(Sports Network) - The return of Albert Pujols was delayed a game, but the St. Louis Cardinals were fine without him. Pujols was activated off of the disabled list Tuesday, but was a spectator in an 8-1 drubbing of the NL Central-rival Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals will shoot for a three-game sweep this evening at Busch Stadium with Pujols set to return to the lineup. Pujols, a three-time National League MVP and nine-time All-Star, had been on the DL for only 15 days because of a fractured left wrist suffered in a collision at first base versus Kansas City on June 19. The St. Louis slugger was hitting .279 with 17 homers and 45 RBI in 73 games at the time of his injury and watched two of his teammates give Reds starter Edinson Volquez a hard time. Matt Holliday homered twice and finished with four RBI, while Lance Berkman continued to shine with a solo shot for the Cardinals, who lead the NL Central by 1 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh, two games in front of Milwaukee and four games ahead of the Reds. Berkman homered for the fifth time in six games and has 350 for his career. Holliday seemed more excited that Pujols will be back in the lineup. Its great. I think tomorrow well roll out the team that we thought our team would look like for most of the season. Its exciting, said Holliday, who will compete in next weeks Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star Game festivities. Ryan Theriot drove in a pair of runs and starting pitcher Jaime Garcia delivered six innings of one-run ball and four strikeouts for the win (8-3). Lance Lynn tossed two scoreless innings of relief and Mitchell Boggs survived a shaky ninth in which he walked three and fanned two batters for St. Louis, which has won six of eight games and will also host Arizona for four games on the current homestand. Jake Westbrook tossed six shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Cincinnati on April 24 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals hope he can do that again when he takes the mound tonight. Westbrook lifted his career mark against the Reds to 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in six games (5 starts), while he has won five of his last six decisions, including last Fridays 5-3 victory at Tampa Bay in which he hurled seven scoreless frames and fanned seven batters. Westbrook, a right-hander, is 7-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 17 outings this season, but just 2-2 in eight trips to the Busch Stadium mound. Cincinnati hopes to avoid the sweep and has lost two straight and four of five games. Volquez didnt do much to help his team on the mound last night, as he was touched for seven runs -- six earned -- and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. I guess if you miss your location, especially to their big boys over there, its going to hurt you, said Reds manager Dusty Baker. Scott Rolen brought in the Reds lone run on a groundout in the fourth inning, while Rolen, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips finished 1-for-14 combined with a run scored and an RBI. Phillips scored on Rolens groundout. Bruce has gone 0-for-4 in back-to-back games and has one hit over his last six games, going 1-for-22 in that stretch. The Reds will head to Milwaukee for four games after their stint in the Gateway City and are counting on veteran Bronson Arroyo to bounce back into the win column when he takes center stage tonight. Arroyo had won three straight and four of five starts before losing to Cleveland in Fridays 8-2 setback, as he was rocked for eight runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 frames. Arroyo fell to 7-7 with a 5.49 ERA in 17 starts and will face St. Louis for the second time this season. In a 6-5 Cincinnati win on May 13, the righty was reached for four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in six innings. He has plenty of experience going against the division-rival Cards and is 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA in 28 career games, 26 of which have been starts. Arroyo has made seven starts on the road in 2011, going 4-1 with a lofty 5.72 ERA. The Reds and Cardinals have split eight games this season after Cincinnati lost 12 of 18 meetings a year ago. The Cardinals have won 10 of the last 13 encounters with Cincinnati at Busch Stadium. NFL Jerseys China
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.ca! Hey Kerry, Big fan of your blog, I read it every day and cant wait till the next one. Got a question. As referee in minor hockey I have seen this done before but until the other night in the Flames-Avs game I had never seen it in the NHL. EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Ducks spent all last week saying they werent looking past Colorado to next weekends Pac-12 showdown at USC. So after the second-ranked Ducks easily dispatched the Buffaloes 70-14 on Saturday at Autzen Stadium, it was OK to finally talk about the Trojans. Well, sort of. USC was still just another "faceless opponent" to undefeated Oregon. "Its a big game, but we treat every game the same," said redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, who threw for 136 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado. The Trojans took some of the drama away from next weeks game at L.A. Coliseum, losing at Arizona 39-36 later Saturday afternoon. Oregon players said they would revel in their victory over Colorado for another day before shifting their focus to the Trojans. Kenjon Barner rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, while DeAnthony Thomas rushed for another score and added a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown against the overmatched Buffs. Most of Oregons offensive starters were pulled by the midway point of the second quarter. "When youve got Kenjon, DeAnthony, Marcus, you really force people to defend everyone," coach Chip Kelly said. The Ducks (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) built a 56-0 lead by halftime and their 70 points were the most theyd ever scored against a conference opponent. It was Oregons 11th straight overall victory dating to a 38-35 loss at home to USC last season. Colorado freshman Christian Powell rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns for the Buffaloes (1-7, 1-4), who lost their fourth straight. "Yes, theyre a good team. Theyre fast, theyre just what everybody would expect. Theyre disciplined, they made a lot of plays, theyre a great team," Powell said about the Ducks. The Ducks piled up 617 yards in total offence, including 425 on the ground, and the Buffs simply could not keep up. Colorado went into the game ranked 112th in the nation on defence, allowing an average of 489 yards. Oregon had 447 by halftime. Colorado has yielded at least 50 points in its last three games, including last weekends 50-6 loss to USC. "Ive been saying it all week, they (the Ducks) have a great opportunity to hold that crystal ball at the end of the year," Colorado coach Jon Embree said. Oregon scoored twice at the start of the game -- on Barners 1-yard run and Thomas 9-yard run -- before Colorados offence even got the ball.dddddddddddd. Mariota added a 5-yard scoring run then hit Bralon Addison with a 16-yard TD all before the first quarter ended. Barner added a 24-yard scoring run before Thomas stunning 73-yard punt return gave Oregon a 42-0 lead. The winding sprint to the endzone offered another glimpse of the sophomores jaw-dropping speed. "Im not really one of those guys about stats," Thomas said. "Im more about wins and being there for my team." Mariota found Daryle Hawkins with a 7-yard touchdown pass before leaving the game with most of Oregons other starters. Backup Ducks quarterback Bryan Bennett added a touchdown on a 6-yard keeper before the break and Oregons 56 points at halftime were its most since scoring 59 on New Mexico in 2010. Powell had a 1-yard scoring run early in the third quarter to avoid the shutout for the Buffs, then added a 20-yard TD dash to narrow it to 56-14. Bennett answered with two keepers, from 3 and 17 yards out, for the final margin. "Once we get everyone on the same page, its hard to beat this team," Barner said. Colorado coach Jon Embree started junior quarterback Jordan Webb before putting in sophomore Nick Hirschman. Webb completed seven of 11 passes for 31 yards, while Hirshman finished 7 of 16 for 64 yards. While Oregon remained at No. 2 in the AP Top 25 this week, the Ducks dropped to No. 4 in the BCS standings, which prompted coach Chip Kelly to quip that perhaps the computers were shut down at night before the Ducks played. Before Saturday, it was looking as though a victory against USC next weekend would go a long way toward proving that Oregon is worthy of higher standing. The Nov. 3 game at the Coliseum has been touted by many as the most important Pac-12 game of the season -- or at least a preview of the conference championship game. The Trojans fell to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12 with the loss to the Wildcats. Last year the then-No. 18 Trojans came to Autzen Stadium and won, dropping the Ducks from No. 4 to No. 9 in the polls and effectively dashing any hopes at a national title bid. USC is considered Oregons biggest threat again this season. ' ' '