Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/03/11

The Cardinals won a hotly-contested game in extra innings in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.



Tuesday night's 11-inning struggle with the Milwaukee Brewers was a little like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." But when the 4-hour, 28-minute marathon was over, the Cardinals had a potentially character-building 8-7 win.

The Good:

Matt Holliday, who had homered in the second inning, barely beat out an infield hit with two outs in the 11th and stole his first base of the season. He then scored the winning run when Lance Berkman served a ball at his shoe tops into left field for a single. Berkman, whose only hit in five previous five at-bats was a bunt single in the second, was getting changeups all night and finally dropped one in safely.

Right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel, 37, worked for the fifth time in six days since coming from Toronto and got the final two outs for his first Cardinals save.

Rookie right-handed reliever Lance Lynn worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the seventh.

New shortstop Rafael Furcal made an over-the-shoulder catch in short left field to end the ninth and keep the game alive.

Left-hander Jaime Garcia, an .070 hitter, hit his first major league home run, a three-run, upper-deck shot that capped a five-run fourth inning.

The Cardinals bullpen, encompassing six relievers, worked six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and no runs.

The Bad:

Second baseman Skip Schumaker made two poor throws in the fifth inning, and an error charged to him led to four unearned runs. Garcia compounded the felony by allowing a two-out, three-run homer to Milwaukee shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.

The Ugly:

First baseman Albert Pujols, who had a fractured left wrist earlier this season, was hit in the left hand by a high, inside pitch from Milwaukee right-hander Takashi Saito in the seventh inning. He was able to stay in the game, but Cardinals right-hander Jason Motte hit Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun in the back in the bottom of the inning.

Manager Tony La Russa, noting that Pujols almost was hit in the face the night before, too, was angry when it was suggested to him that Braun was hit on purpose.

"We did not hit Braun on purpose," La Russa said. "We threw the ball in real good to send a message."

La Russa, still boiling, said he didn't think the Brewers were throwing at Pujols either but said the location of the inside pitches -- near Pujols' head -- were what made him mad.

"Look at the location and potential danger of the two of them (pitches to Pujols and Braun)," La Russa said.

Catcher Yadier Molina was ejected by plate umpire Rob Drake for disputing a third strike while he was hitting in the 10th inning. Molina faces a possible suspension as Drake acted as if Molina had spit on him during the argument. Molina also appeared to make contact with Drake.

"His emotions got the better of him," La Russa said. "He did touch the umpire, and that's not acceptable. He definitely didn't spit on (Drake) intentionally, but he definitely made contact."


Related article: "Ejections rise with temperatures" at The Cardinal Nation Blog.


C Yadier Molina, who made contact with plate umpire Rob Drake after he was ejected for arguing a third strike in the 10th inning, said he thought Drake bumped him first before he bumped Drake. The umpire acted as if Molina had spit on him, but Molina said any moisture was sweat. "I would never spit on the face of any man," Molina said.

Rookie INF Daniel Descalso, whose playing time seemed threatened when the Cardinals acquired veteran SS Rafael Furcal, made the start at third base Tuesday. He went 3-for-4 with a walk.

The Cardinals filed a complaint about the lighting at Miller Park while they were hitting Monday, but nothing was changed. Crew chief Gary Darling said, "There's nothing there as far as we're concerned."

Veteran LHP Arthur Rhodes was designated for assignment by the Rangers, and manager Tony La Russa sounded interested in him. "He's been a hell of a (professional) for a long, long time," La Russa said. "He has all of our respect. Does that sound like (I'm) intrigued?"

The Cardinals cut Milwaukee's lead in the NL Central to 2 1/2 games with the 11-inning win. "I don't know if it's too early to use the word 'critical' when you're talking about beating these guys," said RF Lance Berkman, who singled home the winning run.

RHP Kyle McClellan got his first win since being moved back to the bullpen, but he appeared to turn his ankle in the 11th inning. McClellan was coming out anyway for RHP Octavio Dotel.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 - Days off out of six for RHP Octavio Dotel, 37, who has pitched in five games already for the Cardinals since being acquired last Thursday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Get the ball down if you want to pitch inside. That's one of the ways you avoid any nonsense."

- Manager Tony La Russa, after the Cardinals and Brewers were involved in a brief beanball skirmish.




RHP Kyle McClellan (ankle) left the Aug. 2 game. The extent of the ailment wasn't immediately known.

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.


Wed., Aug. 3 at BREWERS: Edwin Jackson (8-7, 3.78) vs. Randy Wolf (7-8, 3.44) 1:10 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='Cards on 8-7 win over Brewers'>Video: Cards on 8-7 win over Brewers</a>
Tony TV: Tony La Russa and Yadier Molina discuss testy situations following the heated matchup against Milwaukee.

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