Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/07/11

Though for different reasons, Colby Rasmus and Lance Berkman did not play Sunday, but they are expected back in Houston Tuesday night.



In the last three weeks, center fielder Colby Rasmus has had a five-walk game, another game in which he had four hits, including two triples, and a third game in which he drove in six runs with a grand slam and a two-run triple.

On the other hand, he went hitless in 12 of 16 games as his average dropped more than 30 points to .270 and he had some problems running down or judging balls that were the near the wall.

Manager Tony La Russa called the third-year player into his office on Sunday and decided to give him a day off although Rasmus did pinch hit and strike out in the ninth inning.

"It was a good conversation," Rasmus said. "It was nothing bad. I've been playing a lot lately. He's giving me a little breather. Get somebody in there who's fresh.

"My competitive side is saying, 'Go out there and play.' Your legs are saying, 'It's a long season.'"

Of his recent erratic performances, Rasmus said, "This game is always bringing new surprises. It's been a weird last week or so for me."

La Russa, probably will restore Rasmus to the starting lineup Tuesday night in Houston said: "You just watch everybody. There are a few guys dragging, so you give them a day off here and three. I knew he was good to go, but he (was) on fumes."


The Cardinals are starting their third three-city trip in the first half of the season. On this one, they will have three games each in Houston, Milwaukee and Washington. They will have a fourth three-city trip right after the All-Star break, to Cincinnati, New York and Pittsburgh. Alhough they have an unusually high number of three-city trips, the Cardinals catch a scheduling break in that they don't play any games outside the Eastern or Central time zones the rest of the season. They already have played all the National League Western Division teams away from home.

Since losing their first three series of the season, the Cardinals have won 14 of the next 17 series and split one.

1B Albert Pujols' home run Sunday tied Jason Giambi at 421 for the lead among active players, 43rd on the all-time list. It also was the 13th extra-inning home run of Pujols' career.

RF Lance Berkman will visit Houston this week for the second time as a visiting player. The longtime Astros star was 8-for-14 with two home runs and six RBI during his first visit to Minute Maid Park late in April.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 - Number of runs the Cardinals have allowed in four Sunday home games. They have won all four.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I control what I control and that's it."

- RHP Chris Carpenter, on still having only one win in 13 starts despite pitching well lately.



RF Lance Berkman (sore right wrist), who injured himself diving for a ball early in May, sat out the June 5 game partially because he received a cortisone shot the previous night and partially for matchup reasons. Berkman said he wanted to play in the next series, against Houston, the team for which he played most of his career.

LF Matt Holliday (strained left quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 1.

RHP Kyle McClellan (left hip flexor strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 31. He is expected to return and start by the June 14-16 series against Washington.

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.



Tues., June 7 at Houston RHP Jake Westbrook (5-3, 5.15) vs. RHP Brett Myers (2-4, 4.82) 7:05 P.M. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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