Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/06/11

Lance Berkman paced the Cards' offense Friday night in their second straight win over the Marlins.



Veteran outfielder Lance Berkman achieved something Friday night that he hadn't done in nearly three years: He doubled and tripled in the same game.

Berkman tripled for the first time this season and scored the Cardinals' second run in the fourth inning against the Florida Marlins. Then, in the eighth inning of a tie game, after he had made a running catch in the bottom of the seventh, Berkman doubled to drive in the go-ahead run and the Cardinals held on for a 3-2 victory.

Meanwhile, rookie Lance Lynn gained his first major league save. With Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan wanting to give both closer Fernando Salas and setup man Octavio Dotel a night off, it fell to Lynn to pitch the ninth inning. There were some speed bumps, but Lynn cleared them, escaping a bases-loaded, two-out spot by fanning dangerous Mike Stanton on a 96 mph fastball to end the game.

Duncan had talked before the game about moving the impressive Lynn into some more significant roles.

"I didn't think it would be that soon," said Duncan. "One-run game. His heart was beating a little fast. But sometimes you get put into a position where you don't have a choice.

"I think he was out there long enough that he probably calmed down a little bit," said Duncan.

An erratic starter when he was with the Cardinals earlier in the season, Lynn has grown into a weapon as a reliever. Lynn said, "I enjoy it. I'm a person that likes big situations, and I like to have the ball in my hand when the game's on the line."

When the call to the bullpen came, Lynn recalled himself saying, "All right. Time to get the job done."



LF Matt Holliday hit his fourth homer in his last five games and 18th of the season in the fourth inning. But the cleanup man also gave himself up in the eighth, hitting a right-side groundout on an inside pitch to move 1B Albert Pujols, who had doubled, to third. RF Lance Berkman, who might have been walked if Holliday hadn't advanced the runner, doubled in Pujols for the winning run. But Berkman wanted to talk about Holliday's at-bat. "You're talking about one of the best hitters in the game," Berkman said. "Selfless, just great baseball."

For the sixth time in six meetings with the Marlins this season (the Cardinals have won four), the Cardinals' starting pitcher didn't get a win or a loss. RH reliever Mitchell Boggs gained his first win of the season with a scoreless seventh in relief of RHP Jake Westbrook, who worked the first six innings. Reliever Jason Motte, who hasn't given up an earned run since June 24, a span of 19 appearances and 13 1/3 innings, got three straight outs in the eighth.

3B David Freese, plunked on the left side of his batting helmet Thursday night by a pitch from Florida RHP Clay Hensley, said Friday he felt "better than yesterday. I'm still a little banged up, but I definitely feel better." Freese, who has a mild concussion and bruise near his temple, said he no longer was dizzy and his eyesight was "fine" after some anxious, immediate seconds when his vision was blurred. "I'm just going to try not to move too quick," said Freese. "I've never had a concussion." General manager John Mozeliak said he did not anticipate placing Freese on the disabled list, even the special seven-day list designed for concussion victims. "Our hope is not to have to do that," said Mozeliak. "We'll look at it day by day." The most likely scenario is that Freese won't start until he gets back home and that he might be ready for the start of the series at Busch Stadium against Milwaukee on Tuesday.

RHP Kyle Lohse, yanked after three erratic innings on Thursday, has just two wins in his last 11 starts. Pitching coach Dave Duncan said, "I see him throw his bullpens and he's got great stuff. I see him warming up for the games and he's got great stuff. When I look back over his games, I see him make a great pitch, a good pitch and then a terrible pitch. And the terrible pitches are getting hit. I wish I could put my finger on why that's happening, but I can't."

Manager Tony La Russa and Duncan are reviewing their pitching options for the Milwaukee series Tuesday through Thursday. With an off day on Monday, there is a chance that Lohse could be skipped so that ace RHP Chris Carpenter could pitch on normal rest, which probably will happen, on Thursday. RHP Edwin Jackson will start the first Milwaukee game on Tuesday, and it then would be either Lohse or RHP Jake Westbrook, who pitched in Florida on Friday, to work Wednesday.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 - Wins and saves this season, respectively, by relievers Mitchell Boggs and Lance Lynn, who were the pitchers of record on Friday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Well, no, to be honest with you. I'd much rather hit a big home run or drive somebody in."

- RF Lance Berkman, on whether he would rather make a great catch, which he did on Friday, or drive in the game-winner, which he also did.




3B David Freese (mild concussion, head contusion) left the Aug. 4 game. He hopes to be back by Aug. 9.

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.


Sat., Aug. 6 at MARLINS: Chris Carpenter (6-8, 3.85) vs. Javier Vazquez (7-9, 4.88) 6:10 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='Cardinals upbeat after 3-2 win'>Video: Cardinals upbeat after 3-2 win</a>
Lance Berkman, Jake Westbrook and manager Tony La Russa aim to keep things rolling after beating Florida.

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