Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/31/11

Kyle McClellan had his worst career game as the Cardinals were felled by the Giants on Memorial Day.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The most significant hit of the Cardinals' 7-3 loss to the Giants on Monday was a grand slam hit by Giants' center fielder Andres Torres off right-hander Kyle McClellan in a five-run fourth inning.

But it was what happened before that at-bat, when McClellan walked opposing pitcher Madison Bumgarner, that bothered McClellan (6-2) the most.

"Walking the pitcher there killed me," McClellan said. "I get him out, that changes everything. Just all in all, not a good game."

McClellan was knocked out after four innings, his earliest departure this season, his first as a starter. He was behind in the count to eight of the first 10 hitters and both of his walks came in the Giants' big fourth that made it 7-2.

Manager Tony La Russa said McClellan injured his left hip in the first inning. "He was out of whack," La Russa said. "He threw a lot of pitches nowhere near the glove. He just wasn't sharp."

McClellan, at first, said he had not been injured, but later said he had landed awkwardly. "It raised some concern," McClellan said. "There's nothing wrong."

The Cardinals' bullpen quartet of right-hander Miguel Batista, left-hander Brian Tallet, right-hander Jason Motte and left-hander Trever Miller held the Giants to one hit and no runs over the last five innings.

But the Cardinals scored only once after the third on first baseman Albert Pujols' first home run in Busch Stadium since April 23.

NOTES AND QUOTES

1B Albert Pujols' ninth home run of the season was his 99th at the current Busch Stadium. Only seven players have 100 or more home runs in their current ball parks. Pujols, hitting only .262, was 3-for-22 before his home run, his first at Busch since April 23. Manager Tony La Russa said: "He's hit the ball a lot better than his average."

OF Jon Jay, who had a nine-game hitting streak, was taken out of the lineup to make room for LF Matt Holliday, who was making his first start since May 22 when he suffered a recurrence of a strained left quadriceps. Jay, who had hit .415 in his streak to move to .346 for the season, saw his streak end with a pinch-hit groundout in the seventh. "It's a good problem to have," La Russa said of his outfield of Holliday, Lance Berkman, Colby Rasmus and Jay.

INF/OF Allen Craig, normally an outfielder-first baseman, got another start at second base and hit two doubles to raise his average to .330. Craig, who began playing the position when regular 2B Skip Schumaker still was out because of a triceps injury, hasn't hurt the Cardinals with his defense, although La Russa admitted it was a work in progress and he will continue to take Craig out if the Cardinals are ahead after five innings. "He's doing this thing on an emergency basis," La Russa said. "There are some defensive things that he needs (to work on) … but we'll just break him in slowly.'

2B Skip Schumaker has been slow to round into form after being taken off the disabled list and La Russa said Schumaker probably could have used more time in Florida to strengthen his legs and get more at-bats. Schumaker, summoned when LF Matt Holliday (quad injury) and C Gerald Laird (broken index finger) were injured the same day, is 2-for- 16 since his return.

SS Ryan Theriot extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a third-inning double Monday. His hitting streak, during which he is 19- for-55. is the longest active streak in the National League.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 - Runs allowed by RHP Kyle McClellan in four innings Monday. It was the most runs McClellan has allowed in a game although, for his first three seasons in the majors, he was a reliever.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's less and less miserable every day."

- Manager Tony La Russa, on his face and head as recovers from a long bout with shingles.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

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. Holliday returned to the lineup on May 30.

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.

NEXT GAME

 

Tue., May 31 vs. GIANTS: Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.58) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (3-1, 1.77) 6:09 p.m. CDT (ESPN, FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


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