Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/01/11

The Cardinals were again unable to finish off a series sweep as the Cubs won Sunday night at Busch Stadium. Jake Westbrook's perfect game turned sour in the sixth.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Everything that went right early went wrong late Sunday for the Cardinals and Jake Westbrook.

The right-hander, who had a perfect game for five innings and a no-hitter for 5 2/3, then allowed five straight runners to reach base in the sixth inning as the Cubs scored four runs en route to a 6-3 victory Sunday night.

It was the first time the Cubs had beaten the Cardinals in St. Louis this season in six meetings.

The Cardinals, after a disappointing 4-3 homestand against the two worst teams in the National League, Houston and Chicago, left town 2 1/2 games behind the NL Central-leading Brewers heading into a three-game series that begins Monday in Milwaukee.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa appeared to have issues with plate umpire Jim Wolf's strike zone but was vague in discussing it.

"It's one of those situations where if you don't shut your mouth, you get in trouble," La Russa said. "We didn't deserve the runs we gave up .. and I'm not going any further with that one. No use in trying to dig for it.

"We didn't give up six runs. The strike zone was established to have prevented five of the six. Period. I don't have anything more to say."

Westbrook said there was only one pitch he thought Wolf missed in the sixth inning. It was the 2-2 offering to Carlos Pena with the bases loaded and two out. When Westbrook didn't get that call, he walked Pena, forcing in a run that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Chicago center fielder Marlon Byrd singled home two more runs.

"It's the last out, if he calls it," Westbrook said. "I felt he missed one pitch, which was a big one, but I didn't make any pitches after that.

"The inning kind of snowballed on me, and I put up a big inning. If I can keep it to one or two runs, it's a different ballgame. That's something I need to do a better job of."

Westbrook wound up charged with four runs on three hits and three walks in six innings.

Boxscore

NOTES, QUOTES

SS Rafael Furcal, acquired from the Dodgers on Saturday night, made his St. Louis debut when he pinch-hit Sunday night, receiving a standing ovation in the seventh inning. Furcal, who will start Monday in Milwaukee, grounded into a forceout. Manager Tony La Russa plans to play Furcal most days as his regular shortstop, and he'll probably platoon Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot at second base.

RF Lance Berkman, after not playing for four days as he rested a sore right shoulder in which he took a cortisone shot, hit his National League-leading 28th homer in the sixth inning. Berkman said he wanted to play all the games the rest of the season. There are 54 remaining.

CF Jon Jay's infield single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The first 10 game came with his wearing uniform No. 15. During the 11th, he wore No. 19, as newly acquired SS Rafael Furcal received his customary No. 15 when he arrived Sunday.

3B David Freese's double off the top of the right-center-field wall was reviewed in the fifth inning by umpiring crew chief Derryl Cousins, but Cousins didn't need long to look at the replays. "It hit the cement wall behind the padding. That's the actual wall. The pad is just the pad," Cousins said. When the series started, Cousins already had received word from an umpire supervisor about the Cardinals' Albert Pujols hitting a similar drive earlier in the week, which was called a home run, but, according to the supervisor, should not have been.

The Cardinals grounded into double plays to end rallies in the seventh and eighth innings. They have grounded into 116 double plays. No other team in the league had more than 88 before Sunday.

Beginning Monday, the Cardinals will play 12 of their next 35 games against Milwaukee, the National League Central leader.

INF Tyler Greene was optioned to Class AAA Memphis to clear a roster spot for newly acquired SS Rafael Furcal. Greene had been recalled from Memphis on Friday, and he went 0-for-1 with a walk and two runs in his latest big-league stint.

RHP Eduardo Sanchez was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for newly acquired SS Rafael Furcal. Sanchez has been out since mid-June due to a right shoulder strain, and he could return in late August or early September.

BY THE NUMBERS: .283 - 1B Albert Pujols' batting average, which is at a season high after he had two hits Sunday night.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Instead of winning one or two, losing two, winning three, losing two … hopefully we'll put together that stretch where we win six, seven, eight in a row and then maybe another six, seven, eight in a row. We haven't done that yet. And we need to."

- RHP Chris Carpenter, on what the Cardinals have to do in the final one-third of the season, which starts Monday night.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

MEDICAL WATCH:

RF Lance Berkman (strained right shoulder) did not play July 27-30. He got a cortisone shot July 27, and he returned to action July 31.

C Gerald Laird (sprained left ring finger) left the July 28 game. He didn't play July 29. He appeared as a defensive replacement July 30, then sat out again July 31.

INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29.

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. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31.

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.

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.

NEXT GAME

Mon., Aug. 1 at BREWERS: Chris Carpenter (6-7, 3.68) vs. Zack Greinke (8-4, 4.50) 7:10 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


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