Rolen followed with a ground-rule double, putting runners on second and third, and they both scored on the strangest play of the night.Juan Encarnacion hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Brandon Inge, who knocked the ball down and then threw wildly trying to get Edmonds at home. Edmonds scored easily, and Rolen was allowed to cross the plate as well when he crashed into Inge rounding third. Rolen hit the ground but was ultimately given the run by home-plate umpire Randy Marsh on fielder's interference. "I saw the throw was wild, and I knew I could score on the play," Rolen said. "I was just looking to see if the ball was going to bounce back hard, and [Inge] was right in front of me. I got him pretty good, but I may have taken the brunt of it." But the importance of the inning was that the Tigers pitched around Pujols -- and Edmonds and Rolen made them pay for it. "Everybody in the lineup is big," Pujols said. "Those guys are in the middle of the lineup, they know how important they are, and they came through." That hasn't always been the case, especially for Rolen. He was 9-for-29 with three home runs in the 2004 NLCS against the Houston Astros but was just 6-for-47 with one RBI in 14 playoff games since then, before Saturday night. He was 5-for-21 without an RBI against the Mets in the NLCS. "The NLCS was mentally challenging," Rolen said. "It's nice to turn the page on a new series and a new environment and start all over. I felt, tonight, I had a little fight in me." The Cardinals need that from the guys behind Pujols and remember what it was like without in 2004.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.