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Back in St. Louis, Schumaker roots against friends

ST. LOUIS -- Monday night provided a different kind of challenge for Skip Schumaker. The Dodgers outfielder had to root against one of his closest friends, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.

"That's one of my best friends not only in baseball, but in life," said Schumaker, who was returning to St. Louis for the first time since he was traded to the Dodgers in December, leaving the team he played for in the first eight seasons of his career.

"You move on, but you don't really forget about the great times," he said.

Accustomed to success from his time in St. Louis, Schumaker is enjoying the Dodgers' ambitious turn around, including a 15-game road win streak that the club reached Monday with a win over his former team.

Schumaker pointed to the health of several key players and the emergence of rookie sensation Yasiel Puig as the factors that ultimately shifted the Dodgers' momentum in the right direction.

"It was nice to see from such a young kid [Puig], a kid that was really hungry and so it's something that everybody needed to see and it's worked out for everybody," Schumaker said. "It was almost like he was dangling a carrot out in front of all of us saying, 'Come get it, boys.' It raised everybody else's game up. It's been fun to watch."

Schumaker received a round of applause from the Busch Stadium crowd when he entered Monday's contest as a pinch-hitter. He praised the energy of both the Dodgers and Cardinals faithful.

"The difference is St Louis really watched the game. They're not always the loudest fans, but they're the most in tune, intelligent and that really watch and know the game," Schumaker said. "L.A. wants their team to win, but they're also very loud. It's super loud there. I don't know how to explain it. I think they hold more fans, it's a bigger stadium. It's a different atmosphere. It's still loud just like it is almost like in a playoff type of deal."

Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for
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