Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/10/11

The Cardinals won two of three in Houston as Lance Lynn earned his first major league win Thursday.



Right-hander Lance Lynn made his second big-league start Thursday with plenty of familiar faces from his minor league days behind him.


Lynn, replacing injured right-hander Kyle McClellan, scattered six hits over five innings, allowing just one run, as he gained his first major league victory. In the Cardinals' five-run sixth inning that broke open a 9-2 win over Houston, Tyler Greene, who was with Lynn at Class AAA Memphis last season, drew a bases-loaded walk in a 10-pitch at-bat. Earlier in the inning, former Memphis first baseman Mark Hamilton drove in a run with a forceout grounder, and catcher Tony Cruz, who caught Lynn at Class AA Springfield last year before Lynn was promoted to Class AAA, delivered a clutch single.


The biggest blow of the inning was delivered by pinch hitter Daniel Descalso, another Memphis Mafia member, who knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded double.


Lynn's start likely was his last one for a while. McClellan is expected to take his turn next week in Washington.


All six of the hits Lynn allowed came in the first three innings, and he pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out spot in the third.


"The first three innings felt like the longest innings of my life," Lynn said. "After that, I started getting into a rhythm and throwing more strikes and throwing good pitches. I stopped giving them pitches to hit."


The Cardinals, winning their 15th series in their last 18, moved back to a season-high 12 games over .500 in Tony La Russa's 4,999th regular-season game as a big-league manager. They hit two home runs, one by an expected source and another one by a surprise contributor.


Left fielder Lance Berkman, a former Astros star, homered for the third straight game in the series. He has five homers in his last four games at Minute Maid Park this season.


"Lance has had a great year, and I don't think he's just picking on the Astros. He's picking on everybody," shortstop Ryan Theriot said.


Theriot had not hit a homer since last Aug. 21 when he was with the Dodgers until he cracked a solo shot in the eighth.




- LF Lance Berkman has homered three games in a row and in four of the last six games. He has 15 homers now, compared to 14 all last season when he was bothered by a spring training knee injury that required surgery. "If he's healthy, then you've got Lance Berkman," manager Tony La Russa said. "When he's healthy, he's a great player." In six games at Minute Maid Park this season, Berkman is hitting .480 with five home runs and 12 RBI.


- RHP Kyle McClellan, recovering from a strained left hip flexor, will join the team in Milwaukee to throw a bullpen session. The plan is for him to come off the disabled list Wednesday to pitch in Washington. McClellan is hoping to modify his delivery somewhat so as not to put so much stress on his hip. He will shift his feet to keep from throwing across his body.


- 1B Albert Pujols doubled in the seventh inning to extend his streak to six games with an extra-base hit. In that time, he has five homers and three doubles.


- RHP Eduardo Sanchez, who walked both hitters he faced in an abbreviated appearance Tuesday, worked two perfect innings to wrap up Thursday's game, striking out two.


- SS Ryan Theriot, who had his hitting streak snapped at 20 games Wednesday night, quickly started another one with a first-inning double Thursday. He then hit his first homer of the season in the eighth.


BY THE NUMBERS: 15-1-2 - The Cardinals' record in their last 18 series.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's gotten my attention. That's a lot of games." - Tony La Russa, who managed his 4,999th regular-season major league game Thursday night.






- OF Allen Craig (bruised right knee) was hurt June 7, and he didn't play June 8-9. He is day-to-day.


- 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 will throw a bullpen session during the weekend of June 10-12, and he is expected to be activated for a June 15 start 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.




Fri., June 10 at BREWERS: Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.41) vs. Chris Narveson (2-4, 4.85) 7:10 p.m CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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