The new-look, end-of-the-game format employed by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa Wednesday night in the second game of a day-night doubleheader worked almost without a flaw.
Right-handers Jason Motte, Eduardo Sanchez and Mitchell Boggs rattled off four innings of one-hit
scoreless ball in a 5-3 win over
Boggs gained his first
save since he was in college at the
A major leaguer for only a week after being brought up from Class AAA Memphis, Sanchez worked two perfect innings (the seventh and eighth) Wednesday night, giving him five big-league innings in which he has given up just two hits and no runs and fanned 10.
Veteran left-handed reliever Trever Miller said, "He acts like he's been here five or six years. He doesn't have that deer-in-the-headlight look at all."
second-game win moved them into first place in the National League Central
Division for the first time since last Aug. 14. Now, they are 9-9, the same mark
RHP Ryan Franklin,
replaced as closer, was the only Cardinals reliever to allow a run in 10 innings
of work on Wednesday.
RF Lance Berkman was on base six times in the two games with four walks and two hits. He has a .339 average and team-leading 15 runs batted in, besides slugging .695.
Manager Tony La Russa, battling a virus that has attacked the area around his right eye, still showed considerable swelling and redness. Asked after the first-game loss how he felt, La Russa said, "I don't feel real good right now. I'm getting better. The uglier it is, the better you feel. that's what I heard."
RHP Jason Motte worked a scoreless inning in each game and has put together five straight scoreless outings.
INF Nick Punto, just off the disabled list, made his first start at second base and had both a hit and an RBI in the second game. Punto had been out nearly two months after abdominal surgery.
BY THE NUMBERS: 24 - Number of double plays grounded into by the Cardinals in 18 games. That would be a pace of over 200 for the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "First and foremost, I'm letting myself down. I'm letting the team down and obviously the fans. It's just been a hard time for me right now, and it's something I've never been through."
- RHP Ryan
INF Nick Punto (hernia surgery in February 2011) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He was activated April 19.
2B Skip Schumaker (strained right triceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. Manager Tony La Russa said Schumaker might be out longer than 15 days.
OF Allen Craig (left groin strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 17. He hopes to return after the minimum absence.
LHP Bryan Tallet (fractured right hand) went on 15-day disabled list April 13. He had screws inserted in his hand, and he hopes to return in early May.
RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13.
RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season.