NLDS: Mulder fights off liner and Padres

Associated Press
Published October 7, 2005

ST. LOUIS - When Mark Mulder took a line drive off his arm in the second inning Thursday and doubled over in pain, the Cardinals figured it would be a short outing for their 16-game winner. Instead, he shook off the hard shot to his left biceps from Joe Randa and put his team on the brink of a playoff sweep.

Mulder pitched shutout ball into the seventh and the Cardinals built an early lead, beating the Padres 6-2 for a 2-0 edge in their best-of-five series.

"Once the inning starts there's so much adrenaline it didn't bother me much," Mulder said. "If I couldn't have made good pitches I would have said "All right, I've had enough.'

"I didn't want to come out of that game."

Mulder stayed loose between innings by retreating to the clubhouse and applying a heat pack. He said it looked like he had a "golf ball" on his biceps but said it was just a bruise.

"Randa has raked me all season," Mulder said. "So I should have been ready for it."

The first four St. Louis runs came on balls that didn't leave the infield - or in one case, even the catcher's glove. Eckstein had a run-scoring groundout and a squeeze bunt, Albert Pujols drew a bases-loaded walk and Yadier Molina had a run-scoring grounder. Padres starter Pedro Astacio was done after four innings.

A double by Khalil Greene, a single by Randa and Xavier Nady's run-scoring single cut the deficit to 4-1.

Reggie Sanders, who drove in an NLDS-record six runs Tuesday, hit a two-run double off Rudy Seanez in the seventh that made it 6-1. Sanders has eight RBIs in eight at-bats this series after totaling five RBIs in 68 at-bats in five previous LDS appearances.