Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/05/11

The Cardinals' last four losses have each been by just one run, with the most recent on Wednesday night against Florida at Busch Stadium.



Two of the Cardinals' meal tickets -- right-hander Chris Carpenter and catcher Yadier Molina each committed two errors Wednesday night. It was a first for Carpenter, and it was only the second time Molina has ever done that in a game.

The Cardinals, however, had no defense for Florida's young strongman, 21-year-old right fielder Mike Stanton, whose two-run, 431-foot homer off rookie right-hander Eduardo Sanchez in the ninth was enough for the Marlins to pull off an 8-7 win.

The homer was the first blemish for Sanchez, who had been spectacular since being called up a couple of weeks ago and had moved into the closer's role.

Sanchez (1-1), the fourth Cardinals pitcher, walked Hanley Ramirez to start the ninth -- the Cardinals thought they had Ramirez struck out.

Molina said Sanchez then made a mistake to Stanton on a fastball that Molina wanted away but that drifted back across the middle.

"At this level, you cannot make that mistake," Molina said. "If you make those mistakes, they're going to make you pay for it."

Carpenter (0-2) went a seventh straight start without a victory, the longest such stretch at the start of a season in his career. He had gone six without a win in his first year in the majors, with Toronto in 1997.

In some of his five no-decisions Carpenter deserved to win, but he agreed he didn't pitch well enough to deserve this victory. "Obviously, it wasn't what I was looking for," said Carpenter.


C Yadier Molina committed two errors, both throwing errors. One was at first base as he tried to complete a double play but was knocked off balance by a clean slide by Florida LF Emilio Bonifacio. "Too bad for us," said Molina. "That was a good play by him." On the other, he threw wide of second on a stolen-base try. The three-time Gold Glover has thrown out five of 15 baserunners this season. "That's terrible," said Molina. "I feel like I'm throwing the ball pretty good, but my percentage is bad. Worst in my career."

RHP Chris Carpenter is just 1-6 over his last 12 starts covering two seasons, and the Cardinals are only 2-10 in those games.

The Cardinals still are in first place in the National League Central despite not having a victory from either of the two aces they thought they would have—Carpenter and injured Adam Wainwright—and with their three-time Most Valuable Player, 1B Albert Pujols, hitting .233. Their former closer, Ryan Franklin, had blown four out of five save opportunities. Manager Tony La Russa, asked if he could have envisioned being in first place under such circumstances, said, "You would know it's possible, but it wouldn't be what you expect. It says a lot about the depth and pitching on the ballclub."

RHP Kyle McClellan, who was plucked from the bullpen to take RHP Adam Wainwright's spot, is 4-0, and the team is 6-0 when he starts. "I feel pretty good with the things that I've done," said McClellan. "There are some things that I obviously want to improve on. But, as a whole, if you had told me before the season started that this is where I would be, I'd have been real happy with that."

RHP Kyle Lohse, who threw a bullpen session on Wednesday two days after being drilled in the right shin by a smash hit by Florida's Mike Stanton, said he felt sore but good enough to make his scheduled start Saturday against Milwaukee. Lohse also felt good about an apology he received from the unnamed Florida Marlin who, from the dugout, had razzed Lohse after the pitcher was hit. Lohse said he considered the incident closed. Lohse also said he probably would wear some protection for his shin when he pitches Saturday. "I don't want to get hit there again," he said.

OF Jon Jay delivered his second pinch homer, a solo drive in the ninth, and rookie 1B Mark Hamilton got his third pinch hit in seven at-bats, a single in the sixth.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 - Consecutive one-run losses the Cardinals have suffered. They are 3-8 in one-run games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's nobody better than him right now. You talk about weapons. He's the complete package. Everything you look for."

- Manager Tony La Russa on Florida RHP Josh Johnson, who will face the Cardinals on Thursday.



3B David Freese (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 2. He will have surgery May 3, and he is expected to be out until mid- to late July.

2B Skip Schumaker (strained right triceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. He hopes to return in May.

LHP Bryan Tallet (fractured right hand) went on 15-day disabled list April 13. He was throwing but not catching in early May, and the timetable for his return was uncertain.

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.



Thu., May 5 vs. MARLINS: Jake Westbrook (2-2, 6.53) vs. Josh Johnson (3-0, 0.88) 12:45 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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