Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/23/11

Other than Wednesday's fourth inning, Kyle Lohse pitched well enough to win against the Phillies.



   Right-hander Kyle Lohse did not throw one pitch Wednesday night at Busch Stadium with a Phillies runner in scoring position behind him. Lohse helped induce four double plays from his defense in eight solid innings of work.


   But there was the matter of the fourth inning. Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins hit his seventh homer to lead off the inning. With one out, Chase Utley singled and St. Louisan Ryan Howard smashed his 16th homer of the season and ninth of his career in 25 games at Busch Stadium.


   That was plenty for Phillies ace left-hander Cliff Lee, who pitched his second consecutive shutout in a 4-0 Philadelphia win.


   Lohse (7-4) failed for a fourth time to win his eighth game. He didn't strike out anybody or walk anybody. "Weird game," he said.


   Choosing his words reasonably carefully, Lohse made it clear he didn't think he was getting the inside pitch from plate umpire Marty Foster.


   "It was kind of tough to have to go away from your game plan when you're not getting the inside corner," Lohse said.


   One such instance, he said, came on the outside pitch to Howard in the fourth.


   "His power is away. We know that," Lohse said. "But I'm not going to keep going in when I'm not getting that call."


   The Cardinals, who were limited to six hits, put just two runners into scoring position themselves, and one of them was Lohse.


   In the game's key inning for the Cardinals, Lohse, getting his first extra-base hit of the season, doubled to lead off the third. But rookie Pete Kozma twice fouled off sacrifice attempts before bouncing a ball up the middle where Lee made a leaping grab and then threw out Kozma.


   Lohse, who had hustled back to second on the play, was held at third as Ryan Theriot singled, but Jon Jay bounced into an inning-ending double play started by Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco.


   Cardinals manager Tony La Russa called the missed bunt attempt by Kozma "basic execution. I'm sure that in his career, he's going to be a good bunter. It's a big miss because (a run) gives you a little momentum to start the game. But we would have had to do more than score one run."




   --RHP Miguel Batista, who retired none of three men he faced Tuesday and allowed nine runs in his last 2 2/3 innings, was released Wednesday. Overall this year, Batista was 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA in 26 appearances (one start).


   --RHP Lance Lynn, who made two starts earlier this month for the Cardinals, was recalled from Class AAA Memphis. Lynn, 7-3 for Memphis and 1-1 for St. Louis, will not go into the rotation but instead primarily will be a long man out of the Cardinals' tattered bullpen. "We're intrigued enough about Lynn that we want to see more of him," manager Tony La Russa said.


   --GM John Mozeliak, asked if this were more moves to come after the release of  Batista and the recall of Lynn, said, "This is the first move. We'll see how things go."


   --Mozeliak said he had received good reports on two rehabbing players, 3B David Freese and INF Nick Punto.


   Freese, recovering from a broken bone in his left hand, has gone 1-for-3 in each of his first two games for Class AAA Memphis. Freese is expected to spend four or five more games at Memphis before he would rejoin the team on the road next week in Baltimore.


   Punto, recovering from a right forearm strain, has had three hits in each of the last two games as a designated hitter for Class AA Springfield. Punto will DH one more game before going into the field.


   --RHP Kyle McClellan, who could help the Cardinals' bullpen as the strong setup man he was for his first three big-league seasons, will remain in the rotation where he has thrived this season. At least for now. McClellan is 6-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) this season.


   --With LHPs Trever Miller and Brian Tallet both inconsistent, it wouldn't be a surprise if LHP Raul Valdes, a non-roster pitcher who was sent out relatively early in spring training, would be put on the 40-man roster and then brought up. Valdes could take RHP Miguel Batista's spot on the 40-man roster. "We talk about (Valdes) from time to time," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's done a nice job for wherever he's asked to pitch in Memphis." Valdes, 33, is 5-2 with a 5.05 ERA in 21 games (seven starts).


   --RHP Eduardo Sanchez (strained right shoulder) is not likely to come off the disabled list next week after just 15 days on the disabled list. "I'm not sure that we would risk anything there," manager Tony La Russa said.


   --RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) made his third rehab appearance for Class AAA Memphis on Wednesday, allowing two unearned runs in 1 1/3 innings. In five overall rehab appearances for Class A Palm Beach and Memphis, Augenstein is 1-2 with a 6.48 ERA.


   BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Times the Cardinals have been shut out, and also number of times they have blanked the opposition.


   QUOTE TO NOTE: "At some point it's about production. This league is about producing and performing and it just wasn't happening. We had to do something different and it was time to shake something up. Instead of standing idly by and doing nothing, we're going to give it a try."


-- GM John Mozeliak, on releasing RHP Miguel Batista and bringing up RHP Lance Lynn as he tries to fix the bullpen.






   --1B Albert Pujols (sprained left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 20. Pujols was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the radius bone in his left forearm, and he will be out until late July or early August.


   --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, but he is not likely to return as soon as he is eligible.


   --OF Allen Craig (fractured right kneecap) 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. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on June 20.


   --3B David Freese (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 2. He had surgery May 3. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on June 21, and he hopes to rejoin the Cardinals in late June.


   --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, and he moved his rehab to Class AAA Memphis on June 17.


   --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.




Thu., June 23 vs. PHILLIES: Chris Carpenter (1-7, 4.47) vs. Roy Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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