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News » Cards' Pineiro prefers grounders, but Ks OK, too


Cards' Pineiro prefers grounders, but Ks OK, too


Cards' Pineiro prefers grounders, but Ks OK, too
ATLANTA (AP) - Joel Pineiro was once one of baseball's most promising pitchers.

Maybe there's still time to fulfill that potential.

Pineiro won his fourth straight for St. Louis, equaling the best start of his career as the Cardinals held off the light-hitting Atlanta Braves 3-2 Monday night.

"He's been consistent since he got here in spring training," said Rick Ankiel, who drove in a pair of runs with two-out singles. "Since day one, his sinker's been there for him."

This is the second time Pineiro has started a season 4-0. He first did it for the Seattle Mariners as a 22-year-old in 2001, and followed that up by going 30-18 over the next two years.

But Pineiro had elbow problems and wound up getting let go by the Mariners after the 2006 season. He struggled in Boston and was dealt to St. Louis for cash and a player to be named.

Now, he's setting himself up to be a key member of the Cardinals rotation.

"He's stayed in games now that he would have been pulled from," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's already earned the benefit of the doubt."

Pineiro went 6 2-3 innings, allowing seven hits and a pair of runs while walking none. He got 12 of his 20 outs on grounders, with shortstop Brendan Ryan making a couple of especially nifty plays.

"You get that ball on the ground, good things are going to happen," Pineiro said.

He waited until his final pitch to get his first strikeout, and it was a big one. Pineiro whiffed Brandon Jones with the potential tying run at second base in the seventh, then headed to the showers. Chris Perez struck out David Ross to end the threat.

Kyle McClellan escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, and Ryan Franklin worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save. The Cardinals have won six of seven.

Pineiro also had a hand in the offense, drawing a walk from Peter Moylan in the seventh and coming around to score what proved to be a crucial run on Ankiel's second clutch hit.

Jair Jurrjens (2-2) pitched six solid innings, giving up two runs on six hits, but still took the loss for the Braves, who have scored three runs or fewer in nine of the last 13 games.

The fans of Atlanta are hardly impressed. The crowd of 16,379 was the fourth turnout of less than 20,000 in seven games at Turner Field this season.

"We're going 1-2-3 way too many times," Jeff Francoeur said. "We're not putting any pressure on the other team to make pitches."

Mets 7, Marlins 1

At New York, Omir Santos hit the first grand slam in Citi Field history for his first career RBIs, and the Mets extended the Marlins' losing streak to seven.

Santos' first-inning drive off Anibal Sanchez (1-2) was just the sixth home run for the Mets at the pitcher-friendly ballpark. Daniel Murphy and David Wright tripled for New York, which has more three-base hits (seven) at its new ballpark than homers.

Astros 4, Reds 1

At Cincinnati, Lance Berkman hit his 20th homer at Great American Ball Park, the most by any visiting player, and Hunter Pence hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning for Houston.

Pence's two-run double off Francisco Cordero (0-1) broke a 1-all tie.

Phillies 13, Nationals 11

At Philadelphia, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez each hit a grand slam, rallying the Phillies to their fourth straight win.

Joel Hanrahan (0-1) gave up Ibanez's slam in the eighth.

Ryan Madson got three outs for his first save this season with Brad Lidge day to day with inflammation in his right knee.

Ryan Zimmerman hit two of Washington's five homers.

Brewers 10, Pirates 5

At Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks broke open a tie game in the eighth inning with a run-scoring fielder's choice and had a career-high four RBIs to lift the Brewers.

Weeks had a three-run homer, and Ryan Braun and Mike Cameron also connected for Milwaukee, which won its 13th in a row over Pittsburgh.

Brewers reliever Todd Coffey (1-0) earned the win.

Rockies 12, Padres 7

At Denver, Dexter Fowler tied a modern-day rookie mark with five stolen bases for Colorado, becoming the first rookie to steal that many bases since Damian Jackson on June 28, 1999.

Jason Grilli (1-1) picked up the win in relief.

Chris Young (2-1) gave up a career-high eight runs in just three innings.

Diamondbacks 7, Cubs 2

At Phoenix, Dan Haren (2-3) threw a three-hitter and broke open the game with a two-run double and Chris Snyder hit his first homer as Arizona won consecutive games for the first time this season.

Haren retired 22 of 23 batters at one point, with only a single by Ted Lilly (2-2) breaking up the string.

Giants 5, Dodgers 4

At San Francisco, the Giants scratched out a pair of eighth-inning runs to rally past the Dodgers with Barry Bonds watching from a front-row seat.

Rich Aurilia drove in the tying run on a dribbler up the first-base line and Edgar Renteria put the Giants ahead when he scored on pinch-hitter Bengie Molina's slow groundout to third.

Bonds received a warm welcome and waved to fans when he was introduced to the crowd.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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