Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/30/11

Albert Pujols' 2000th hit stole Edwin Jackson's spotlight as the Cards beat the Cubs Friday night.



On another night, Edwin Jackson's first start for the Cardinals would have been the attention grabber. Jackson, pitching for his sixth team, held the Chicago Cubs to one run over seven innings as the Cardinals rolled to a 9-2 victory.

But those who stayed until near the end got what they came for -- to see the 2,000th career hit by first baseman Albert Pujols, who got his second double of the game in the eighth inning and then received a loud, long ovation from the 42,042 who were in attendance.

Pujols joined only four other players who have achieved 2,000 or more hits in a Cardinals uniform, led, of course, by Stan Musial, who had 3,630 hits, followed by Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby and Enos Slaughter.

"It was really humbling," said Pujols of the ovation. "I thought there were a couple of tears that were going to come. It was really emotional to be able to do it tonight with a great win and do it here in front of the fans. ... It can't be better than that."


But, said Pujols, said, "It's sad that this 2,000th hit pretty much took the great headlines from Edwin Jackson. He did an unbelievable job for his first game with us. He gave us a lift. We had lost a couple of tough games against Houston."

Jackson, acquired from the Chicago White Sox through Toronto, allowed seven hits and walked two while throwing 66 strikes out of 95 pitches.

"I think we were all impressed by (Jackson's) composure," said manager Tony La Russa. "You can tell he's been out there. He really held together. What a lift. His first start. Now repeat that, however many more he's got."



The Cardinals jumped ahead in the fourth when 3B David Freese hit a three-run homer. Four of Freese's six homers have come on the first pitch.

RHP Kyle McClellan, who lost his starting spot to RHP Edwin Jackson, who was acquired on Wednesday, retired just one of four men he faced in the eighth in his second relief appearance of the season.

INF Ryan Theriot, who had been 2 for his last 41, delivered a two-run pinch double in the sixth and doubled home another run in the eighth. For the first time this season, he entered the game at second base on defense rather than at shortstop, where he has made 16 errors. Rookie Daniel Descalso started at shortstop on Friday and Tyler Greene finished up, but the Cardinals are seeking veteran help at the position before Sunday's trading deadline and have had conversations with the Los Angeles Dodgers concerning Rafael Furcal.

At age 31, 1B Albert Pujols, who has 2,000 career hits, would seem to have plenty of time to reach 3,000 hits for his career. "I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow," said Pujols. "I don't like to think about numbers." But, he admitted later, "Three thousand will be there, hopefully, before you know it."

SS Tyler Greene replaced INF Nick Punto on the roster as Punto was put on the disabled list for the third time this season, this time with a strained left oblique muscle. RF Lance Berkman sat out again with a sore right shoulder but might be able to play on Saturday. C Gerald Laird, who suffered a sprained ring finger of his left hand on Thursday, didn't play but isn't seriously hurt.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 - Stolen bases for INF Tyler Greene, who stole one on Friday and still leads the team even after spending the previous five weeks in the minors.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "My next goal is to hopefully to be in Cooperstown. But even though that's my dream, I don't even want to think about it."

- 1B Albert Pujols, after getting his 2,000th hit on Friday.





C Gerald Laird (sprained left ring finger) left the July 28 game. He didn't play July 29, but the injury is not serious.

C Tony Cruz (bruised right hand) left the July 28 game. The extent of the injury wasn't immediately known.

INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) left the July 28 game and was placed on the disabled list July 29.

RF Lance Berkman (strained right shoulder) did not play July 27-29. He got a cortisone shot July 27, and he is unlikely to return before July 30.

RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early September.

OF Allen Craig (broken right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 23, and he figures to return after Aug. 1.

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.


Sat., July 30 vs. CUBS: Kyle Lohse (8-7, 3.46) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (2-2, 3.49) 3:11 p.m. CDT (Big FOX, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='La Russa on win, record'>Video: La Russa on win, record</a>
Tony TV: Cards' manager Tony La Russa talks about Friday's 9-2 win over Chicago and Albert Pujols' 2000th hit.

<a href='' target='_new' title='Cardinals sound off'>Video: Cardinals sound off</a>
Albert Pujols and Edwin Jackson speak after Friday's win about Pujol's milestone and Jackson's pitching.

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