Delayed gratification

Jason Marquis helps Cardinals with bat, arm to end a two-game skid after a 35-minute rain delay.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:01 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS — Jason Marquis hit a bases-loaded triple and pitched into the seventh inning, leading the St. Louis Cardinals past the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 Tuesday night.

Jim Edmonds and Reggie Sanders hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning for the Cardinals, who rebounded after a day off from a pair of blowout losses to the Phillies in which they gave up 23 runs. Edmonds’ second home run of the season was the 1,500th hit of his career.

Aside from the second inning when the Reds scored on Austin Kearns’ RBI single and left the bases loaded, Marquis (1-0) was in control on the mound. He retired the side in order in the first, third, fourth and fifth and struck out six with two walks before tiring in the seventh.

He was responsible for the Cardinals’ early offense, too.

Marquis batted .292 last year, leading NL pitchers in hits (21) and finishing second with nine RBIs. He hit a 3-2 fastball from Aaron Harang just inside the first-base line to clear the bases and give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead in the second.

Edmonds homered to straightaway center with two outs in the sixth, and two pitches later, Sanders hit his third over the left-field wall for a 5-1 lead.

Harang (1-1) lasted six innings, giving up five runs on five hits. Four of the hits were for extra bases, and two of his three walks came at the start of the second, setting the table for Marquis.

Joe Randa had two hits, and Felipe Lopez three for the Reds, who have lost four straight on the road after a 3-0 start at home. Randa, who doubled and scored the Reds’ lone run in the second, is batting .417.

Cincinnati had the bases loaded with one out before Harang was called out for accidentally kicking his own bunt and D’Angelo Jimenez struck out.

The start of the game was delayed 35 minutes by rain.

In other notes, the Cardinals’ David Eckstein reached base on an unusual play in the second. He struck out on a pitch in the dirt, and Reds catcher Jason LaRue tried to make a diving tag but then slipped and belly flopped in front of the plate.

Albert Pujols, who doubled off the wall in the first, has not struck out since the beginning of spring training. That’s a stretch of 101 plate appearances.

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