Even reliable right-hander
Fernando Salas buckled Thursday night as the Cardinals concluded a disappointing
nine-game trip with a 7-4 loss in 10 innings to
Salas, who has 11 saves and three wins, surrendered a three-run homer, his first of the season, to Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa in the bottom of the 10th as the Cardinals lost their sixth in a row and seventh in nine games on the trip.
"It's pretty frustrating," first baseman-turned-third-baseman Albert Pujols said, "but there's nothing we can do. We're trying our best."
Pujols said he thought the effort was high.
"I would be more
disappointed if we were walking around here with our heads down and not be ready
to play," he said. "We just ran into a couple of hot teams (
The Cardinals did not go quietly Thursday, as they had the previous night in a 10-0 setback. Pujols homered in the eighth and catcher Yadier Molina homered in the ninth to tie the score.
But, for the second night in succession, the Cardinals gave up four homers to the Nationals, the first three served up by right-hander Kyle Lohse, who failed to earn his eighth win for the third time.
Manager Tony La Russa, however, gave Lohse credit for keeping his team close through six innings. And he praised his team for coming back.
"It was a hellacious effort on our part," La Russa said. "The effort was outstanding. A very difficult loss."
NOTES AND QUOTES
RHP Fernando Salas had to
work into a second inning, which he rarely does, and manager Tony La Russa
admitted Salas didn't have the same stuff late in his outing. Salas gave up a
three-run, walk-off homer to
RHP Chris Carpenter will
make his 15th start seeking his second win Friday night at home against
LF Matt Holliday made a strong return after missing 15 days with a strained left quadriceps. He made two sliding catches in the first inning and homered in his first time at-bat. Holliday also singled.
To clear a spot for
Holliday's return to the active roster, RHP Eduardo Sanchez was placed on the
15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 13, with a mild shoulder strain. An
MRI exam performed in
With the bullpen in some
disarray now, the Cardinals might have interest in LHP J.C. Romero, who was
designated for assignment by
SS Ryan Theriot sat out
Thursday's game because of some left knee discomfort. Theriot did not believe
his knee was the reason for some recent shabby fielding performances. "I'm not
blaming one for the other," said Theriot, adding that he hoped to be available
for Friday night's game in
RHP Bryan Augenstein has allowed five runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings over three rehab appearances for Class A Palm Beach. Augenstein has been on the disabled list since mid-April due to a strained right groin.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1-for-21 - Backup SS Tyler Greene's offensive performance in June. He was 0-for-5 in a start Thursday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is the big leagues. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, and we're not going to feel sorry for anybody."
- 1B Albert Pujols, on the Cardinals' six-game losing streak.
SS Ryan Theriot (sore left knee) did not play June 16. He is day-to-day.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. An MRI exam revealed no structural damage.
OF Allen Craig (right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He will be out until July.
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. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Palm Beach on June 7.
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 17 vs. ROYALS: Chris
Carpenter (1-6, 4.47) vs. Felipe Paulino (0-0, 1.29) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports