Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/30/11

St. Louis took two of three in Colorado, completing a very successful 6-3 road trip. Jon Jay is playing well, having hit .415 over the nine games.



Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday is about to return from missing a week's worth of starts due to a recurrence of a left quadriceps strain. But Holliday hardly could have done more than his replacement, Jon Jay.

On St. Louis' nine-game road trip that finished with a 4-3 win at Colorado on Sunday, Jay hit safely in every game. Getting starts in all three outfield positions, Jay wound up 17-for-41 (.415). He had four doubles, and a two-run homer that he hit in the first inning Sunday. Jay is batting .346, though it's not new territory for him, as he finished at .300 as the Cardinals' fourth outfielder last year.

The Cardinals continued their remarkable run of series victories. After losing their first three series of the season, they have won 12 of their last 14, and they took all three series on the trip, two games to one. An atrocious 34-47 on the road last year, the Cardinals are 18-13 away from home this year.

"We've got a lot of confidence (on the road)," Jay said.

Manager Tony La Russa, ever wary, said, "The best thing to do is not talk about it when you've got four months to play."

The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and then hung on as the Rockies pecked away. The Cardinals' two young late-inning men, right-handers Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas, allowed a run each in the eighth and ninth.

"That game was there for it to get away from us," La Russa said. "Neither guy was perfect, but they kept firing and held it together."


RHP Kyle Lohse, who won a total of only 10 games in the past two seasons as he battled forearm problems that required surgery last year, posted his seventh victory in nine decisions Sunday. He recorded his ninth quality start. Until the seventh, Lohse kept the Rockies off balance, mixing his fastball with several off-speed pitches. "He's got the weapons," manager Tony La Russa said of Lohse's arsenal, "and the catcher back there (Yadier Molina) knows how to change."

RHP Fernando Salas recorded his ninth save in nine tries. "He's got a good coolness to him," manager Tony La Russa said. "I know he's excited, but he doesn't get rattled. He's got really good composure."

1B Albert Pujols isn't out of the woods yet. After ending a 105 at-bat homer drought May 23 in San Diego, he went three for his next 21. All three hits were singles.

LF Matt Holliday, who has missed the last six starts because of a recurrence of a left quadriceps strain, is likely to return during the four-game home series against San Francisco, possibly as early as Monday afternoon. Holliday, who pinch-hit in the first two games of the Colorado series, did not appear Sunday, but he has been running more freely in pregame drills.

OF/1B Allen Craig made his third start in the last four games at second base. As has been manager Tony La Russa's custom, Craig, who went 1-for-3 and played flawlessly in the field, came out for Tyler Greene in the sixth inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 - Home runs hit in May by CF Colby Rasmus, who connected Sunday for his first homer since April 20, a span of 116 at-bats.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The most impressive thing is … that it hasn't affected his hitting. This gives him the opportunity. He's made it work."

- Manager Tony La Russa on employing hot-hitting OF/1B Allen Craig at second base.



LF Matt Holliday (tight left quadriceps) left the May 22 game and did not play May 23-25. He was used as a pinch hitter May 27-28, then sat out May 29. He is day-to-day.

C Gerald Laird (broken right index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 23. He will be out until July.

INF Nick Punto (right forearm flexor strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18.

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.

RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13. He was transferred 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.



Mon., May 30 vs. GIANTS: Kyle McClellan (6-1, 3.11) vs. Madison Bumgarner (1-6, 3.79) 3:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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