Encarnacion homered, tripled and doubled, driving in four runs
to help the Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Tuesday
night. He had entered the game with one RBI.
"Every time you're doing something to help the team it's always
good, especially in the situation I've been in the whole time I've
been here," Encarnacion said. "I felt pretty good tonight and
I'll try to carry that to tomorrow."
Jeff Suppan, a 16-game winner last year, won for the first time
in four starts this season. Suppan (1-2) allowed three unearned
runs and four hits in seven innings on a cold 47-degree night.
Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his sixth save in seven
chances, completing a four-hitter.
Hector Luna added three hits, raising his average to .438 in
limited duty, as the Cardinals won for the fifth time in six games.
Pittsburgh has lost six in a row, getting outscored 30-9, and is
an NL-worst 5-17. The Pirates also lost six in a row at the
season's start and have dropped 11 of 12 on the road.
Victor Santos (1-4) gave up five runs and eight hits in five
"It's real tough," Santos said. "It's just no fun."
Encarnacion had 16 homers and 76 RBI last year for Florida,
then signed a $15 million, three-year contract with St. Louis. His
only RBI prior to Tuesday came on a groundout and he had one
extra-base hit and a .203 average in 69 at-bats.
Encarnacion hit an RBI double in a two-run first. With
Pittsburgh leading 3-2 in the third, he followed Jim Edmonds'
two-out walk with a homer to left for a 4-3 lead.
"That shows you what Juan can do," Cardinals manager Tony La
Russa said. "People are all the same, when you have a little
success, you're more confident and it gives you a chance to have
more success. I'm sure he'll feel better about it."
Encarnacion added a run-scoring triple in the fifth, when right
fielder Jeromy Burnitz missed on an attempted sliding catch and the
ball rolled to the wall. Going for the cycle, Encarnacion bunted
foul trying for a hit in the seventh, then grounded sharply into a
double play against Roberto Hernandez.
"I tried my first time, but it did't work out," Encarnacion
said. "So I decided to swing the bat."
Encarnacion also made a sprawling, diving grab of Ronny
Paulino's liner to right, ending the fourth. He's heard some boos
in the early going but this time earned an ovation as he left the
In his previous outing, Suppan gave up eight runs and lasted
only two innings. In this one, all of the Pirates' runs came after
a catcher's interference call on Gary Bennett in the third, and
Suppan retired 13 of his last 14 batters. He is 7-2 against the
Pirates, a team he played for in 2003.
"A lot was different," Suppan said. "I was able to make some
pitches that I wasn't able to do the previous game. Basically, my
plan was to leave what was in the past, in the past, and really
focus on what I had to do."
Scott Spiezio, starting at third in place of ailing Scott Rolen,
homered off Hernandez in the seventh. Rolen, who was diagnosed with
bronchitis and was not at the stadium, is expected to miss
Wednesday's day game.
Pittsburgh got its runs on Jack Wilson's RBI single and Craig
Wilson's two-run single.
"We got the three runs in the third, but we did nothing else,"
manager Jim Tracy said. "That's all we did."
Encarnacion hit four homers last April. ... Paid attendance
of 38,809 continued a solid run of 11 sellouts at new Busch
Stadium. ... Jack Wilson has hit in eight straight games and 15 of
his last 16. He's 22-for-63 (.349) during that span.