Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 2

Dan Haren told teammate Mark Reynolds before the game that “he

had it tonight.”

Then the Arizona right-hander went out and proved it against one

of the best-hitting teams in baseball, striking out nine without a

walk in the Diamondbacks 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals

on Saturday night.

“He’s tough,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said, “made us

look foolish a lot. He’s got nasty stuff.”

Haren (7-4) gave up two runs on six hits to improve to 4-0 in

four career starts against the Cardinals, the first team he pitched

for in the majors back in 2003-04.

“There’s a handful of games every year where you’ve got

everything working, where you’ve got all your pitches and feel

good,” Haren said, “and this was one of them.”

He faced just one three-ball count and threw first-pitch strikes

to 25 of 30 batters in a game that lasted just 2 hours, 28 minutes.

Pitching on his own “bobblehead” night, Haren also singled twice

in three at-bats to boost his season’s batting average to .425.

“I hope this is a sign of many of these to come,” Arizona

manager A.J. Hinch said, “because he can get locked in and stay

that way for a while.”

Adam LaRoche had two of the Diamondbacks’ four solo home runs.

Reynolds had three hits, including an RBI double and his 15th home

run of the season. Chris Snyder also homered for Arizona. Colby

Rasmus had a solo home run for St. Louis.

Three of Arizona’s homers came against Adam Ottavino (0-2),

making his third major league start. Ottavino lasted just 3 2-3

innings, allowing six runs on nine hits.

“He had too many balls in the hot zone, the middle of the

plate,” La Russa said. “He gave them a lot of pitches to hit and

they got ’em.”

Haren retired the first 12 batters, four on strikeouts, before

Matt Holliday doubled down the left field line to lead off the

fifth. Ryan Ludwick followed with an RBI single up the middle to

make it 6-1. The Cardinals went on to load the bases with one out

on singles by Yadier Molina and Brendan Ryan. Haren, though, got

pinch-hitter Felipe Lopez and David Freese to pop out to end the

inning.

“If you don’t take advantage of him and let him feel

comfortable out there, he’s going to get comfortable and pitch

seven, eight, nine innings, and that’s what happened, Albert

Pujols, who was 0 for 3 and struck out once.

Rasmus led off the sixth with a home run. Haren retired the next

eight before Rasmus singled with one out in the eighth.

In the first, Stephen Drew drew a two-out walk, advanced to

second on a wild pitch, then scored when Reynolds doubled.

Reynolds and LaRoche hit consecutive two-out home runs to almost

the exact same spot in the left-center seats. Snyder homered in the

fourth, then Kelly Johnson and Drew had RBI doubles.

LaRoche led off the fifth with his second home run of the night.

He has homered twice in a game three times this season, accounting

for six of his nine home runs.

“It’s not totally unusual for me to have them come in

bunches,” LaRoche said, “normally not in the same game like it is

this year. But I’m starting to feel better. It started three days

ago, I kind of tweaked some things in my stance to try to get in

better position to drive the ball. Right now it’s going pretty

good.”

Hinch noted that one of LaRoche’s homers went to the opposite

field, an indication of how well the first baseman is swinging.

LaRoche agreed.

“When I’m driving the ball the other way, and I think it’s very

typical of all of us hitters, that’s when you’re in a good position

to hit,” he said, “That’s what I want to get back to doing a

little more often.’

NOTES: Arizona activated C Miguel Montero and optioned C John

Hester to Triple-A Reno. Montero has been sidelined with a sprained

knee since April 11. … RHP Jeff Suppan, who threw a bullpen

session before the game, is expected to sign with the Cardinals and

start Tuesday against Seattle. … On an unseasonably cool day, the

roof of Chase Field was open. … Slumping Arizona RF Justin Upton,

6 for 31 in the home stand and the major league leader with 87

strikeouts, was dropped to seventh in the batting order. He was 0

for 4 with two strikeouts. … Ottavino’s first two career starts

were nationally televised Saturday games.