Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/25)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 24
St. Louis3Final
in 10
Game 2: Wednesday, August 25
St. Louis6Final
Game 3: Thursday, August 26
St. Louis0Final

Cardinals 6

(83-43, 41-20 away)

Reds 5

(60-65, 32-28 home)

    7:10 PM ET, August 25, 2004

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 200000121 6 8 0
    CIN 011003000 5 10 1

    W: J. Tavarez (6-4)

    L: J. Valentine (1-2)

    S: J. Isringhausen (36)

    St. Louis overcomes 3-run deficit

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals keep playing with intensity, even with the biggest division lead in the major leagues.

    "This is a good luxury, but I don't see anybody letting up," said Reggie Sanders, who scored the go-ahead run in a 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night. "Every game, we need to win."

    Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit two-run homers, and Sanders scored in the ninth inning on Joe Valentine's wild pitch. St. Louis overcame a 5-2 deficit to improve the best road record in the major leagues to 41-20 and beat Cincinnati for the 14th time in 18 games this season.

    "We give it our best shot and sometimes you sneak one, like tonight," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

    With the score 5-all, Mike Matheny led off the ninth with a flair that was just out of reach of right fielder Austin Kearns and fell for a single.

    Sanders came in to run, and Valentine (1-2) loaded the bases with two-out walks to Roger Cedeno and Larry Walker. With Pujols at the plate, Valentine bounced a pitch out of the reach of catcher Jason LaRue.

    "I knew pretty much when the ball got past him that I would score," Sanders said.

    Julian Tavarez (6-4), the loser in Tuesday's 10-inning Cincinnati win, pitched one-third of an inning for the victory. Tavarez is pitching while appealing a 10-day suspension announced Tuesday by the commissioner's office, which said he had applied a foreign substance to baseballs last Friday against Pittsburgh.

    Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 42 chances.

    Adam Dunn and D'Angelo Jimenez hit solo homers for Cincinnati, and Jimenez went 4-for-4, tying a career-high for hits.

    Cardinals starter Woody Williams allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings, while Reds starter Luke Hudson gave up two runs and four hits in six innings.

    "The way he went out and threw was phenomenal," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "To play tough against these guys and then have us falter is tough."

    Miley said Hudson's lone mistake was to Pujols.

    "He threw five straight fastballs to Pujols," Miley said. "You've got to use all of your pitches. He did after Pujols."

    Pujols hit his 39th homer in the first inning, a two-run drive that followed Walker's single and gave him 98 RBI. But the Reds tied it on Hudson's run-scoring single in the second -- his first career hit and RBI -- and Jimenez's RBI double in the third.

    Cincinnati took a 5-2 lead in the sixth on Dunn's 37th homer, Jimenez's 10th and Felipe Lopez's run-scoring sacrifice bunt.

    Marlon Anderson hit an RBI grounder in the seventh following an error by third baseman Juan Castro. Edmonds tied the score in the eighth with his 33rd homer, a drive off John Riedling, after Pujols laid down a perfect bunt single.

    Game notes

    Dunn's homer was his first since Aug. 14. ... Jimenez had a four-hit game for the fifth time in his career. ... Edmonds extended his on-base streak to 47 games. ... Reds LHP Mike Matthews, who had elbow surgery July 6, reported to Triple-A Louisville to begin a rehab assignment. ... RHP Paul Wilson, on the DL with soreness in his lower back, will throw to hitters on Friday and could start for Cincinnati next Wednesday against Houston.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press