitchers,'' LaRussa said. ''Everybody that pitched struggled.''
St. Louis starter
(2-0) was credited with the victory despite giving up five runs in five innings and allowing nine hits, including six doubles
and a homer. He walked three and struck out three.
Pineiro said he had trouble commanding his sinker.
''It was a struggle from the first pitch to the last pitch,'' he said. ''I couldn't put the ball wherever I wanted to most
of the time.''
Pineiro was better than Arizona's
(1-1), who allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks in 3 2-3 innings.
''Flat-out missed my spots, walking guys and putting them on base,'' Garland said. ''Then when they tack on a couple of hits,
it's leading to more runs.''
The Chase Field roof was open on a blustery, 72-degree afternoon. Garland said the windy conditions didn't affect his command,
but he added, ''I will vote to have (the roof) closed every time I'm out there.''
The Diamondbacks wrapped up their season-opening homestand 3-6, losing three-game series to Colorado, the
Los Angeles Dodgers
and St. Louis.
''Not what we were looking for,'' Arizona manager
said. ''But you have to keep encouraged.''
The Cardinals jumped ahead early.
Already leading 1-0 on
's second-inning single, St. Louis added five runs in the third on RBI doubles by
and Duncan and run-scoring singles by Ludwick and Molina to take a 6-0 lead.
But Pineiro promptly gave most of the lead back. With one out in the third, he gave up a run on back-to-back doubles by
One out later,
hit an RBI double, and then
homered into the center field overhang to cut the Cardinals' lead to 6-4. Reynolds, who hit a pinch homer on Tuesday night,
homered for the second time in three at-bats.
The Cardinals made it 7-4 on Pujols' grounder to score
, who led off with a double. Garland was gone after issuing back-to-back four-pitch walks to Ludwick and Duncan.
St. Louis put the game away with four runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Pujols, Ludwick's homer and
's RBI single.
Notes: Arizona OF
hit a pinch homer on Wednesday, one day after he broke out of a 1-for-17 slump with the winning single in the 10th inning.
Byrnes, who missed much of 2008 with hamstring injuries, is hitting .204 (46-for-226) with seven homers, 26 RBIs and four
stolen bases since his three-year, $30 million contract took effect last season. ... Ludwick has hit in a career-best 18 straight
games dating to last season. ... Pineiro stole his first career base in the third, off Garland and catcher
. ... Golfer Fred Couples was to attend the game as a guest of Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa.