Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pujols/Cards Win Game 1 -- Thomas/A's Win Game 1 [J. Mark English]

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Barry Zito, Frank Thomas and the Oakland Athletics proved it was possible to beat Johan Santana -- even at the Metrodome.
Zito kept Minnesota off balance with his big curveball, Thomas hit two huge home runs and the Athletics defeated the Twins and their ace 3-2 Tuesday in the opener of their first-round AL playoff series.
"First blood, I think, means a lot -- especially when you're playing on the road," Zito said.
Zito quieted the Twins and their fans at the noisy, quirky ballpark for eight innings. He gave up four hits, three walks and one run and struck out one.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - With one swing of Albert Pujols’ bat, a St. Louis Cardinals lineup that looked so sickly in September suddenly got a lot better under the California sun.
San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy tempted Pujols with one pitch too many and the slugger, who has a shot at a second straight NL MVP award, responded with a two-run homer that launched the Cardinals to a 5-1 victory in the opening game of the division series on Tuesday.
While Peavy struggled — he left to a mixture of boos and light applause in the sixth — St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, held the Padres’ suspect offense to one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.