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Cardinals take 3-1 lead in World Series
Scripps Howard News Service


October 27, 2006
Friday AM

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals were late additions to the postseason. They had to wait until the final day of the regular season to get their invitation, and it came by proxy, Houston losing to Atlanta to open the door for the Cardinals.

Now that they are here, though, they seem intent on hanging around until it's all over, and taking home the trophy.



The Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 Thursday night, moving within a victory of the 10th world championship in franchise history, the first since 1982.

If the Cardinals claim another championship, they will have done so with fewer regular season victories (83) than any team in history. Minnesota had 85 regular-season wins when it knocked off St. Louis in the 1987 World Series.

The Cardinals rallied from a 3-0 deficit with an assist from a seemingly flustered Tigers team.

David Eckstein, an Angels castoff who has found a home in St. Louis, was the catalyst to the comeback. He delivered the game-winning double with two out in the eighth inning, scoring Aaron Miles from second base. Eckstein also doubled home the Cardinals initial run in the third, and doubled and scored the first of two runs in the seventh.

Adam Wainwright, who came into the game and immediately gave up a game-tying double to Brandon Inge in the top of the eighth, chalked up the final five outs, and was credited with the victory.

Tiger reliever Joel Zumaya walked Yadier Molina to open the eighth, but got Miles to force Molina at second. Zumaya then struck out Juan Encarnacion, but catcher Ivan Rodriguez let the third strike skip between his legs for a wild pitch, moving Miles to second. Eckstein then doubled for the third time in the game, the ball going off the outstretched glove of Tiger left fielder Craig Monroe.

The Cardinals have a chance to wrap up the world championship Friday night in what will be the final game of the inaugural season of the new Busch Stadium. Jeff Weaver will start against Detroit's Justin Verlander, who gave up seven runs in five-plus innings of the Tigers' Game 1 loss at Comerica Park.

The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead Thursday against Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan. Sean Casey homered in the second, and then Casey and Ivan Rodriguez delivered back-to-back, two-out, run-scoring singles in the top of the third.

With a sellout crowd of 46,470 providing emotional support, the Cardinals began their comeback with single runs in the third and fourth innings, and then, with an assist from Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney, went ahead with a two-run rally in the seventh. Rodney's errant throw on a So Tagucchi sacrifice bunt allowed Eckstein to score from second and with two out, Tagucchi raced home on a Preston Wilson single to put the Cardinals in front. Eckstein led off the inning with a double.

Miles got the comeback started with a one-out single in the third. He stole second, and after Suppan struck out, Eckstein doubled him home.

With one out in the fourth, Scott Roeln doubled, scoring on a two-out double by Yadier Molina.

After Casey's home run gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the second, Curtis Ganderson led off the third with a double. With one out, Carlos Guillen walked, and after Magglio Ordonez flied out, Casey and Rodriguez singled home runs.


Tracy Ringolsby writes for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colo.
E-mail ringolsbyt(at)
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Ketchikan, Alaska