10/27/06 1:28 AM ET
Cardinals Short Hops: Game 4
Eckstein puts Redbirds one win away from championship
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
In < 25 words ...
Shortstop David Eckstein ended his slump in a big way against the Tigers.
Cards closer Adam Wainwright entered with one out in the eighth inning and gave up a Brandon Inge double to tie the game. But with two outs and Inge still at second, Wainwright responded to a full count against Curtis Granderson with a glorious curveball that ended the frame.
7 -- Extra-base hits by the Cardinals.
Eckstein -- Five balls: His four hits and two RBIs have brought the Cardinals to within one victory from their 10th World Series Championship.
Sense of October
Sometimes strange stuff happens this time of year. So Taguchi was simply trying to sacrifice Eckstein to third when Tigers pitcher Fernando Rodney sailed a wild throw over first base to allow Eckstein to score in the Cards' seventh-inning rally. It was the fourth error by Detroit hurlers in the Series.
Lines of the game:
4 AB, 1 R, 4 H, 0 HR, 3 2B, 1 RBI
Comment: A .154 average through the first three games was not what the Cardinals were seeking from their leadoff hitter. But Eckstein found his stroke Thursday. His third-inning single drove in the Cards' first run. He doubled past slipping Tigers center fielder Granderson to start a seventh-inning rally, then sent home the wining run with a double off Joel Zumaya that ticked off the glove of diving left fielder Craig Monroe.
6 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 SO
Comment: It would have been a better night for Suppan if not for the Tigers' Sean Casey, who golfed a low pitch for a solo shot in the second inning and then singled and scored in the Tigers' two-run third. Suppan faced a runner on base in four of his six innings, but he never let the game get away from him.
"How many runs did we score that were not with two outs? Any? All four were two outs. I mean, that's one of the formulas, recipes -- guys on base against you with two outs. If you can get the out, you've got a better chance to win. If you get the hit, it's a real momentum swinger." -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on his team's clutch performance
Next step The hope is St. Louis will avoid the rain at game time and the teams will meet at Busch Stadium on Friday night for Game 5.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.