Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/13/11

The Brewers followed a familiar script on Sunday, erasing a Cardinals sixth-inning lead. Jake Westbrook took the loss as Milwaukee earned the sweep.



For the second game in a row Sunday, the Milwaukee Brewers erased a Cardinals' sixth-inning lead with four quick runs.

On Saturday, the Brewers tagged right-hander Chris Carpenter for four runs in the sixth after the Cardinals had taken a 2-1 lead. On Sunday, Jake Westbrook carried a 3-0 cushion into the bottom of the sixth and, in a matter of moments, Westbrook found himself behind and out of the game.

Prince Fielder's long two-run homer, his 19th of the season, capped a four-run burst against Westbrook and provided a 4-3 victory for the Brewers, who swept the three-game series from the Cardinals and moved past them by a half game and into first place in the National League Central Division.

This month alone, Cardinals starters have given up three or more runs in the sixth inning in five games, four of which the Cardinals have lost. In the sixth inning of the three games in the Milwaukee series, right-hander Kyle Lohse, Carpenter and Westbrook allowed 10 runs.

"I'm starting to have thoughts about all of our starters around the sixth inning," said pitching coach Dave Duncan.

"We've got to do a better job of getting deeper into the game so we've got to take a look at it and see if something is preventing that from happening.

"The third time through the lineup. ... Are we being too repetitive in our pitching? We've got to see. It's been building."

In their two road series against top divisional competitors Cincinnati and Milwaukee, the Cardinals have been swept in each.

But outfielder Lance Berkman noted, "We got swept at Cincinnati and they went into first place. The next thing you know, they're six games back.

"Obviously, you don't want to get swept. But this isn't our team either. No respect to the guys we have in there, but without Matt Holliday, it makes a big difference."

Holliday, who is ready to return Thursday, said, "I don't think it's anything to panic about."


LF Matt Holliday engaged in an arduous session of pregame running Sunday and said he was ready to come off the disabled list. The problem is that Holliday, recovering from a left quadriceps injury, can't be activated until Thursday. "I have full confidence I'll be ready to play Thursday (in Washington)," Holliday said.

OF Andrew Brown, hitting .351 in Class AAA, became the ninth player brought up from Memphis this season. He replaced OF/INF Allen Craig, whose bruised, still swollen right knee forced him onto the disabled list. "It's disappointing," said Craig, hitting .336 with 23 runs batted in for 107 at-bats. "I feel like I was pretty close (to returning). If you're not playing, you're not helping. I get that. But it's really frustrating."

Brown made his big-league debut, striking out as a pinch hitter against Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum in the seventh inning. "It's just another game. A little bit louder," said Brown. "It was the first one. Hopefully, there will be a lot more."

CF Colby Rasmus, who drove in a run with a sixth-inning double, fell down between second and third as he tried for a triple and was tagged out diving back to second.

"As I was running to the (second base) bag, I wasn't going to be right on time with my foot. … I did a stutter-step, and when I hit the bag, I just slipped," Rasmus said.

2B Skip Schumaker, who is starting against all right-handers now after struggling when he came off a rehabilitation option for his strained triceps, drove in two runs Sunday after getting two hits Saturday. "The more playing time you get, the better timing you're going to get," said Schumaker, whose average is up to .236. "That's the only way to get back. I knew it was going to take a while. Tony (La Russa, the manager) knew that. I just hope it didn't take too long. But the more time I get, the better it will be."

1B Albert Pujols had his hitting streak snapped at nine games. He and OF Lance Berkman were a combined 3-for-21 in the three-game series at Milwaukee.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12 - Times the Cardinals have used the disabled list this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This isn't just a fluke thing. It's going to be a fun race."

- 2B Skip Schumaker, praising Milwaukee after the Brewers swept the Cardinals in a three-game series.



OF Allen Craig (bruised right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8.

LF Matt Holliday (strained left quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 1. He is expected to return after missing the minimum 15 days.

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. He was traveling with the team in early June, and he should be ready for a rehab assignment soon.

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. He is pitching on a rehab stint in the Florida State League.

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., June 13: OPEN DATE

Tue., June 14 at NATIONALS: Jaime Garcia (6-2, 3.20) vs. Yunesky Maya (0-1, 5.40) 6:05 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories