In what surely was their worst loss of the season, the Cardinals' bullpen allowed six runs in a disastrous seventh inning to the Washington Nationals, who came all the way back from a 6-1 deficit to win 8-6 Tuesday night.
"Uncharacteristic. Just a nightmare seventh inning," said manager Tony La Russa.
La Russa added that one of his main late inning relievers, right-hander Eduardo Sanchez, wasn't available, "so we had to try to get outs in different ways."
Veteran right-hander Miguel Batista got two outs but allowed four hits, two of the scratch variety, and one walk in the seventh. Veteran left-hander Trever Miller plunked the first batter he faced and then allowed the tying run to score on a wild pitch.
Right-hander Jason Motte walked in the go-ahead run and allowed a another run in the seventh as Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth drove a single to right on an 0-2 pitch. "Obviously, I didn't get it down enough," said Motte.
Left-hander Jaime Garcia should have had his seventh win. In part because of some sloppy defense by shortstop Ryan Theriot, Garcia required 107 pitches to navigate six innings. He still left with a 6-2 lead.
"We didn't play great defensively behind him," said La Russa. "This one got away for him and for us."
NOTES AND QUOTES
--RF Andrew Brown, getting his first start, got his first big-league hit, a run-scoring single in the fifth. Brown hit .351 at Class AAA Memphis before being summoned to the majors.
--1B Albert Pujols hit his 15th
homer and LF Lance Berkman his 17th. But
--RHP Mitchell Boggs, who was presumed to be staying for just a while after being recalled last week, might be getting a longer stay. Manager Tony La Russa said he had been impressed by Boggs' perfect inning Tuesday and by Boggs' two-inning stint last week. La Russa a few days ago had said he thought Boggs, being groomed as a starter in Class AAA, needed another start or two down there. Tuesday, he talked of using Boggs in "challenging" relief roles.
--The Cardinals' four-game losing streak is their first of the season. Their longest winning streak also has been four, which they have accomplished five times.
--LF Matt Holliday (strained left quadriceps) went through another long series of running drills and is on schedule to return to the lineup Thursday.
--3B David Freese, out since May 1, when he suffered a broken bone in his left hand when hit by a pitch, will be taking some live batting practice at Busch Stadium and hopes to begin a rehabilitation assignment next week.
BY THE NUMBERS: 13 -- Inherited runners to score against reliever Jason Motte, who has inherited 27.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You can't pick one and ignore the other. He had a great offensive day, setting the table. So somebody else plays shortstop and goes 0-for-4 but makes the plays. Which way are you better?"
-- Manager Tony La Russa on SS Ryan Theriot, who was on base four times and scored two runs but committed two errors and kicked another ball.
--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. He was expected to come off the disabled list on June 16.
--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
--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 continues to pitch for
--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.
Wed., June 15 at NATIONALS: Kyle
McClellan (6-2, 3.86) vs. Livan Hernandez (3-8, 4.15) 6:05 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports