Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/18/11

St. Louis overcame a crucial error by Tyler Greene and won on a Lance Berkman walkoff on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals have had six walk-off, game-winning hits posted against them on the road this season, but they finally got their first one at home Tuesday night when right fielder Lance Berkman got a one-out, bases-loaded single, scoring center fielder Jon Jay from third base in the ninth as they beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.

The beat goes on in the revival of the 35-year-old Berkman's career. He has a club-high five game-winning hits and has shot his average back up to .352 with a team-high 35 runs batted in as an addendum. Berkman, who reached base in four of five plate appearances, got his hit right-handed after Philadelphia had switched to left-handed reliever J.C. Romero.

All night, the Cardinals had pecked away at Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt and a succession of relievers. They had 13 hits and stranded a season-high 14 runners. Four of those hits, all singles, came in the ninth inning. They were by shortstop Ryan Theriot, center fielder Jon Jay and Berkman, all of whom had two hits for the night, and Albert Pujols, who had three.

The winning pitcher was Fernando Salas (2-0), who worked a scoreless ninth inning. The winning pitcher should have been left-hander Jaime Garcia (5-0), who allowed only an unearned run in the eighth inning as he lowered his ERA to 1.64.

Garcia's bid for his third shutout was snuffed when Tyler Greene, a defensive replacement at second base, dropped a routine popup in the eighth. A single and sacrifice fly followed.

"Tyler wants it so bad he just gets in the way of himself," said manager Tony La Russa. "I wish he would just relax a little bit and let his ability flow."

NOTES AND QUOTES

C Yadier Molina, who drove in the first Cardinals run, had three hits Tuesday, giving him three consecutive multi-hit games and shooting his average over .300 to .310.

LHP Jaime Garcia continues to dominate at home. His eight innings pitched without allowing an earned run Tuesday lowered his Busch Stadium ERA to 0.29, best in the majors. "He's a lot more mature," catcher Yadier Molina said of Garcia, who had trouble going deep in games last year despite posting a 13-8 record.

1B Albert Pujols is homerless in 84 at-bats and 22 games, and he bounced into his major league-leading 13th double play but finished strong with a double and two singles.

INF Nick Punto was unavailable to start Tuesday (he did pinch hit) because of discomfort in his right elbow. He might not start on Wednesday, either. That injury gave OF-1B Allen Craig his second career start at second base. Craig caught a popup and covered first for an out on a sacrifice attempt.

2B Skip Schumaker, out with a right triceps injury, will fly to Florida on Wednesday to join the Cardinals' extended spring training team and begin a rehabilitation assignment. Schumaker, out for more than a month, is expected to join the major league team sometime during a nine-game trip to Kansas City, San Diego and Colorado. The trip begins on Friday.

LHP Brian Tallet, on a rehabilitation assignment at Class A Quad Cities, fanned the first five men he faced and retired all six hitters in a two-inning stint. Tallet has healed from a fractured right hand.

CF Colby Rasmus missed a third straight start because of an abdominal strain. In his stead, Jon Jay has played well in the field and has had four hits in 10 at-bats.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 - Intentional walks for backup INF Daniel Descalso. He has two more than 1B Albert Pujols.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "(Harmon) Killebrew and Frank Howard were probably the premier home-run hitters in that period. (Killebrew) hit them long - and high."

- Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, who was a catcher when the late Killebrew was terrorizing the American League in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

INF Nick Punto (right elbow) did not play May 17 because of pain in the elbow. He might be out at least a couple of days.

CF Colby Rasmus (right rib cage strain) missed just his second start of the season on May 15 and was out again May 16 and 17. Rasmus said he felt pain after lifting weights on the May 9 off-day. He thinks he'll be able to play May 17.

3B David Freese (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 2. He had 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 will report to extended spring training May 18 and hopes to return to the Cardinals within a couple of days.

LHP Bryan Tallet (fractured right hand) went on 15-day disabled list April 13. He is on a rehab assignment and should be back soon.

RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13 and was moved to the 60-day DL on May 16.

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.

NEXT GAME

 

Wed., May 18 vs. ASTROS: Kyle Lohse (4-2, 2.31) vs. Bud Norris (2-2, 3.42) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


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